Members of the Ondo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Thursday shut down the ever busy Oyemekun – Adesida road in Akure, the Ondo State capital, while protesting what they described as “imposition” of three senatorial aspirants in the state by the National Working Committee, NWC of the party’s national body.
The protest which was led by the youth leader of the party in the state, Babalayo Olutayo called out the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole for allegedly working against the party.
Armed with placards with inscriptions such as: “Oshiomhole is not fit to be our chairman.” “No to imposition by NWC.” “Oshiomhole will destroy APC.” “Ondo youths say no to automatic ticket,” the protesters called for a level playing ground for all aspirants.
Olutayo who led members of the party to the Oyemekun road of the party secretariat stated that the disqualification of other aspirants by the NWC without stating any justification, if not addressed would work against the party in the state come 2019.
“We are saying no to imposition, we are saying no to automatic ticket to any aspirants, there must be a room for everybody to be accommodated. We don’t want criminality and impunity in our party, we ask for change and this is not the change we asked for.
“When Adams Oshiomhole took the leadership from John-Odigwe Oyegun, we thought everything will change for good but things are in unbearable condition.
“Oshiomhole has not really helped us. If you go to the APC constitution, article 20 states clearly that party primary must go direct, indirect and consensus, there is no room for automatic ticket in our constitution and we want to know how the leadership came about the automatic ticket.
“Youths of Ondo State are clamouring now that we don’t want any automatic ticket to any aspirants, the leadership should allow everybody to contest, Ondo state is not a place Oshiomhole can use as testing ground.
“ln view of this, we are saying no. Oshiomhole has betrayed us, the majority have said no to the minority because power belongs to everybody.
Stating that until the decision is reversed, more protests would be embarked upon, he added that the state chapter of the party cannot work with the senator representing Ondo North Senatorial District, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice.
“We are coming to organise more rallies against this across the state, we are also using this medium to send a signal to Senator Ajayi Boroffice that if he cannot work together with those in the party, he should go to another party because political parties are many in Nigeria. The majority will not leave the party for minority, Boroffice belongs to the minority.
“We will not allow any party primary to take place if that is not reversed in Ondo state. We are passing a vote of no confidence on Oshiomhole. We are for Buhari not for Oshiomhole,” he said.
On Tuesday, the NWC had announced the screening of the party’s three incumbent senators (Prof. Ajayi Boroffice – Ondo North, Tayo Alasoadura – Ondo Central, Yele Omogunwa – Ondo South) while the other aspirants were screened out including those believed to be the preferred candidates of the state governor.
Also at a press briefing on Wednesday, the affected aspirants (Dr. Tunji Abayomi – Ondo North, Victor Olabimtan – Ondo North, Lucky Ayedatiwa – Ondo South among others) who were disqualified by the NWC had also given a 24-hour ultimatum to Oshiomhole to rescind the decision or he resigns from office.
It was also reported that the Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu yesterday met behind closed door with President Muhammadu Buhari over the issue with another meeting scheduled for today.