Six Aides of the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu have resigned their positions within the state executive council in order to stand for elective positions on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The aides, who have picked up nomination forms within the party to contest the direct primaries being clamoured for by members Ondo APC, were complying with a directive by Governor Akeredolu that all members of his cabinet who had picked up nomination forms had to resign their positions within his government before September 17.
Ondo State APC has been going through a leadership crisis due to the system of primary elections to be used to nominate candidates within the party; the same issue has been affecting the national leadership of the APC too.
While some party members support direct primaries within the party, others are clamouring for indirect primaries. The latest in line is a member of the National Assembly from Ondo state, Mr. Bamidele Baderinwa, who declared his support for the direct primary system of electing the candidates of the party in the forthcoming general elections.
Mr. Badenriwa made his feelings known while speaking to Journalists in Akure as he described the supposed meeting between Governor Akeredolu and several chieftains of the APC where they supposedly adopted indirect primaries for the party as bogus and laughable.
According to the lawmaker, representing Idanre/Ifedore Federal Constituency, the Rotimi Akeredolu led state government opposed the current restructuring of APC by its national leaders.
The Lawmaker said further;
“No one can push us out of the party. We remain bona fide members of the APC. Akeredolu and (Ondo APC chairman, Ade) Adetimehin cannot push us out. Rather, they will leave the party for us. Whether they like it or not, we are going to adopt direct primary in this state.”
He further urged the national leadership of the party to step into the crisis to help its chances of winning the general elections next year.
While reacting to the lawmaker’s comments however, Mr. Adetimehin, Chairman of Ondo APC said the Party had already adopted indirect primary and that there was no going back on the issue.
Another group within the party, APC Unity Group however disagreed with the state chairman and insisted that the state APC will adopt direct primary to choose its candidates for the 2019 general election and not indirect system being touted by the Governor and the state party chairman.
According to the chairman of the group, Mr. Idowu Otetubi, “We are not surprised at the stand of Akeredolu and his hand-picked state executives. We know that they are afraid and have a phobia for contests. All they want is to be hand-picking candidates for the party which shall be counterproductive.”