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By: Ade Adeleke
The All Progressives Congress (APC), Ondo State Chapter has denied allegation levelled against its leadership over the postponement of local government election in the state, noting that it didn’t defraud chairmanship and Councillorship aspirants.
According to the aggrieved aspirants in their petition, they claimed 1,500 of them paid N100,000 and N20,000 each for Nomination forms and party development fee respectively.
But responding, the party described as unwarranted and rejected a petition against the State chapter, by a group under the aegis of Conference of APC Councillorship Aspirants, to the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, calling for a refund of the money paid by its members to obtain forms for local government election, among others.
In a Statement signed by Alex Kalejaye, the APC State Publicity Secretary explained that the party considered the petition as harsh and unfounded.
“The attention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Ondo State has been drawn to a petition against the State chapter, by a group under the aegis of Conference of APC Councillorship Aspirants, to the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, calling for a refund of the money paid by its members to obtain forms for local government election, among others”.
“We consider some of the allegations contained in the petition as harsh and unfounded. We are also not unaware that we owe the public explanation on what transpired, and for the records, which are the basis for this reaction”.
“It is a fact that following the announcement by the Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC) in September, last year, to conduct local councils’ election, the APC, as a responsible party, advertised sales of forms for interested aspirants”.
“Many aspirants showed interest, and did obtain the Expression of Interest forms, indicating readiness to participate in the said election”.
Kalejaye said the postponement of the election was not the fault of the party but for the State electoral body that said the date earlier set for the council polls was no longer feasible.
“However, while the party was at the top of preparation for the election, the State electoral body said the date earlier set for the election was no longer feasible, citing reasons why it has to be postponed.
“To keep the local administration alive, the State Government opted for a Caretaker arrangement, in which members were drawn from the aspirants that had obtained the Expression of Interest form”.
APC Spokesman noted that, “the State Chairman, Engr. Ade Adetimehin, later met with the entire aspirants that obtained the forms and assured them of the party’s readiness for local councils’ election once the electoral body shows green light”.
“The State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, also granted audience to the aspirants, and assured them that the local government election would come up soon”.
The Party expressed displeasure over it described as unpleasant attitude of the aspirants, “we were therefore surprised at the attitude of the aspirants in disparaging the Government and the party in the State. We are of the view that loyal members of the party should be less boisterous while presenting their cases”.
“Our duty is to ensure fair play; promote party cohesion, and work assiduously for the welfare, and interest of all the members. We have not reneged”.
Kalejaye concluded that, “We appeal to all the aspirants and indeed any other party faithful, to see the party as a structure that we must all join hands to build, and display much understanding in our dealings”.