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By: Oluwtosin Adesola
A group of aggrieved leaders of the ruling APC known as Ondo APC Unity Forum today dismissed an allegation that its selection Committee members and its Chairman, Alhaji Alli Olanusi were financially induced to settle for the choice of Chief Olusola Oke as the consensus candidate of the group to face Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in the forthcoming Ondo state October 10 2020 governorship election.
The group at a news conference held at the Olanusi’s residence, Alagbaka-Akure, also asked the public to ignore those claiming to be Elders of the Forum who said they have removed the former deputy governor as the group’s Chairman.
Addressing newsmen, Alhaji Olanusi flanked by the selection Committee Chairman, Senator Yele Omogunwa, former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Ismaila Olurimisi and other top chieftains of the group, explained that the choice of Oke was purely based on his popularity within and outside the APC to oust Governor Akeredolu from office.
“You will please recall that all the stakeholders in the Forum came together for the sole purpose of salvaging the State from the nepotic and despotic AKETI administration in the last three years.”
According to Omogunwa, four Aspirants like Dr Olusegun Abraham, Olaide Adelami, Mr Odimayo and Prince Dapo Adelegan gave the committee members cash for logistics of the committee like hotel and feeding expenses which was collected with the knowledge of all the Unity Forum chieftains.
Omogunwa noted that Oke was wanted by both APC and PDP bigwigs NAD members across the state, due to his popularity to unseat Akeredolu.
Below is the full text of the press text read by Alhaji Olanusi;
SPEECH DELIVERED BY H.E. ALHAJI ALI OLANUSI, LEADER OF THE ONDO APC UNITY FORUM ON THE OCCASION OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE ONDO APC UNITY FORUM ADOPTED CANDIDATE ON TUESDAY 12h MAY, 2020
Distinguished Leaders and members of our Great Party, the APC here present.
Members of the Special Purpose Committee,
Members of the Candidates Selection Committee,
Respected Aspirants under the banner of the APC Unity Forum of Ondo State,
Gentlemen of the Press,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen. I heartily welcome you all to this press briefing while thanking you for waiting patiently to listen to the report of the 7-man Gubernatorial Candidate Selection Committee.
You will recall that the Special Purpose Committee of the Unity Forum of Ondo State APC set up the 7-man Committee on 22nd of February, 2020 with the mandate of recommending a candidate for the Forum from among the Aspirants under the banner of the Ondo State APC Unity Forum. As required, the Committee submitted its report to me for consideration by the 52-man Special Purpose Committee. The meeting could not hold in order not to run foul of the NCDC’s COVID-19 Pandemic rules.
To avoid further delay considering INEC position with regards to date of the primaries and after I have consulted widely with leaders and members of the Special Purpose Committee the Report of the 7-man Panel recommending Chief Olusola Oke, SAN, as the adopted candidate of the Ondo State APC Unity Forum for the July, 2020 Primary election of the State APC has been released online.
I appeal to our other Aspirants to please accept the decision of the Special Purpose Committee in good faith in the overall interest of the Forum. You will please recall that all the stakeholders in the Forum came together for the sole purpose of salvaging the State from the nepotic and despotic AKETI administration in the last three years.
While all the Aspirants are vibrant politicians, we would however perform better as a Forum if we parade our very best. The task ahead of us is a herculean one. We are contending with an incumbent who has all, except popularity, at his beck and call. Remember that we have nothing to share in zero; but a lot to salvage if we work as a team.
I as the Chairman of the Forum have had to sacrifice my personal interest for the overall good of the Forum and the good of our dear State. I passionately ask for same action from you all as our leaders who love our State and people. I strongly believe that in this type of enterprise, there is no conqueror or vanquished. Let us therefore close ranks and join forces to timeously salvage the State
I congratulate Chief Olusola Oke,SAN who has emerged as our candidate and strongly appeal to him to put up the best acts as the matured politician so that together we
can win the party primary and emerge victorious in the October Gubernatorial election. I thank you all for your time while extending the ‘Olive branch to all our leaders at the various levels and assuring them of our unalloyed loyalty to the cause
of our great party the APC, at all time.
At this juncture, I wish to register my deep appreciation to all our leaders, especially the Aspirants for their encouragement, cooperation, contributions and sacrifices on all the pursuits of the Forum thus far.
I plead for more.
I also plead with our party members and the generality of our people in Ondo State to warmly embrace our candidate. We assure you that Olusola Oke, SAN, is an astute politician and a game changer and would apply the soothing balm to the wounds inflicted on us all in Ondo State when given the chance.
Thank you all and God bless us all.