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By: Adesoji Adetona
Ahead of the October 10, 2020 governorship election in Ondo state, the recent adoption Chief Olusola Oke (SAN) as the consensus candidate of the APC Unity Forum today received a major boost and support from one of the party’s Aspirants, Barr Olarenwaju Kazeem.
Barr Kazeem said all other governorship aspirants who lost out in their bid to get the endorsement of the Forum led by Alhaji Alli Olanusi should rally round Chief Oke in order to beat the incumbent Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to the ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) comes July party’s primaries.
Addressing newsmen in Akure today, the APC aspirant said since the process organised by the Unity Forum to pick Chief Oke was transparent and approved by all the stakeholders ab-initio, there is a need to set aside sentiment and work for him to emerge victorious.
Kazeem, a former state Commissioner for Agriculture under the Adefarati’s administration, however cautioned both the state and national leadership of the party to avoid in ondo state election the experience of Zamfara state where opposition was declared as winner by court as a result of internal wrangling and litigation among APC stakeholders on the 2019 general election.
The legal practitioner who is from Ikare Akoko said it would be easier for chief Oke to defeat Akeredolu in the APC primaries if other aspirants rally support for him and shun desperate ambition.
Kazeem noted that as a man of honour and integrity, he had accepted the decision of the APC Unity Forum that adopted Chief Oke as the group’s consensus candidate, urging other aspirants such as Dr Olusegun Abraham, Engr Ifeoluwa Oyedele, Chief Olayide Adelami, Barr Bukola Adetula and Mr Jimi Odimayo among others.
The former Commissioner who warned that Akeredolu may win the party’s primaries if all the aspirants should go into a contest with the incumbent governor, Ambassador Sola Iji and Barr Isaacs Kekemeke.
“Everybody is not happy with Akeredolu the way he is running the affairs of our state; I would have wished somebody from Ondo North (senatorial district) succeeds him during the 2020 election but it is only honourable if we all support the choice of our Unity Forum.
He urged the APC national Secretariat to conduct a direct primary system in Ondo state and respect the result to prevent unnecessary litigations.
“Let me warn against what happened in Zamfara state where our party with over 500,000 votes lost out and the PDP with over 100,000 votes is on power in that state today; our leaders must seat down and do a direct primary for Ondo state election and must respect the outcome to avoid repeat of what happened in Zamfara,” he said.
Kazeem urged the people of Ondo state to always commend the patriotism of the Unity Forum chairman, former Deputy Governor Alli Olanusi for his uncommon leadership qualities in arriving on the choice of Chief Oke as the consensus candidate ahead of the party’s primaries.
The Aspirant said, “I don’t see any reason why any aspirants should reject the decision of the Unity forum; Baba Olanusi was shedding tears at one of our meetings when we could not pick amongst ourselves and it was later agreed by all aspirants that they we all accept the decision of the selection committee headed by Senator (Yele) Omogunwa.”