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By: Oluwatosin Adesola
The Ondo State APC Unity Forum led by former Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaji Alli Olanusi has justified the need for the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to adopt Direct primary system to select its governorship flagbearer on July 20 ahead of the October 10, 2002 gubernatorial election in the state.
The Forum insisted that since APC had two factions in the state, it would be suicidal to use indirect primary, noting that litigations that crippled the party in Zamfara and Rivers states in the 2019 general election must be averted in Ondo state, hence the need for the NWC to consider Direct primary system.
Addressing newsmen in Akure, the Chairman of the Unity Forum, Alhaji Alli Olanusi who was flanked by a former House of Representatives member from Akure south/North federal constituency, Hon Afe Olowookere, said it would be politically and legally wise for the APC national Secretariat to use the direct primary to pick popular and most acceptable candidate among the aspirants on its platform.
Pix: Alhaji Olanusi & Hon Olowookere.
Olanusi warned that only direct primary could save the party from unwarranted defeat during the October 10, 2020 polls.
Although the factional state Chairman of the APC, Hon Idowu Otetubi and his Secretary, Hani Muhammed said they had withdrawn the suit with number: FHC/AK/CS/10/2019.
Otetubi said, “as we speak, I have withdrawn unconditionally, my case in court, suit No. FHC/AK/CS/10/2019, challenging the composition of the State Executive Committee of the Party. These decisions are purely informed by my unquenchable desire for the progress of the State and the APC, particularly, the Ondo State Chapter.
“I am politically experienced enough to determine when a battle has been deflated. The Party must move on and the government needs to be encouraged to do more for the good people of the State,” Otetubi said.
However speaking with newsmen today, Olanusi noted that since one of the factions in the state chapter of the party was still challenging the composition of the Ade Adetimehin led executive in the federal high court sitting in Akure, saying the case had been adjourned till June 10, 2020.
Olanusi said, “I want to seize this opportunity to State clearly that it is nothing but a blatant lie that the APC here in Ondo State is not a factionalised party and that Ondo State is calling for indirect primaries.
“This position is being propagated by some hired political miscreants with sinister motives to give a wrong impression about the reality on ground here. The gospel truth is that Ondo APC is divided along faction lines.”
The former deputy governor said it would be improper to use indirect primary system in ondo state where there are two factions.
Olanusi said, “as regards the recent decision by Hon. Idowu Otetubi to join the Ade Adetimehin led faction of the party, from my little knowledge of law and the advice of our legal team, I want to say that this has not in any way led to the withdrawal of the case in court as claimed by him and peddled by some paid social media propagandists.
“The true position is that 13 plaintiffs are suing in representative capacity on behalf of all the 203 wards, 18 Local Government Areas and State Executives of the APC faction of the Unity Group in Ondo State. It is on record that another court sitting on this same case is scheduled to hold on the 11th of June, 2020.
“Furthermore, findings have revealed and it is also a public knowledge that not less than 80% of our party members and most governorship aspirants in the State prefer the direct primary option to indirect,” Olanusi said.
“The general belief here in Ondo State is that whoever plans to take cover under the indirect primary option now is not fit to be the candidate of our party at the general election when there will be no hiding place for anyone.
“From the foregoing, I call on the leadership of our great party and members of the National Working Committee to heed the voice of the majority of our members and give us the direct primary option as anything different would amount to going contrary to the earlier position and pronouncement made by the National Working Committee that primary elections in APC would be conducted using the direct primary option,” Olanusi.
Also speaking, Hon Afe Olowookere said since Direct primaries were used to select APC candidates in Lagos, Ogun, Osun state governorship election and national assembly elections in ondo state last year, there was a valid APC registers to conduct direct primary for ondo state gubernatorial election slated for July 20.
Olowookere insisted that any primary election conducted by Adetimehin led state executive of the party could be nullified, which would thereby gives the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) like in Zamfara and Rivers states last year.