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By: Oluwatosin Adesola
THE Pioneer State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo state and 2020 leading governorship aspirant, Hon lsaacs Kekemeke has cautioned that adopting any other mode of primary election for July 20 APC primary in the state accept Direct mode, will prevent party members from picking most popular among the 12 aspirants in the party.
APC had yesterday started screening of its aspirants for the primary and there was an unconfirmed report yesterday that the party would adopt indirect mode of primary.
However, Kekemeke, a former Secretary to the State Government who spoke with SUNSHINETRUTH on the mode of primary to be used by the APC, said indirect primary would produce unpopular candidate for the October 10, 2020 election in the state.
On the mode of primary to be adopted , Kekemeke said he had given seven reasons on the mode of primary for the party leadership at the national headquarters in support of direct elections and hoped that they would accept them.
He explained that direct primary had the capacity to sensitise and mobilise party members for eventual inter-party election.
He said: “It gives party members sense of obligation to deliver, giving them a moral responsibility to work for the party’s candidate because they were involved in the selection.
“Direct primary provides level playing ground for all aspirants and therefore promotes fairness, equity and justice.
“It removes influence of money, eliminates cash-and-carry and removes ‘kidnap syndrome’ whereby delegates are kidnapped and kept in a place,”
Kekemeke said there was a lingering problem arising from the 2018 congresses, adding that direct primary would remove controversy and allow participation of all registered party members.
The former chairman said direct primary would also portray the party’s national leadership as consistent and predictable, having adopted it in previous shadow polls in Lagos, Osun and Edo states.
“Infact, it’s COVID-19 protocol compliant; why would they gather 2000 or more delegates in a place as against smaller gatherings in their various wards.
“Any politician who asks for the disenfranchisement of his party members is unpopular, undemocratic and should be rejected,” he said.
On the chances of the ruling party in Ondo State in view of its performance during 2019 elections, Kekemeke said the party, though not cohesive, remained the most popular party in the state.
He, therefore, promised to deploy his experience in governance and party administration to bring all party members together as a family if elected.
Kekemeke speaking on zoning and power of incumbency in the election said that “I am not a fan of zoning. I believe that at all times the best person should be allowed to serve.”
“Since 1979 when we were still in the old Ondo State, all the zones have contested in every election. At election time, the people would make political calculations and say this zone has had it, let this other zone have it.”
According to him, the correct situation is that, “Since 1979 Ondo State has had six governors.
” Three have come from the north and they have done twelve years and three months. One has come from the South and he did five years and nine months and one from the central and he did eight years. For me, whoever is the best should be allowed to serve.”
According to him ”although the Constitution allowed two terms, an incumbent must work for and earn a second term. The power of incumbency is a doubled edged sword, which could be an asset or a liability”.
On whether he could step down for another candidate or accept to be a running mate should the situation arise, Kekemeke said, “I will not step down for anybody or be a deputy governor.
“I have a vision, a mission, aims and objectives, a programme which we want to use to set up government.
“I have sold my programmes for the last nineteen months to the people and there is overwhelming support for those programmes.
“Stepping down is not an option, being somebody’s deputy is not an option. The serious issues at stake are the issues of poverty, the issue of hunger, the issue of unemployment, the issue of insecurity and the issue of decaying infrastructure and I have been on this for thirty years. I am the first chairman of the party. I am not doing this for fun.”
The former Works commissioner said he was sure of winning the primary election noting that ” as the pioneer chairman of the party, “The people know me and I know the people.”