The Aftermath of Ondo APC Gubernatorial Primary Elections


By Abba Hamisu Sani

Africa-Press – Nigeria. The recently conducted Primary elections of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State have left so many controversies behind as some of the gubernatorial aspirants call for its review or cancellation due to what they described as irregularities.

Jimo Ibrahim a serving Senator and one of the aspirants decried that the election was not conducted as there were no election materials at most of the designated polling centers.

The total number of aspirants who participated in the primary elections was 16. among which are the incumbent governor of Ondo Lucky Aiyedatiwa and a serving Senator Jimo Ibrahim, the other contenders are former APC National Vice Chairman (South West) Isaac Kekemeke, Olusoji Ehinlanwo, former member of the state House of Assembly, Olubenga Edema, Judith Omogoroyo, Felix I here, a retired major -General Jimi Odimayo, Marayo Lebi and Duran Iyantan.

Rejections on the primaries outcome

Senator Jimo Ibrahim is the serving Nigerian Senator from Ondo. He described the recently conducted Primary election as full of malpractice as he urged the National leadership of APC under the former Kano State governor Dr. Abdullah Umar Ganduje to review the exercise.

Ibrahim who is among the governorship aspirants who lost the election to Governor Aiyedatiwa said materials were not found at most of the designated polling stations around the state.

The lawyer and business mogul turned politician stated this in an interview with Channels Television recently.

He said that reports from various wards revealed the unrest and frustration as stranded voters protested against the irregularities in the election process.

“I complained to the National leadership of APC that, there was no official in my polling station, they said they would send my ballot to my house so that I could fill it and then take it back, I was surprised asking what of the rest of the party members that suppose to vote in the same unit with me,” Jimo Ibrahim said.

Violence and disruptions

In addition to Jimo Ibrahim’s claims, different media outfits reported that there was an eruption of violence in different election centers.

Stella Maris College, Okitipupa is one of the centers that experienced the unrest. Accredited party members, who had gathered in large numbers to participate in the candidate selection process, fled the scene when violence erupted among the rival factions.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the accreditation and election process had not begun when the violence erupted as voters scampered for safety.

At Idanre another voting station, some political thugs were said to have shot sporadically in the air to scare voters not in support of their aspirant away.

In Irele town, women delegates protested the absence of the election in their designated area, further highlighting the discrepancies observed during the Primary election.

Due to this situation, observers raised concerns about the state of the affairs and the leadership at play in the ruling party.

Ondo Primaries is the replica to internal democracy in Nigerian political parties

Abdul-Kareem Mansur is a political analyst. He described the recent APC Primary election in Ondo as a replica of intra-party activities in Nigeria. Not only in the ruling APC but even among the opposition parties.

“We have seen how PDP has been conducting its Primaries for years. Also, other parties like the Labour Party and NNPP which is the ruling Party in Kano where the godfather of the party shared the nomination forms with his preferred aspirants”He said.

Mansur added that what we have seen in Ondo is not abnormal in Nigerian politics.

The hope is that the voters will do their best when the secondary elections come in the southwestern state to vote for a credible person to be the governor of the state that suffered much political crisis in recent times regardless of party affiliations.

“That is the beauty of a multi-party system. If you are denied an opportunity in one party and you believe that you have the support of voters then you can switch to another political platform” the analyst stated

Mansur urged the Ondo people not to play with the November opportunity by electing the right person to handle their affairs at this time when the economy is so harsh and the present crop of governors in Nigerian states have seemed to pay only lips services to the situation.

He also advised all the political Parties in Nigeria not only APC to value their internal democracy as he said such irregularities experienced during primaries are what produced bad candidates hence bad leaders at all levels.

Political parties should perform their role as vehicles for transporting good leadership materials

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