The chairman of the Ondo State All Progressives Congress (APC) Primary Election Committee, Governor Yahaya Bello, has warned aspirants not to dictate to the party.
Bello said it would be out of place for 11 of the 12 APC governorship aspirants in Ondo State to dictate to the party the mode of the primary election they want.
He, however, added that his team would conduct a free, fair, and credible exercise, urging the aspirants not to be troubled.
He said the State Executive Committee of the party in Ondo had picked the indirect mode of primary and sent same to the recently dissolved National Working Committee NWC of the party for ratification.
“On the issue of the mode of primary, this has been settled by the previous NWC and ratified by NEC, which gives the opportunity to the state executive committee to choose the mode of primary that they would want.
“This has been settled. The Ondo Primary election would be conducted via indirect mode. This was the option chosen by the Ondo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress APC and ratified by the National Executive Committee NEC of our great party in the last meeting. So, we are going for indirect primary.
“The Executive Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello is in Ondo right now, mediating, and to ensure that there is peaceful coexistence and agreement on this mode of primary among the aspirants.
“But let me put it this way, from what I know about party politics especially in APC, I was once a contestant and I had opponents and from what I have come to realise, it is not within the purview of contestants to chose rules of engagement. We follow laid down rules and regulations of the party.
“As a member, we should abide by the rules and regulations, our party Constitution, the guidelines for the elections, the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the Electoral Act, and every other rule that guides elections.
“So, it is like going into the general elections now and then APC will be dictating to INEC that this is the rule we want. I do not think it sounds very nicely but I know at the end of the day that every contestant in this election shall be treated fairly and credibly and we shall have a candidate that is going to be acceptable to all the contestants and the people of Ondo State and we shall come out victorious in the general elections.
“The responsibility before me now is to go and conduct free, fair and credible primary election for whoever is going to be the candidate of our party and I shall restrict myself to that, which means I will be guided by the Constitution of our party, the guidelines and all the laws that support the primary election.
“If free, fair and credible primary is conducted, every member of the party, those who contested and those who are not contesting including members and sympathisers of the party would support it to victory.
“I am very confident that we are going to win the general election by the grace of God. The task ahead of us is to go and conduct free and fair primary that every aspirant will be happy with and then join hands together for us to be victorious at the end of the day”.
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