Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has condemned the reports that he has been disqualified by the Governorship Election Screening Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a statement on Sunday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Oyewamide Ojo, the governor insisted that he was very much in the race.
He stressed that claims that he had been screened out by the committee from participating in the APC governorship primary election scheduled for July 20 were untrue.
“It’s a ploy to distract you,” Governor Akeredolu was quoted as saying in the statement.
He added, “They are scavengers and will stop at nothing to sustain their trade of deceit. Ignore them, remain firm; be dedicated and be prayerful.”
The governor’s aide described the reports as another distraction unleashed with the aim of deceiving the unsuspecting public and diverting attention from the “self-imposed pains” on the part of the purported sponsors.
He added that it was obvious that the reports originated from those he said have chosen the perfidious political path, stressing that Governor Akeredolu would not just participate in the primary but would be “re-elected by the grace of God come October 10, 2020.”
Ojo stated that the governor has appealed to all his supporters to ignore the rumour and dedicate the period to God for his continuous grace, favour, and protection.
Meanwhile, the state chapter of the APC has cautioned aspirants against calls for a specific mode of primary to pick the party’s candidate for the forthcoming election.
In a statement on Sunday by its Ondo State Publicity Secretary, Alex Kalejaye, the party said no aspirant has the right to determine what mode of primary to be adopted.
It, however, stated that only the APC leadership at the national level has such prerogative, according to the party’s constitution.
The statement said, “We wish to place it on record that it is inconceivable that aspirants would dictate to the party on which mode to adopt.
“The chapter is duty-bound to underscore a salient point; that it is the prerogative of the national secretariat to decide which of the modes, spelt out in the party constitution, should be adopted for each state at any point in time.”
The party, therefore, called on all aspirants to abide by the rules and guidelines from the national secretariat, so long they were not at variance with the content of its constitution.
“For the sake of emphasis, the party’s constitution approves three modes of primaries to select its candidates for an election: direct, indirect and consensus. Any of these could be chosen at random, depending on the discretion of the supervising authority.
“The supervising authority in this regard is the Governor Mai-Mala Buni-led Caretaker Committee and saddled with the responsibility to decide the option for Ondo State 2020,” it added.