Friday, August 26, 2016


A governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), on Thursday said one of the leaders of the party in Lagos State is trying to influence the forthcoming governorship primary of the party in the state with money in order to impose his friend on the electorate.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Independent, Akeredolu, who said only God will choose the governorship candidate of the party, said the people of Ondo are too sophisticated and will not sell their conscience for pecuniary gains.

Akeredolu's statement might have confirmed the allegations raised by one of the aspirants, Tunji Abayomi, who accused the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, of planning to impose one of the aspirants, Segun Abraham, on the party.

While calling on the national leadership of the party to ensure a free, fair and transparent exercise, Akeredolu, who was the governorship candidate of the ACN in the 2012 governorship election in the state, said he is confident of clinching the party's ticket at the end of the exercise.

"As you are aware, the primary election is no longer coming up this Saturday. It has been postponed till Wednesday 31st August. However, I must say that I am eagerly looking forward to that day because my chances are very bright. There is no need for me to nurse any fear.

"I believe that by the grace of God, I am going to emerge victorious at the end of the day. I have travelled the length and breadth to the nooks and crannies of Ondo State. I have interacted effectively with all the delegates and I know where their leaning is.
"Notwithstanding, the heavy monetisation of the process by one of our leaders from Lagos, who wants to use his influence to impose his friend on the people and try to colour it with the word 'endorsement', I can assure you that we will win.

"Whether he is spending his money or other people's money, he has the right to deploy his funds the way he wants. But I can tell you that the good people of Ondo State are not fools. They will never trade their conscience for any amount.

They know what is right for them and I am sure that they will vote according to their conscience".
"No amount of money can buy Ondo State delegates. People who think they can pay their way through and buy delegates votes with money are making the greatest mistake of their lives. But I can tell you that at the end of the exercise, Aketi will emerge victorious".

On the fate of the embattled state chairman of the party, Isaac Kekemeke, who was suspended from office over the imposition saga, Akeredolu said while the National Working Committee of the party has promised to take a decision on his suspension, the chairman should step down pending when the decision is taken.

"All I know is that a vote of no confidence has been passed on him. We are talking about Alagbaka here. Once a vote of no confidence has been passed on you, there is nothing you can do except it is reversed. You can no longer act as chairman because your colleagues have said they no longer have confidence in you.

"This has been done by every segment in the party but what we are told is that when they went to the meeting with the National Working Committee (NWC), they promised to set up a committee to look into it before the decision is ratified by them.

"I believe Kekemeke is a lawyer and he knows that once a vote of no confidence is passed on you, you have to step down until whether it is ratified or reversed. So, if he has the honour, he should step down. His colleagues have said they don't want him so he should step down pending when the decision

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