Ondo APC Primary Faces Cancellation Calls Amid Irregularity Claims

The APC governorship primary in Ondo State is marred by allegations of irregularities, prompting calls for cancellation and a new election. The integrity of the process is crucial for the party's unity and electoral prospects.

author-image
Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
Updated On
New Update
Ondo APC Primary Faces Cancellation Calls Amid Irregularity Claims

Ondo APC Primary Faces Cancellation Calls Amid Irregularity Claims

The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election in Ondo State, held on April 20, 2024, has been marred by allegations of irregularities and violations of party guidelines, prompting calls for its cancellation by observer groups and aggrieved aspirants. The election, which saw Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa emerge as the party's candidate, has been challenged by five petitions submitted to the APC Appeal Committee.

A coalition of civil society observer groups has called for the immediate cancellation of the primary, citing a raft of issues such as divisions within the State Working Committee, late arrival of the Party's Election Committee, lack of adherence to election guidelines, absence of election materials and officials in many centers, and the free movement of thugs intimidating party faithful. The group recommended that a new election be conducted, with the current committee led by Alh. Usman Ododo being dissolved due to alleged incompetence, bias, and favoritism.

Among the five petitioners are Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, Engr. Folakemi Omogoroye, Wale Akinterinwa, Gbenga Edema, and Jimi Odimayo. They have alleged that the primary was marred by irregularities and fell short of acceptable democratic standards. Omogoroye and Ibrahim are calling for the cancellation of the election and a fresh one, citing issues like non-compliance with rules, non-provision of electoral materials, non-accreditation of agents, and gross misconduct.

Benson Enikuomehin, a lawyer, has stated that there were no governorship primaries held by the APC in Ondo State over the weekend. He criticized the Chairman of the Ondo APC election committee, Usman Ododo, the Governor of Kogi State, for falsely claiming that the election was free, fair, and credible. Enikuomehin said the results were simply allocated and not based on the votes of the people. He also expressed disappointment in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for not carrying out their primary duties in Ondo State over the weekend.

Why this matters: The integrity of the APC governorship primary in Ondo State has significant implications for the party's unity and success in the upcoming November 2024 governorship election. The allegations of irregularities and violations of party guidelines raise concerns about the credibility and transparency of the candidate selection process, which could potentially impact voter confidence and the party's electoral prospects.

The APC Appeal Committee, led by former Bauchi State Governor Mohammed Abubakar, has confirmed receiving the petitions and stated that the committee will thoroughly and transparently consider the complaints before the party takes a final decision. Abubakar noted that the committee will be available to receive more petitions from any other aggrieved aspirants until Tuesday afternoon and will then render a report to the national headquarters of the party.

Key Takeaways

  • APC Ondo gov primary marred by irregularities, observer groups call for cancellation
  • 5 petitions filed by aggrieved aspirants, citing issues like non-compliance with rules
  • Lawyer claims no primaries held, results simply allocated, INEC criticized for inaction
  • APC Appeal Committee reviewing petitions, party to hold reconciliation meeting
  • Integrity of primary process crucial for APC's unity and electoral prospects in Ondo