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Ondo 2024: Aiyedatiwa has right of first refusal – Attorney General Ajulo



The Attorney-General of Ondo State, Dr Olukayode Ajulo, SAN, has said Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, has the right of first refusal among all the aspirants jostling for the number one seat of the state in the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Right of first refusal is the privilege of being considered first among all contenders.

BAR & BENCH WATCH reports that so far, those who have purchased the forms are the incumbent Governor Lucky Orimisan Ayiedatiwa; business mogul and senator representing Ondo South district, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim; notable APC chieftain, Chief Olusola Oke; former President of Nigerian Medical Association, Prof. Francis Faduyile, Dr Funmi Waheed-Adekojo and APC National Vice Chairman (SouthWest), Isaac Kekemeke.

Others are Akinfolarin Samuel Mayowa, Olusoji Ehinlanwo, Okunjimi Odimayo, Mr.Adewale Akinterinwa, Barrister Olugbenga Edema and Gen. Ohunyeye Olamide, Mr.Morayo Lebi, Garvey Oladiran Iyantan, Engr. Ifeoluwa Oyedele and Engr. Tunji Light Ariyomo .

Ajulo, SAN however argued that notwithstanding the high number, he expressed satisfaction with the party leadership and its members in the state for their willingness to adhere to the principle.

He said it is indisputable that Governor Aiyedatiwa has been a loyal party man, involving party leaders and members in his governance, and he has demonstrated exceptional performance since assuming leadership in the state a few months ago.

The attorney-general said democracy cannot be practiced without considering the rule of law, conventions, and established practices.

“One of these unwritten rules within political parties is to grant the incumbent the opportunity for re-election before considering other candidates”, he said.

He further explained that exception to this rule occurs only when the incumbent has performed poorly and lost the confidence of their party.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has assured the 16 aspirants jostling for its ticket to contest for the November 16, 2024 Ondo state governorship election that it would conduct free, fair and transparent primary election on April 20.

The APC Deputy National Organising Secretary, Nze Chidi Duru gave this assurance at the close of the submission of the expression of interest and nomination forms by the 16 aspirants at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja over the weekend.

Duru said the party’s resolve is informed by the belief that at end of the exercise, only one out of the 16 contenders would emerge and the rest can extend their hand of felicitation with whosever emerges as was recently done in Edo state.

While expressing confidence that APC will retain Ondo state and reclaim Edo at the November 16 and September 21 governorship elections, respectively, he said the party will on Monday inform contestants which syndicate they belong for the screening exercise slated between April 11 and 12.

“Edo has become a test case. They know that the party is resolute in determining, through a process that is free, who the candidate of the party would be. The few who felt they would need to go to court as we would always expect, there was three sixty degree turnaround.

“They came to the negotiation table, had a handshake and now we have a very formidable team, and we believe that APC would win Edo state, and if we trust that APC would win Edo state, we have confidence that APC will win Ondo state,” Duru added.

Meanwhile, an APC governorship aspirant, Olusola Oke (SAN) has dismissed the alleged endorsement of the Ondo state governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa as the party’s candidate for the polls, stressing that he was the most qualified for the race.

Oke who stated this while addressing journalists after submitting his expression of interest and nomination forms insisted that, “the president is a democrat” and does not indulge in “anointing” and with their closeness he would not have anointed someone else.

He promised to revive agriculture through adequate security, inputs and grants; reinvigorate technical education and revamp the economy for the creation of jobs as well as poverty eradication if elected as governor.

Similarly, another contender for the ticket, Ifeoluwa Oyedele told journalists after submitting his forms also debunked speculations that President Tinubu has anointed the incumbent governor as the party’s candidate.

“Look, there are so many rumours and is always expected that when this kind of contest takes place people will try to take advantage of the press and they will spread rumours. I am very confident that the President has not anointed anybody.

“In fact, if the President wants to anoint anybody I am sure that I will be the first on the list that the President will anoint. Because the President is the man who values competence… and I have no fear that if the President wants to anoint anybody it will be Oyedele,” he said.

Oyedele pledged to engender industrial revolution using available local resources of the state, promote education, power supply and tackle insecurity if elected as Ondo state governor, adding that he was the most qualified aspirant.

However, some of the aspirants have expressed their expectations from the national secretariat of the party before and during the primary election.

Spokesman of Olusola Oke‘s campaign organisation, Ojo Oyewamide said the aspirant expects nothing but a level playing ground for all the aspirants.

According to Oke, “Our expectation is a free and fair shadow election, a level playing ground for all the aspirants. We commend the national body of the APC for adopting the direct mode of primaries. It will allow every member to choose the candidate of the party.”

Also, Wale Akinterinwa who said he expects the party to conduct a free, fair and credible election, boasted that if that is done, he will surely emerge the candidate of the party for the November governorship poll.

Speaking through the spokesman of his campaign organisation, Segun Ajiboye, Akinterinwa noted that his expectations are very clear and that he will win the primary election in grand style.

Akinterinwa said, “This is very obvious with the overwhelming support we enjoy from the leaders and members of the party from across the length and breadth of the state.

“Beyond all of this, we have an aspirant with a robust experience in both public and private practice. He also has a very verifiable resume@ that is the envy of other aspirants.”

In the same vein, Barrister Olugbenga Edema commended the National Working Committee of the party for the innovation of setting up a document or certificate vetting committee ahead of the screening exercise coming up in due course.

Edema said the development gives him the hope that the whole process of screening and the primary election proper will be thorough.

According to him, “Let me use this opportunity to commend the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress for the innovation of setting up a document or certificate vetting committee ahead of the screening exercise coming up in due course.

“This gives me the hope that the whole process of screening and the primary election proper will be thorough. I pray to God to give the primary election committee the required courage to see the process through. By and large, I look forward to a free, fair, and credible primary election coming out of the whole process.”

Credit -BarandBenchWatch

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