2024: INEC, APC Quarrel Over Ondo Guber Primary

2024: INEC, APC Quarrel Over Ondo Guber Primary

by Ololade Adebeshin
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2024: INEC, APC Quarrel Over Ondo Guber Primary

 

By People’s Voice Nigeria | News

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have disagreed over the conduct of the primary election that produced Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State as the candidate of the party for the November 16 governorship election.

 

The report submitted by some of the officials of the INEC who monitored the primary election in various 203 political wards of the state, alleged cases of irregularities in some parts, citing failures such as the non-arrival of electoral materials and the lack of proper collation of results.

 

But the ruling APC dismissed the report saying the primary election was held in the 18 local governments except the Ifedore council area which was not enough to nullify the primary.

 

In the Certified True Copy (CTC) submitted to the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, over 10 of the INEC electoral officers in the 18 local government council areas disclosed that the election did take place in their respective locations.

 

In Ifedore Local Council, the report read, “The All Progressives Party Primary was scheduled to be held in Ifedore Local Government Area on April 20, 2024. Members of staff were sent from the INEC Office to monitor the primary in each of the 10 wards of the local government area as stipulated by the Electoral Act 2022.

 

“There was no agenda provided for the primary in all 10 wards. In the 10 wards of the local government area, the All Progressives Party Electoral Committee required to conduct the primary was not available to conduct the exercise.

 

“In all 10 wards, the aspirant’s agents displayed the posters of their preferred aspirants, and the party members on the ground in those wards queued behind those agents, showing their support.

 

“The party members acted violently against the INEC officials in Letters I and II. More so, party members were demanding that INEC officials conduct the primary election for them.

 

“The election of All Progressives Congress Governorship Primary was not held in person due to the unavailability of the election materials to be used and the absence of the electoral organising committee in all 10 registration areas until the monitoring team left late in the evening.”

 

In Ilaje Local Government, the report read, “In compliance with the directive of the Commission and as part of INEC’s statutory function to monitor and report political parties primaries elections, Members of staff were deployed to the 12 RA’s that made up the LGA to monitor the primaries. The 12 designated centres across the local government.

 

“The scheduled primary election was to elect the candidate who would fly the flag of the All Progressive Party as a gubernatorial candidate in the coming governorship election in Ondo State. Copies of the agenda were not provided.

 

“The party members in the local government all converged at the designated venues to exercise their civic responsibilities. Although INEC monitors were present in all wards for the assignment, the event was characterised by the non-availability of election materials across the 12 RAs in the LGA.

 

“Collation did not take place at the local government collation as the centre was under lock and key. Lists of contestants for the elections in all wards were not given. Given the above, elections did not take place in Ilaje LGA, and results were not given to the monitors.

 

However, the Publicity Secretary of APC, Mr Alex Kalejaye dismissed the report that the primary election was not held in the state describing the report as shocking and lacking credibility.

 

Kalejaye said “For the records, the election took place in all the 18 local government areas in the State. There were agitations in the Ifedore and Ilaje Local Government areas. While the results in the entire Ifedore Local Government were cancelled, that of Ilaje affected about four Wards, which were also cancelled. The essence of such cancellations was to emphasise the validity of the entire process and lend credence to fairness.

 

“The voting strength of our members in the affected areas was not substantial enough to dent the credibility of the process, nor affect the margin with which the candidate emerged. The party therefore doubts the authenticity of the report, credited to an agent of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

 

“The State chapter cautions against needless desperation on the part of some members, who have vowed: “to do everything possible to discredit the process”.The party urged its teeming supporters to discount the spurious report and focus on the bigger task ahead: to win the governorship election and retain the Sunshine State for APC.

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