THE national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on Saturday, disclosed that the party had not endorsed any candidate for the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State.
The chairman also disclosed that it had no preferred or anointed candidate for the said election.
Though the party has slated its primary for August 27, crisis is said to be brewing in the state chapter of the party following allegations that a preferred candidate had been endorsed by the party leadership.
Speaking at a meeting with the aspirants in Abuja, Oyegun said “I want to state in very clear terms to reassure all the aspirants that the party at the national level has no preferred aspirant and is not going to endorse any aspirant.
“They are all equal members of the party. They are our children who have entrusted in us the management of the affairs of their party.”
Reeling out the agreement at the meeting, he said, “I think we have all accepted that there is nothing wrong for anybody, member of the party or even non-member, to endorse any of the aspirants.
“We have also accepted unanimously that there will be no attempt on the part of the party to impose any aspirant on the party and on the electorate in Ondo State. So we have drawn a clear distinction between endorsement and imposition,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the crisis rocking APC in the state, on Saturday, escalated as the State Working Committee of the party removed the chairman, Mr Isaccs Kekemeke.
The State Working Committee, which addressed a press conference around 5.00 a.m., on Saturday, accused Kekemeke of supporting and promoting one of the governorship aspirants.
The committee, which subsequently appointed the vice-chairman, Mr Ade Aladetimehin, as the acting chairman, said more than the required two-thirds of members of the committee voted in support of Kekemeke’s removal.
They alleged that Kekemeke had concluded arrangements to coarse party leaders and delegates for the primary to support Dr Segun Abraham, who they claimed is the anointed candidate of a national leader of the party, Senator Bola Tinubu.
But the national vice-chairman of the party in the South-West zone, Chief Pius Akinyelure, described the removal of the state chairman as a huge joke.
Akinyelure explained that the aggrieved members have no right to remove the chairman, describing the removal as null and void and of no consequence
He said the aggrieved members were engaging in anti-party activities and would soon be brought to book at the appropriate time.
Similarly, Kekemeke described the SWC members as ‘funny characters’, saying this news was laughable.
He noted that the aggrieved members were at a crossroads, saying they had appointed two chairmen within a week, as they had earlier appointed Saka Yusuf as chairman before switching to the deputy chairman.
Kekemeke said the aggrieved members were not knowledgeable about the constitution of the party, as only the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party could remove him.