I don’t have a preferred candidate – Ondo APC Chairman
August 23, 2016, 4:26 pm
All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman in Ondo State, Mr Isaac Kekemeke, said he had no preferred candidate for Saturday’s primary election of the party for the Nov. 26 governorship poll
Kekemeke said this in Abuja while briefing newsmen after a closed-door meeting between the National Working Committee and the Ondo State Working Committee of the party.
It would be recalled that members of the party in the state had alleged that Kekemeke was using his position to tinker with delegates’ list for the primary poll to pick the candidate of the party, and had removed him as chairman.
Kekemeke said, ”I have said repeatedly that I do not have a preference. I have a vote and in the interest of perception, I said I was not going to vote.
”I cannot stop anyone from having preference for any aspirant. I have been hindered to do so as the chairman and been mandated that other aspirants must rally round the winner.
”My preferred candidate will be the aspirant that is able to garner the majority of votes from the over 3,000 delegates, and when endorsements meet endorsements, vision with vision, ability with ability, the people will speak.”
He said that the wrangling in the party was ”not unusual and it was not extraordinary. It happens all over the World.
”The number of aspirants that we have indicates that a lot of people had hope and confidence in the ability of our platform to help them to realize their aspirations and ambitions.
”That shows the popularity and acceptance of the party. As elections draw near and aspirations get threatened, you expect emotions.
”Even in the most advanced democracies like U.S. and UK, you see it happen; you see how charged it can be; it happens and you see people express anger and frustration.
”It takes more than an ordinary man to remain sane when you see your ambition evaporate and you always want to look for a scapegoat.
”I’m unlucky now that I am the scapegoat; all I need to do is to remain coolheaded and take as much of the insults and vilification as I can.”
On preparedness for opponents in the state, he said, ”Social Democratic Party is not in Ondo and the Peoples Democratic Party have two primaries.
”They held one yesterday and hope to hold another one on Monday so when the time of the campaign comes we’ll know what to tell the people.
”We have a disunited, divided PDP. We have a `Makarfied’ and a `Sheriffied’ PDP; we don’t have a problem.”
Speaking earlier to the newsmen on the outcome of the closed-door meeting, the Deputy Chairman (North), Mr Shuaibu Lawal, said it was a ”family matter’’.
”The aspirants had expressed dissatisfaction with the way things were handled in Ondo and we assured them that we would call our colleagues to brief them on whatever we agreed on with the aspirants.
”Our colleagues from Ondo are in agreement with the decisions we have taken. We needed to have a closed-door discussion, it was a huge success and very useful.
”This week you will see the state portrayed as a one-party state. It is an APC state and will be portrayed as such.
”We are not aware of the removal of the state chairman,” he said.
Also speaking to newsmen, Deputy Chairman of the party in the state, Mr Ade Adetimilehin, said ”with our discussion here all grievances have been addressed.
”None ad hoc staff must not be used from Ondo and two, he (Kekemeke) must stop endorsing candidates.
”They cautioned him that he must stop that, to stop using his office to do that,’’ Adetimilehin said. (NAN)
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