The crisis rocking the Ondo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) may be far from over anytime soon no thanks to the Wednesday’s decision of the National Executive Committee of the party on the use of direct primary to elect its standard-bearers for the 2019 general elections.
It will be recalled that the senator representing Ondo North Senatorial District of the state, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice had been having a running battle with the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu over the modality that would be adopted for party primaries in the state ahead of the 2019 polls.
Boroffice has for the past weeks been championing the use of direct primary in the state, while Gov. Akeredolu was said to have insisted that the indirect method would be employed for the primaries.
Reacting to the recent decision of the party’s NEC that the direct primary would be use across board, Prof. Boroffice through his media aide, Kayode Fakuyi, decribed it as a welcome development, stressing that it will give all party members a sense of belonging.
“I wish to congratulate the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our great party, the All Progressives Congress, for coming out boldly to adopt direct method for conducting primary elections at all levels.
“By this decision, the APC as a progressive party, has demonstrated that under the guidance of President Muhammad Buhari and the leadership of our energetic party Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, the primary focus of governance is the Nigerian people. This new vista in political machinery has given back to the people at the grassroots their rights to choose their leaders.
“As a matter of fact, the involvement of all card carrying members of our party will go a long way to strengthen participatory democracy. There is no doubt in my mind that our great party will become stronger and more formidable in winning elections.”
However, the state chairman of the party, Ade Adetimehin, has insisted that the indirect method would be adopted in the state.
“The decision of NEC on direct primary is for the presidential election; it is going to be indirect primaries for the others. That is our position,” he said.
Also, to further confirm the governor’s stance on the modality to be used for the primary in the state, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Segun Ajiboye has debunked a report where he said he was misquoted that Gov. Akeredolu is disposed to direct primary.
In a press statement he personally signed, Ajiboye maintained that one of the national dailies (not DAILY POST) quoted him wrongly, adding that he never said that the governor is in support of direct primary.
“Nothing can be farther away from the truth than the story, which is not only mischievous, but also a figment of the writer’s imagination.
“It is unfortunate that the paper would go ahead to quote me as saying that the governor has declared his support for direct primary.
“It should be noted that Governor Akeredolu is not a man that can give in to cheap blackmail or be intimidated by stories like this,” he said.
It would be recalled that Prof. Boroffice and Gov. Akeredolu both constested the APC governorship ticket during the party’s primaries in 2016, which produced the incumbent governor.
Since then, there has been no love lost between Gov. Akeredolu and Prof. Boroffice, with the former allegedly insisting that the latter is not a recognised APC senator in the state.