Ondo 2023: Jimoh Ibrahim, Akinfolarin, Mato, Lebi Others To Slug It Out At Primaries

.......Rhema, Fabiyi, Others take battles to delegates

As the All Progressives Congress (APC) prepares for the forthcoming primary elections, the Ondo State chapter of the party has concluded arrangements on consensus candidates while primaries will only hold in areas where consensus couldn’t be reached, it was authoritatively gathered.

Already, leadership of the party led by the State Chairman, Ade Adetimehin had briefed the Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu on the outcome and report of the committee set up to meet the aspirants as well as party leaders and stakeholders and work towards producing a consensus candidate among the huge numbers of people jostling for the party tickets.

A competent source within the party informed that a committee was set up in each of the three senatorial districts of the state, headed by the senatorial chairmen with the sole responsibility of pruning the number of aspirants and producing a party’s choice in form of a consensus subjected to the approval and agreement of the party leaders , stakeholders and elders of the concerned local government, constituency and the senatorial district.

The party source, who craved anonymity explained that the move was inspired by the successes recorded in the last Congress held in the state where the party leadership installed consensus candidates as party executives. He noted that the Governor was satisfied and happy that the arrangement was rancor-free, making the state the only crisis free APC state in the Southwest.

It was gathered that the State Working Committee of the party and some selected leaders have held two strategic meetings with the Governor at the Cocoa conference Hall of the Governor’s office to fine tune the decisions of the party leadership in the senatorial districts.

For the Southern senatorial seat, it was gathered, the party leadership and the Governor agreed to throw open the contest since consensus couldn’t be reached.

The Senatorial aspirants in the south include: Billionaire business man, Jimoh Ibrahim; former CEO of ONDIPA, Boye Oyewumi; Mathew Oyerinmade; and member of the House of Representatives, Mayowa Akinfolarin.

All things being equal, the aspirants are, therefore, expected to battle for the souls and mandate of the delegates as the primary elections draw nearer.

For the House of Representatives seat in the Southern Senatorial district, party source at the meeting disclosed that former information commissioner, Donald Ojogo emerged as the party’s consensus for the Ilaje/Ese-Odo federal constituency. Ojogo, a close ally and political son of the Governor, is said to have enjoyed the popular supports of the party leadership in both Ilaje and Ese-Odo.

However, primary elections will be held in the other two Federal constituencies in the district. The Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency and Ile-Oluji-Oke-Igbo/Odigbo Federal Constituency. The decision to hold primary elections in the two federal constituencies was due to the inability of the party’s leadership to reach a consensus.

Also in the south, there are also consensus candidates for the house of Assembly. However, in Odigbo constituency 1, party chieftain, Tunji Rhema and former Special Adviser to the Governor, Tunji Fabiyi alongside son of the late monarch, Prince Akinbobola Temidayo Ojo will be slugging it out at primary as no consensus was reached in the constituency, a top party source revealed.

In the Central, the source explained that the Governor and the party leadership agreed to throw the race open since the leadership of the party in the senatorial district couldn’t talk the stakeholders and party leadership into a consensus arrangement.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the APC in the Northern Senatorial district has anointed and picked Jide Ipinsagba as the party’s choice for the ticket of the party ahead of the next year’s election. Ipinsagba is from Akoko.

Other aspirants endorsed by the party in north, according to party sources, include; Bunmi Tunji-Ojo; Timehin Adelegbe; and Gboyega Adefarati.

A member of the state working committee who spoke in confidence with our correspondent said party elders and leaders sat and deliberated on the best choice for the party ahead of the primary.

This, he said , was not to rule out others who may still want to contest out of the exercise, but to reinforce the party’s cohesion.

“The party set up committees across the three senatorial districts of the state. The committees were chaired by the Senatorial chairmen in each of the districts. Their job was to engage the stakeholders and prune the number of the aspirants to one. This is not to say that others who may still want to contest are not allowed. But, the party made a choice.

“The State Working Committee led by the chairman, Ade Adetimehin met with the governor at the Cocoa Conference hall of the Governor’s office and presented the report of the committee from the three senatorial district. That meeting had in attendance, local government party chairmen, selected leaders, and all members of the State Working Committee.

“After due deliberations and consultations with these party leaders, the Governor supported that the reports be adopted. So, this is purely a party activity. No unilateral decision was taken by anyone. It is so rare to see a state Governor respecting the party this way. Well for us, we are amazed.” He said