Ondo APC kicks against new congress
… Cross River APC rally behind Usani
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Mr. Bola Ilori, alongside some leading governorship aspirants have urged the party to discard new congress if it plans to win the forthcoming November 26 gubernatorial election.
Speaking with the party’s delegates on how to settle the impending crises ahead of the election, Ilori said that his concern was how to oust the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and produce the next governor of Ondo, insisting that the APC has what it takes in terms of experience “to win the election.”
In similar vein, a group, Cross River APC Stakeholders Forum (CRSAPC) in the Cross River State chapter of APC has warned against any attempt to smear the image and character of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani.
The Forum said it decided to stand-up against the unwarranted attacks against the person of the minister, which it claimed was being orchestrated by some persons masquerading as members of the party.
According to the group, they have continued to write frivolous petitions to President Muhammdu Buhari, hipping every manner of unsubstantiated allegation against Usani.
Ilori observed that the APC has enough experiences from its past failures to learn from so that “we won’t repeat same in the coming election. We are not thinking alone; we decided that we should all deliberate on this critical issue.”
Addressing over 1003 delegates, Ilori said the APC has solid structures across Ondo “but as the gubernatorial election is drawing nearer; all manners of developments are going on, so, we decided to take a review of the processes that are ongoing.
Expressing concern on the issue of the planned congress in the state, Ilori stressed that the clamour for new congress at the expense of the zoning formula would further tear the party apart.
“If we zone a particular senatorial district out, will we not need their votes in the general election? Also, our worries about insinuations that there might be mini congresses to choose five or whatever figure or more, and all the people express the fear that if that happened, the APC can as well begin to kiss goodbye to the governorship because of the attendant crises that will follow.”
However, three governorship aspirants of the party, Victor Olabimtan, Chief Olusola Oke and Prince Derin Adesida have decried the clamour for new congress.
They insisted that the overall interest of the party should be placed above personal ambitions.
The aspirants posited that electoral victory of a party was embedded in the successful management of several variables, which included subordinating personal interest, aspirations and agenda to collective interest “for this reasons, it is very important for us to address fellow aspirants, APC faithful and the general public at this crucial time of Ondo state history.
“Our party has the brightest chances to defeat the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and succeed the incumbent governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko on February 24, 2017 if we work together for the collective interest of the party and never allow petty issues to distract our goals.”
They also said the present executives have been elected before some of us joined the APC “despite the fact that a newly constituted executive cum delegates would put us at advantage during the governorship primaries, it is not in our character to pursue personal interest at the detriment of party interest. We should rejoice in our collective victory and not individual interest.
“As loyal party men, we believe in the unity and oneness of the party.”
In a communiqué adopted after the meeting the delegates agreed that only an aspirant that has what it takes to challenge and win the PDP’s governorship candidate would get the backing of party.
The pro-Bola Ilori group also affirmed its belief in free, fair and credible primaries as a vehicle for clinching the gubernatorial seat in the state. It warned that all aspirants of the party should shun any form of unfair tactics to select the candidate.
MEANWHILE, the Coordinator of CRSAPC, during a press briefing in Calabar, Mr. Cletus Ogban, said that Usani was innocent of the allegations leveled against him, especially those bothering on murder and the defeat suffered recently by the APC in his constituency.
He said all the petitions and blackmail were deliberate attempt to destroy and pull Usani down.
Ogban said they decided to come out openly to defend the minister because the falsehood being spread, if allowed to continue, was capable of misrepresenting the character and personality of Usani, whom they described as ‘a very humble and patient person.”