Ondo APC Elders’ Endorsement Of Aiyedatiwa Sparks Outcry From Akinterinwa, Oke

In anticipation of the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress set for April 20 in Ondo State, the coalition of party elders identified as Ondo APC Aborigines officially threw their support behind Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa as their selected aspirant.

However, NewsTimes understands that the endorsement faced opposition from the campaign organizations of two other prominent APC gubernatorial aspirants, Wale Akinterinwa and Olusola Oke.

In their meeting held in Akure, the state capital, on Tuesday, the APC elders disclosed their selection of Aiyedatiwa, emphasizing his superior rating among the Ondo APC governorship aspirants.

Previously, the group had declared that they had screened over 10 APC governorship aspirants, shortlisting three candidates.

They reaffirmed their plan to choose one candidate according to predetermined criteria.

NewsTimes gathered that Aiyedatiwa, a former Commissioner for Finance, along with Wale Akinterinwa, who also served as a Commissioner for Finance, and another influential party stalwart, Dr. Paul Akintelure, who tragically passed away last week, were under consideration by the group.

After their Tuesday meeting, the group’s chairman, Sola Iji, a former Ambassador to Togo, announced to journalists their decision to endorse Aiyedatiwa.

Iji said, “We resolved in our first meeting to commit ourselves to a unanimous goal in the forthcoming governorship primary of the APC in the state. We consider this as a necessary step towards asserting our true worth in the party.

“Nevertheless, during our second meeting, we unanimously agreed to set up a nine-man committee headed by Honourable (Mrs) Christy Olufowose to identify the various aspirants jostling for the ticket of our party; assess them, using some well-thought-out criteria, and present three of them for further consideration by the leadership of the group.

“In our last meeting, the committee submitted their report wherein Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, Honourable Wale Akinterinwa and Dr Paul Akintelure were recommended.

“Furthermore, the group mandated its leadership to have further consultation and deliberations in arriving at the choice of our preferred aspirant. Consequently, the leadership of the group met, reviewed the report of the committee and considered the three recommended aspirants qualified and worthy.

“However, in contriving the choice of our preferred aspirant, the leaders believed that it is normal and conventional to offer the right of first refusal to His Excellency, Honourable Lucky Aiyedatiwa as a sitting governor.”

Iji emphasized that the decision to choose Aiyedatiwa was based on his performance as governor in less than 100 days.

However, the Wale Akinterinwa Campaign Organisation criticized the endorsement of Governor Aiyedatiwa by the APC elders, alleging bias due to their prior open support for Aiyedatiwa.

In a statement titled “Who is fooling who?”, the group’s spokesperson, Mr. Segun Ajiboye, described the decision of the APC elders as warped.

The spokesperson, Segun Ajiboye, questioned the fairness of the elders, pointing out the presence of Ambassador Sola Iji and Senator Ajayi Boroffice during Aiyedatiwa’s declaration of intent to contest.

Likewise, the spokesperson for the Olusola Oke Campaign Organisation, Ojo Oyewamide, dismissed the endorsement by the APC elders., stating that the elders had openly supported Aiyedatiwa before, and their choice did not reflect the party’s stance.

Oyewamide expressed confidence in Chief Oke’s popularity among party members and his capability to secure both the party ticket and the mandate of the people of Ondo state in the upcoming elections.

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