The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday said selfish ambition of the embattled Ondo State Deputy Governor and the Secretary to the State Government motivated their defection to the opposition party at the expense of collective state interest.
In a first official reaction to the political crisis in Ondo State, the National Chairman of the party’s Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee (CEONCPC), Governor Mai Mala Buni said the defection of the two former chieftains was for their actualization of personal interest.
The deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi recently resigned from the ruling party to join the opposition party to seek the governorship ticket of the party while the Secretary to the State Government, Ifedayo Adegunde followed suit last week.
The party chairman who spoke through the National Secretary, Senator John J. Akpan Udoedehe, at the inauguration of the Screening and Appeal Committees for the Ondo State Governorship Primary in Abuja said the resignation of the two leaders was “skewed towards personal, rather than collective interest”.
According to the Chairman, “In the last few months, our Party has been rocked by crisis, in several states, including Ondo State, where the former Deputy Governor and the former Secretary to the State Government defected to other parties to seek platforms to contest for the Governorship elections of the State.
“We should all be aware, that personal ambition could often lead people to act unreasonably, and in a manner skewed towards personal, rather than collective interest, as in this case.”
The Chairman then assured all the aspirants in the Ondo State July 20 party primary election of a level playing ground in accordance with the party’s fundamental pillars of fairness and natural justice.
“We can assure you that the aspirants, who have indicated interest to fly the flag of our Party in the Ondo Governorship elections, will be subject to the same fair, credible and transparent standards in the nomination process,” the party assured the aspirants.
The chairman then charged the committees to be above board in the discharge of their assignment, stressing that members were appointed having been found to be worthy persons of trust in the onerous task of screening all the aspirants, and subsequently, provide a platform for those who are not satisfied with the screening, to appeal the outcome of the exercise.
He then warned members of the two committees that your actions in the discharge their assignment, could either make or mar the Party’s image. Advising them “to proceed in the strength of your mandate, and do your best, bearing in mind that the reward for satisfactory performance is promotion”.
Responding on behalf of the two committees, the Chairman of the Screening Committee, Alhaji Tijjani Musa Tumsa said the committees will do their job diligently and to the benefit of the state and party .
Tumsa, former interim National Secretary of the party however called on all the aspirants to abide by the party regulations and to also make all information forthcoming to make the assignment of the committees very smooth.
The 9-man Screening Committee members are Alhaji Tijjani Musa Tumsa as Chairman, Solomon Johnny, Abayomi Oyalowo, Princess Gloria Akumbomdu, Rt. Hon. Eugine Udo, Barr. Usman Dalhatu, Amb. Fati Bala and Prof. Okay Onyejekwe as members while Prof. Shehu Adamaraji will serve as Secretary.
The 9-man Screening Appeal Committee has Alhaji Umar Lawan-Kareto as Chairman, Hon. Ibrahim Ebbo, Maj. Gen. Christian O. Ogwo (Rtd.), Alh. Danladi Chambas, Imabong Ubo, Barr. Odeh Sam, Prof. Mojeed Alabi, Rt. Hon. Opeyemi Ajayi and Senator Andrew Uchendu as Secretary.
Meanwhile, the incumbent governor, Arakunrin Akeredolu who is seeking for a second term mandate will appear before the Screening Committee along with eleven others at the two-day screening exercise.
Also in the race is the founding state chairman of the party, Chief Issacs Duerimini Kekemeke, former deputy clerk of the National Assembly, Chief Olayide Adelami, Amb. Olusola Iji, Odimayo Okunjiml, Ifeoluwa Olusola Oyedele, Awodeyi Akinsehinwa Akinola and Dr. Nathaniel Olumuyiwa Adojutelegan.
Other aspirants are Chief Olusola Oke, Dr. Michael Olusegun Abraham, Chief Olubukola Adetula and a female aspirant, Mrs. Olajumoke Olubusola Anifowoshe, the daughter of the first executive governor of the old Ones State, Chief Adekunle Ajasin.