Gov Lucky Aiyedatiwa

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has reaffirmed the candidacy of Ondo State Governor Lucky Ayiedatiwa as the party’s flag bearer in the November 16 election.

The party faulted reports in some online media outlets which claimed that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who monitored the April 20 shadow poll reported that the exercise never held in the state.

The social media report claimed that INEC Electoral Officers, who monitored the primary election across the 18 local government areas of the state submitted in their reports that there were no elections in the designated registration areas.

But in an interview with the Nation, APC Deputy National Organising Secretary Nze Chidi Duru dismissed the report.

He insisted that the party conducted a free, fair, and transparent primary election that produced a candidate.

Gov Lucky Aiyedatiwa

Duru said: “We conducted a free and fair election in Ondo State and a candidate emerged from the election. We (APC) have an eligible candidate for the November election in Ondo State.

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“The party followed due process. The primary election committee conducted the election and presented their report to the National Working Committee (NWC).


“We (NWC) also received report from the Election Appeal Committee. This committee received some petitions, considered them and ruled that the election was conducted in line with the guidelines for the election and that it was a free and fair exercise.

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“The NWC then deliberated on the reports of the two committees and adopted them.”

When told that INEC alleged that there was no primary election in Ondo State, Duru replied: “The committee that conducted the election in their report said it was a free and fair exercise. This was expressly indicated in their report.

“We don’t act on social media report. We have not received any report from INEC. The electoral body should have raised a query on the election to the committee and also to the appeal committee. We have no such report from INEC.

“It was on the strength of the reports of the two committees that NWC adopted the outcome of the election and issued a Certificate of Return to our candidate, who is Governor Lucky Ayiedatiwa.

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“We have a candidate that will fly the party’s flag in the November 16 Ondo State governorship election.”

Also, the Ondo State chapter of the party has faulted the purported report by INEC officials that APC did not hold a primary election in Ilaje Local Government Area.

It described the report as shocking and lacking credibility.

In a statement yesterday in Akure, the state capital, Ondo APC spokesman Alex Kalejaiye insisted that the party’s primary election took place in all the 18 local government areas in the state.

“There were agitations in Ifedore and Ilaje local government areas. While the results in the entire Ifedore Local Government Area were cancelled, those of Ilaje affected about four wards, which were also cancelled.

“The essence of such cancellations was to emphasise the validity of the entire process and ensure fairness…

“The party, therefore, doubts the authenticity of the report credited to an agent of the INEC.

“The state chapter cautions against needless desperation on the part of some members, who have vowed ‘to do everything possible to discredit the process’.

“The party urges its teeming supporters to discountenance the spurious report and focus on the bigger task ahead: to win the governorship election and retain the Sunshine State for APC.”

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