APC Screens Ondo Gov Aspirants April 11

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has announced the end of the week-long submission of the expression of interest and nomination forms exercise at the party secretariat in Abuja.

This was as the ruling party scheduled April 11 for the 2-day screening of all the 16 governorship aspirants who purchased forms for the April 20 primary election.

The screening date was disclosed by the National Chairman of the party, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, after the 16th governorship aspirant, Ifeoluwa Oyedele, submitted his form.

Recall that the ruling party had pegged the expression of interest form at N10 million, while the nomination form was sold for N40 million.

However, female aspirants and persons with disabilities were given a concession to only procure the expression of interest form while the nomination form was free.

At the close of sales of forms last week, our correspondent reported that the party raked in N720m from 14 male and two female aspirants from the state.

Among those who purchased forms included the incumbent governor, Lucky Ayiedatiwa; business mogul and senator representing Ondo South Senatorial District, Jimoh Ibrahim; notable APC chieftain, Olusola Oke; former President of Nigerian Medical Association, Prof. Francis Faduyile; Dr Funmi Waheed-Adekojo and APC National Vice-Chairman (South West), Isaac Kekemeke.

Others were Akinfolarin Samuel, Olusoji Ehinlanwo, Okunjimi Odimayo, Adewale Akinterinwa, Olugbenga Edema and Gen. Ohunyeye Olamide, Morayo Lebi, Garvey Oladiran Iyantan, and Ifeoluwa Oyedele.

Congratulating all the aspirants, Ganduje, who spoke through the Deputy National Organising Secretary, Chidi Duru, promised to give all the political gladiators a level playfield.

He said, “We want to assure you that the party is interested and desirous of conducting a free, fair, and transparent primary in Ondo State. That for us is the only guarantee that at the end of the exercise, out of the 16, only one will emerge. The rest can then extend hands of felicitation to whoever emerges just as we did in Edo State.

“Edo has become a test case. They know that the party is resolute in determining, through a free process, who the candidate of the party would be. The few who felt they would need to go to court as we would always expect, have now made a 360-degree turnaround.

“They came to the negotiations table, had a handshake, and now we have a very formidable team. As we believe, the APC will win Edo state. And if we trust that APC would win Edo state, we have confidence that APC will equally win Ondo State.

“Today marks the formal closure of the first step of the exercise towards nominating and electing the person that would fly the flag of our party in the forthcoming gubernatorial exercise in Ondo State. Being the last day of closure, the submission of nomination forms ends today. After today, the next exercise will be the screening that will take place on the 11th and 12th of next week. After that, we will have the Ondo primary election (April 20).”