Ondo APC Guber Primaries: Aiyedatiwa’s Very Bright Chances – Otaloro 

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The preparation for the gubernatorial election in Ondo State has commenced as members interested in the seat have begun to express their interests. A number of them have declared openly, while some are moving around the 203 wards in the state to canvass for the support of party members in preparation for the primaries.

In this interview, the Director, Media & Publicity of APC, Ondo State, Hon. Steve Otaloro revealed how much preparation the party has been doing to ensure a fair and peaceful primaries and the chances of the incumbent Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

Q. How prepared is your party, the All Progressives Congress(APC) in the State for this governorship primaries coming up next month?

A. Our party, the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State, is very prepared for the governorship primaries coming up next month. We have been working tirelessly to ensure a smooth and successful process. We get directives from our party’s headquarters regarding the conduct of the primary.

As you are aware, some of our party members who had indicated their interest in contesting are currently going around the state to solicit support from our party members. Some have visited the party to inform us of their intent to contest the governorship election, and more will still come to show their intent. Just last week, Chief Olusola Oke came to us at the party secretariat to inform us of his intention to contest the governorship election. Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa visited us also to inform the party of his intention to participate in the election. Prince Diran Iyantan has also shown interest in the race and will be visiting the party secretariat anytime soon. So, preparation has been topnotch. We are ready to go as we get further directives from the party’s national secretariat.

Q. Considering the number of governorship aspirants in your party, how does your leadership intend to pick the best out of them and reconcile the losers after the primaries?

A. With the number of governorship aspirants in our party, our leadership is committed to a fair and transparent selection process. We will carefully assess all aspirants during screening and pick the best to represent our party in the primary. We also have plans in place to reconcile and unite the party after the primaries.

Q. The national leadership of your party appears to be the one to determine who becomes the standard bearer of the party will their choice be in tandem with a personality acceptable to your members and the people of the state?

A. The national leadership of our party is not playing any role in determining the standard bearer for the governorship election. They are not going to vote in the party primary. So, how would they be the determining factor?

Their only concern is for the election to be peacefully and transparently conducted. As individuals, they might have their preferences among the aspirants, but they can only wish that their choices will align with the preferences of our voting party members and the people of Ondo State.

Q. The opposition party, PDP, is working on getting a consensus candidate that would be strong enough and acceptable to the people to unseat your party. Are you aware of this proposition, and how prepared is your party for that?

A. We are aware of the efforts by the opposition party, PDP, to field a consensus candidate against us. However, we are confident in our party’s strength and the support of the people of Ondo State. We are fully prepared to face any challenge that comes our way. The fact that they’re considering a consensus candidate shows how deplorable and fragile the party has become in the state.

To me, it’s a strategic approach to suppress some members considered threats from contesting as they believe they don’t have the popularity to contest against our party’s candidate in the general election in November. So, the clever thing to do is to scout for aspirants in APC who will be willing to accept their party’s ticket on a silver platter as consensus candidates.

Q. What mode of primaries is your party considering adopting in April? And for the incumbent governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, contesting, and his chances of winning?

A. The mode of primaries that our party will adopt in April is yet to be finalized. However, we are considering all options to ensure a fair and democratic process. As for the incumbent governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, we believe in his leadership as the leader of the party in the state. His chances of winning are also bright as other aspirants.

If it were in another party he would probably have been given the first right of refusal. But in APC, we allow all our seating aspirants to renegotiate their seats from party members by testing their popularity in the primary again.

For the governor, he has the support of the party and the people of Ondo State, as you can attest to the numerous endorsements and support he has been receiving in the state and beyond.

However, the deciding factor in this primary is the members of our great party in the state and nothing else. I hope his messages resonate with them very well to receive their nod.

Hon. Steve Otaloro is the Director, Media & Publicity of APC, Ondo State.

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