ALL is set for the Saturday governorship primary of Ondo State All Progressives Congress (APC) as officials from its National Secretariat in Abuja arrived in Akure yesterday for the exercise.
The officials will be responsible for the conduct of the election for the 24 aspirants, after which a candidate is expected to emerge for the November 26 poll.
A statement by the Director of Media and Publicity, Steve Otaloro, said the committee will be chaired by Jigawa State Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar.
The governor’s advanced team, led by Alhaji Ali Magashi, who arrived yesterday, is to liaise with the state APC leadership in preparation for the conduct of the primary.
Abubakar will arrive tomorrow for the exercise.
The primary will be preceded by the accreditation of voters and other processes.
Abubakar will address the aspirants, the party executives and other stakeholders.
The exercise is billed to take place at the International Conference Centre (DOME) on Igbatoro road, Akure.
Accreditation of voters will take place at three designated centres in Akure, one for each senatorial district.
Ahead of the primary, the party’s national secretariat has released the list of delegates to the 24 aspirants contesting the ticket.
Its National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, had assured the aspirants at a meeting that the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) would make available to them a hard copy of the list of delegates, who would participate in the primary.
Sources close to the party’s leadership told The Nation that the list, which contains the authentic names of the delegates, was given out to the aspirants during the week at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja.
“The hard copies of the delegate list have been given out to the aspirants. This is part of the moves we have outlined to ensure smooth and transparent primary in Ondo State,” the source said.
Allegation of endorsement of one of the aspirants as well as compromise of the delegates’ list prompted the NWC to summon the aspirants to a meeting and assured them that the list would be made available to them.
The party state chairman, Isaac Kekemeke, was alleged to have doctored the list.
Oyegun said after the meeting that the leadership of the party “promised to make a clean copy of the delegates’ list available to all aspirants by Wednesday”.
“I have given the assurance that the original list has been in safe custody and that aspirants should please discountenance all rumours of another delegates’ list.
“When it is refined, it will be handed over to the chairman of the primary committee that will conduct the primary, who will be one of the governors of the APC. And that is the only list that will be used for the purpose of the primary. I am particularly happy with the commitment of the aspirants that once a free, fair primary can be assured, they will rally round whoever is chosen by the delegates as the party’s candidate,” he said.
The party is expected to inaugurate the Primary Election Committee and the Appeals Committee today at the national secretariat.
The Nation learnt that the primary elections committee may be headed by Jigawa State Governor Badaru Abubakar.