Ondo APC Crisis Is Being Resolved – Olabimtan | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Ondo APC Crisis Is Being Resolved – Olabimtan

Posted: Oct 9, 2016 at 3:29 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Victor Olabimtan, a former Speaker of the Ondo state House of Assembly was one of the governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo state. He was a guest on Channesltv where he spoke on the crisis that arose as a result of the September 3 governorship primaries of the party. TEMIDAYO AKINSUYI who monitored the session brings the excerpts:


Some aspirants have claimed that the governorship primary of your party was flawed and many non-delegates voted. Has it in anyway rubbed on the integrity and the process of the primaries?


Let me say from the onset that by the grace of God, the primaries conducted in Ondo state on September 3rd is one of the best primaries ever conducted, excluding the process that people are complaining about. I think the chairman of the panel did a wonderful job and a free, fair primary was conducted. At the end of the primary, the candidates who were involved congratulated the winner. And if you have congratulated the winner, it means you have accepted the results of the election. Within 24 hours, there was lot of u-turn, with some now saying that they have discovered some areas where the election was not properly conducted and they have situations were non-delegates voted.

 Can you confirm if that is true?

Let me tell you this; there is no way this can be confirmed unless there is a way of proving it. For example, there were three accreditation centres. At each of the accreditation centre, there were agents of all the aspirants there. Before you are accredited,  you are confirmed to be a delegate. After your confirmation and accreditation, the security agents move you into a waiting van. When the vehicle is filled up, it takes the delegates to the voting centre. That was what was done. Therefore, unless there are ways by which it can be proved beyond reasonable doubt that there were non-delegates that voted. Yes, there were some clips on television that some people who were not delegated voted. Let me give you an example. Somebody came on TV, he said he was stopped on the road and given money to go and vote. He said he entered a bus and from there, he was driven to the centre where he voted and left the place. Such a person has no integrity. If he has integrity, how can some people just pick you on the road and offer you N10,000 to go and vote? That means he could have collected money to go and lie. All that we want to do is that if such allegations are laid and there are some people who have come out to say they voted even though they were non-delegates, then the police should come in and get them arrested and interrogate them. I want to tell you that there is no electoral process anywhere in the world that is absolutely free and credible.  That is why earlier this week; President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated a committee on electoral reforms so that we can continue to correct any lapses in our elections. If two people go into a contest, somebody will emerge whether one way or the other. I believe that at the end of the contest, we should all come together and move forward.

Now that Rotimi Akeredolu has emerged, what is your stance?

Ab initio, during the period we were campaigning, I made it absolutely clear to everybody that what is important to me is Ondo state. What is important to me is my party, the APC. What is important to me is that our people in Ondo state are suffering as a result of bad leadership. I knew that we have abundance of leadership within the APC who can pilot the affairs of that state. I made it absolutely clear that whoever emerges the winner, I am going to support.

There is a rift in Ondo APC. What in your opinion is responsible for that?

In any election, there is bound to be skirmishes here and there.  For the skirmishes, I think that one is being laid to rest now.  Today in my state, the flagbearer of the party, Rotimi Akeredolu met with the state chairman of the party, Hon. Isaac Kekemeke and the state executives of the party and the crisis between the candidates and the party has been laid to rest today. Kekemeke, our own chairman has promised that he will liaise with the national leadership in order to ensure that all the crisis are resolved so that we can go together united into the November 26 election together and win.

What is the source of the rift within your party? Is it a national or a state problem?

As far as I am concerned, what happened in Ondo state, to put it succinctly clear is a followership failure. The followership failed because it did not tell the leadership the truth. In a family, if a father has 10 children, he cannot love all the children equally. If there is one thing, that father will have a preference for one particular son or daughter in that family.  If the father now calls some lieutenants and say ‘this is my preference, they should know how to go about it so that there it will not cause a rift within the family. Now there is a rift within the APC family in Ondo state, our fathers, our leaders will come together very soon. They will resolve this rift in the interest of the APC family.  Some of them built APC with their sweat, blood and everything they have.


 What do you suppose the situation will be as we are moving towards November 26?

The situation will be better. We are trying to resolve the crisis and I believe it will be resolved.  The leadership of the party will move enmasse to Ondo state to support the candidate of the party, Rotimi Akeredolu for the November 26 governorship election.

Don’t you think the opposition will take advantage of the crisis within your party and you may not smile home at the end of the day?

We will smile home at the end of the day because people are tired of the government that has been there for almost eight years now and they want a change. Let me tell you something. The Mimiko government was building mega schools; as at today, almost eight years that his government came into office, they have not built up to 40 mega schools in Ondo state. And for your information, in Ondo state, we have 1,300 schools. If in eight years, you have now built 40 out 1,300 how many years will it take you to build others?  For your information today, because the government went into that project without preparing for it, when you get to those schools, the students who are learning there are paying. They talk about Caring Heart project and Ile Abiye where they have Mother and Child. There are only two Mother and Child in Ondo state and the two are in one senatorial zone; one in his own town and Akure, the state capital. As far as the people of Ondo are concerned, they want the government of Mimiko out and they are eagerly waiting for APC to take control of the state.