The crisis rocking the Unity Forum of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State on Tuesday worsened, with the emergence of Chief Olusola Oke as its consensus candidate.
He is to compete with Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
The governor has declared intention to seek a second term. He said he would not enter into reconciliation talks with members of the forum or any other aggrieved group in the Ondo APC
He said: “The forum, by the content of the report, has adopted Chief Olusola Oke, SAN, as the candidate of the forum. The leaders and members of the forum are hereby enjoined to begin mobilisation across the state for the candidate of the forum.”
Those that opposed the emergence of Oke were Secretary of the forum Dapo Adelegan, Prof. Sola Ehindero and Deputy Senate Leader Robert Ajayi Borofice.
Senator Borofice, the patron of the forum, rejected the emergence of Oke and urged aspirants to prepare for the primaries.
A statement by Borofice’s media aide, Kayode Fakuyi, said: “The media report suggesting that Unity Forum has adopted a consensus candidate to represent it in the Ondo APC governorship primary election is misleading. The fact is that Unity Forum has no consensus candidate. This is premised on two fundamental reasons.
”Secondly, when the idea of consensus candidacy was mooted, the understanding was that all seven members of the Governorship Candidate Selection Committee must unanimously agree on a consensus candidate. The condition has not been met.
“Therefore, it is the opinion of the majority of leaders and members of Unity Forum in Ondo North Senatorial District and other parts of Ondo State that Unity Forum is yet to present a consensus candidate.”
Prof. Ehindero described the announcement of Oke as the consensus candidate as fake news.
He said: “The attention of the duly elected secretary of the Screening Committee of the Unity Forum set up to select a consensus candidate for the APC in the next governorship election has been drawn to a fake report from an unauthorised person.
“The report that has been fraudulently released by Olanusi does not emanate from the accredited secretary’s office, nor does it reflect the true deliberation and conclusion of the members of the Screening Committee.
“Rather, the fake report is inspired, sponsored and programmed by known and disguised enemies of the Unity Forum and the APC in Ondo State. It is designed to tactically distract the attention and focus of our collective efforts.”
Adelegan disowned the endorsement of Oke, saying the process was unacceptable.
“Prince Dapo Adelegan was not a party to any meeting or decision process to announce a consensus candidate. To the best of our understanding, the other aspirants are still discussing among themselves on the possibility of a consensus candidate.
“Our expectation is that by July 2020, an APC candidate will emerge from a formal primary election and will move on to emerge as the governor of Ondo State in October by God’s grace,” the media office said in an unsigned statement. (The Nation)