There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel over the rift crippling the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ondo State chapter ahead of this weekend’s party’s primary for the state’s governorship election as the peace meeting held at the national headquarters of the party ended in deadlock yesterday.
Although the Deputy National Chairman, North, Shauibu Lawal, told newsmen that the differences had been resolved during the meeting, he said the state Chairman, Mr. Isaac Kekemeke, still had the endorsement and blessing of the party’s national leadership, while the other faction had insisted that he remains sacked.
Lawal said: “We want to commend the stakeholders over the manner they conducted themselves ahead of the primaries. I want to say that our colleagues from Ondo State are in agreement with our positions over the aspirants.
The meeting was fruitful and I can say that Ondo State is not as bad as portrayed in the media last week. We want to assure that the state will be an entirely different this week. As for the removal of the chairman of the party, I can tell you that we, at the national level, are not aware of such action,” he noted.
Similarly, Kekemeke, told newsmen that there was no question over his position as the chairman, describing the meeting as peaceful where all parties involved resolved to work for the party in the state.
On the allegation that he was working to favour one aspirant, Kekemeke said: “I have said repeatedly that I do not prefer any of the aspirants but I don’t have the power to deny or stop anyone from exercising his or her constitutional and political rights.
“All I know is that I don’t have any preference because I am forbidden from doing so as the chairman of the party in the state. I want to say that those claiming that I am supporting any candidate are only in the rhyme of their imagination. I want to assure them that my preferred aspirants would be the person who garnered votes from the delegates,” he said.
However, reacting to the non-recognition of the newly appointed state chairman, Ade Adetimehin, members of his faction insisted that the crisis was far from over, warning that as far as they are concerned, Kekemeke remained impeached.
In a related development, the crisis rocking the state chapter of the APC worsened yesterday as leaders of the party under the aegis of the Ondo APC Elders Forum flayed the ousted Chairman, Isaac Kekemeke, saying his attitude almost ruined the party.
However, the APC elders urged their National Chairman, Chief Odigie Oyegun, to resolve the crisis before the Saturday’s governorship primary election in order not to affect the smooth conduct of the exercise.
Also, the party elders charged their leadership at the national level to resolve the impasse among the aggrieved members so that it would not ruin the chances of the party in the forthcoming election.
In a letter addressed to the national chairman of the party, copy of which was made available to Daily Sun in Akure, Chairman of the forum, Chief Olorunnimbe Farukanmi and the Secretary, Mr. Bayo Oyefusi, said the purported ‘vote of no confidence’ passed in Kekemeke was over allegations of his wrong doings.
The group urged the party leadership to save it from total collapse, stressing that it should make haste to rebuild the party ahead of the November 26 election.