In swift reactions, three governorship aspirants of the Unity Forum, a group of All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirants in Ondo State opposed to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s return bid, have denied the endorsement of Olusola Oke as the group consensus candidate ahead of the APC’s primaries.
The trio of Senator Ajayi Boroffice, Jimmy Odimayo and Prince Dapo Adelegan, denied the purported endorsement in a separate statements on Tuesday.
Boroffice wrote through his Media Aide, Kayode Fakuyi, that: “The Unity Forum has no consensus candidate. This fact is premised on two fundamental reasons.“
“Firstly, the political tendencies in Unity Forum could not agree on critical processes that could have led to adoption of consensus candidate. For instance, while some members opted for zoning, some members disagreed. Recently, aspirants participated in a zoning process and majority agreed that Ondo North senatorial district should produce the consensus candidate.”
“Secondly, when the idea of consensus candidacy was mooted, the understanding was that all seven members of Gubernatorial Candidate Selection Committee must unanimously agree on a consensus candidate. That condition has not been met.”
“Therefore, it is the consensus opinion of 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.”
In a similar reaction, in a text message to Starnews NG correspondent on Tuesday, Odimayo wrote: “I did not agree to any endorsement and there was no decision according to the Secretary of the committee that anyone has been adopted. So the report of the endorsement is fraudulent.”
While debunking the purported endorsement of Oke, Adenegan wrote this through his Media Office, in a statement signed by Mr Toluwalase, he wrote: “We write to react to the porported announcement of the Unity Forum on the acceptance of a consensus candidate for the APC 2020 election as follows”
“1. Prince Dapo Adelegan was not a party to any meeting or decision process to announce a consensus candidate.”
“2. To the best of our understanding, the other aspirants are still discussing amongst themselves on the possibility of a consensus candidate.”
“Hence, we continue to stand on our independent and genuine aspiration to contest for the governorship of Ondo State, and our engagement with the leaders of the party and various interest groups across the state is ongoing, and yielding positive result.”
“Our expectation is that by July 2020, an APC candidate will emerge from a formal Primaries and will move on to emerge as the governor of Ondo State in October of 2020 by God’s grace.”
“We ask our supporters to continue to pray and canverse for a new Ondo State come February 2020.”
“Let us together change the narrative for the better,” Adenegan said in the statement.