One of the aspirants in Monday’s primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Ife Oyedele, has withdrawn from the race for Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
Oyedele announced his withdrawal from the race around 8:45 pm on Sunday in a joint press conference with Akeredolu at the Alagbaka Government House.
The former governorship aspirant said he decided to withdraw for Akeredolu because of the need to work together to keep the APC united, avoid violence and work for the progress of Ondo State and its people.
Oyedele revealed that his decision was also influenced by meetings with party elders who constantly stressed the need to have a fair, just and violence-free primary.
He said: “They want us to continue to work together for the progress of the party in Ondo State. Even before the last few days, a number of our leaders has been talking to, especially the leading aspirants. One of the most important things to them is to ensure a fair and just primary. They are also very mindful of the security situation in the state. They don’t want an ordinary primary to lead to bloodshed.
“They don’t want a mere primary to result in bloodshed. They impressed it upon us that as founding leaders, we must strike an accord to ensure that this primary go smoothly. Therefore, both of us will work together in that election. The interest of the citizens of Ondo State is more important than any other thing. And we are determined to work together for the benefit of Ondo State citizens. We will reunite our people so we can have rapid development. We call on other participants to join us.”
Akeredolu described Oyedele as a brother in every sense of the word, saying he has been a prized ambassador of the state. He confirmed that they have agreed to work together.
With Oyedele’s withdrawal, the number of aspirants has reduced to 11. Sources told The Nation that more aspirants may follow Oyedele’s footsteps before voting commences on Monday.
Meanwhile, the mode of the the primary has been changed as delegates will now gather in Akure, the state capital to cast their votes.
Initially, the primary was scheduled to hold in the 18 local government headquarters in the state but it was gathered that the exercise would now hold in three centers in Akure .
It was gathered that all the delegates would converge on three centers in Akure to do the accreditation and the election would hold at the International Event Centre in the capital city.
The state APC Publicity Secretary, Mr Alex Kalejaiye, confirmed the change .
” Initially, it was scheduled to hold local government by local government but now everything will now be done on Akure tomorrow,” he said.