As reports ahead of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary scheduled for April 20, aspirants are stepping up their visits to Abuja in hopes of securing President Tinubu’s endorsement.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Bola Ahmed Tinubu

However, it appears that endorsement may not materialize before the primary.

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As political parties in Ondo State gear up for the upcoming governorship primaries in the next few days, politicians are preparing for transparent primaries to nominate popular candidates for the November governorship election.

It’s noteworthy that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has set this month (April) for all political parties in the state to conduct their primaries, with the governorship poll scheduled for November 16. Consequently, politicians and parties are intensifying their efforts towards winning the election.

Recently, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Babalola, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, revealed that 19 political parties have notified the commission of their interest in participating in the November governorship poll.

Among these parties are the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Accord Party, the Action Alliance, and several others.

Specifically within the APC camp, which has slated its primary for April 20, 2024, numerous aspirants are vying for the party’s ticket. Notably, the party boasts the highest number of governorship aspirants. Many of these aspirants believe that a presidential endorsement will bolster their chances.

Consequently, it’s been observed that aspirants are striving to secure the “anointed approval” of President Bola Tinubu, who also serves as the leader of the ruling party.

Some prominent aspirants include Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, former Commissioner for Finance Mr. Wale Akinterinwa, former House of Representatives member Mr. Mayowa Akinfolarin, former Special Adviser to Governor Akeredolu on Health Prof. Francis Faduyile, and others.

As the primary draws near, it’s apparent that aspirants without a strong connection to the party’s top leadership are losing ground. Many of them have scaled back their campaigns and are considering withdrawing from the race to support more viable candidates.

Given the unclear stance of the President, many aspirants are making frequent trips to Abuja to lobby and seek the endorsement of the party’s national leadership.

According to a source within the Ondo APC Working Committee, several aspirants have strategically withdrawn from the race to align themselves with more serious contenders, anticipating the outcome of the forthcoming primary.

Additionally, party stalwarts in the state are reportedly undecided about which aspirant to support, waiting for cues from the President before declaring their allegiance.

Support groups have emerged across the state, rallying behind various aspirants, including Governor Aiywdatiwa, Mr. Akinterinwa, and Chief Oke. These groups are mobilizing support for their respective candidates, regardless of potential presidential endorsements.

However, a source close to the Presidency has disclosed that President Tinubu has remained silent on the Ondo governorship election. The source clarified that none of the aspirants claiming presidential endorsement are being truthful, as Tinubu has not declared support for any candidate.

In light of these developments, it appears that weaker aspirants are aligning with frontrunners, with some opting to forego nomination forms to consolidate support behind stronger contenders.

Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, Mr. Ebenezer Adeniyan, confirmed ongoing discussions with concerned parties, indicating that no decision has been reached yet.

Similarly, the Director of Publicity for Lucky Aiywdatiwa Campaign Organizations, Mr. Kayode Fasua, emphasized the governor’s track record of achievements and expressed confidence in maintaining focus amidst ongoing developments.

Likewise, the spokesperson for the Wale Akinterinwa Campaign Organizations, Mr. Segun Ajiboye, highlighted the influx of aspirants joining their camp, citing Akinterinwa’s extensive experience in public service.

Furthermore, the Olusola Oke Campaign Organization confirmed growing momentum within their camp, with one aspirant already stepping down in favor of Mr. Oke, anticipating more aspirants to follow suit.

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