The National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has denied the claim that it has endorsed the second term bid of the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.
Mr Akeredolu, who is believed to have a patchy relationship with party’s national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, and party leader Bola Tinubu, was among the APC governors that had a meeting with members of the NWC at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja on Monday.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the focus of the meeting was to make a case for Mr Akeredolu and the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, ahead of the party’s governorship election in the states.
The NWC last week adopted a direct method of primaries, a decision some political analysts believed may not end in favour of the two governors seeking re-election tickets amidst the internal wrangle in the state chapters of the APC.
Both governors are believed to prefer indirect primaries that would involve voting by delegates which would include the governors’ appointees like commissioners and advisers. They have, however, said they will win the primaries no matter the method used.
In a statement Tuesday night, the NWC said a recent statement credited to an Ondo State political group called Unity Mandate Agenda alleging both the national chairman and NWC members of endorsing Mr Akeredolu as their recognised governorship aspirant in the July 20 primary in the state, is false.
“This is indeed a grievous falsehood intended to create disaffection among our members.
“We hereby refute this spurious statement and wish to state unequivocally that neither the National Chairman nor any member of the Party’s National Working Committee (NWC) has the power to endorse any aspirant.
“The APC is not in the business of endorsing aspirants. As a progressive party, our ultimate guiding principle is strict adherence to the tenets of participatory democracy.
“Our members in Ondo State and elsewhere should ignore this unfounded report. As we move close to governorship primaries in both Edo and Ondo States, it should be expected that mischief makers would do their worst to impugn on the process. As always, they would fail in this current campaign,” APC spokesperson, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said.
Like the Edo chapter of the party, the Ondo APC is also split into factions. One faction is loyal to Mr Akeredolu while the other is opposed to his re-election.
The APC primary in Ondo holds on July 20 while the governorship election holds on October 10.