Six members of the Ondo State Executive Council have complied with the directive of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu that all political appointees, who have obtained nomination forms to contest the forthcoming primary of the party, should resign.
The affected political officers included the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs Omowumi Olatunji; Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Gboyega Adefarati; and Commissioner for Land and Housing, Mr Donald Ojogor.
Others are the Commissioner for Commerce, Mr Timehin Adelegbe; Special Adviser on Rural Development, Mr Victor Olabimtan; and Special Adviser on a Health, Dr Jibayo Adeniyi.
Akeredolu had ordered all political appointees in his government seeking elective positions to resign on or before September 17 (tomorrow).
Meanwhile, the leadership crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State had yet to be resolved as a member of the House of Representatives from the state, Mr Bamidele Baderinwa, has declared his support for the direct primary system of electing the candidates of the party in the forthcoming general elections.
Baderinwa, who represents Idanre/Ifedore Federal Constituency of Ondo State at the lower chamber of the National Assembly, described as bogus a stakeholders’ meeting held last week by Akeredolu and several chieftains of the party in the state where indirect primary was adopted to choose its candidates.
The federal lawmaker, who spoke with journalists in Akure on Saturday, alleged that the Akeredolu-led administration in Ondo State opposed the ongoing restructuring of the party.
He said, “No one can push us out of the party. We remain bona fide members of the APC. Akeredolu and (Ondo APC chairman, Ade) Adetimehin cannot push us out. Rather, they will leave the party for us. Whether they like it or not, we are going to adopt direct primary in this state.”
He urged the national leadership of the party to wade into the crisis to help its chances of winning the general elections.
However, Adetimehin said Ondo APC had adopted indirect primary and that there was no going back on the issue.
However, a factional group within the APC in the state, under the auspices of the APC Unity Group, has insisted that the state APC will adopt direct primary to choose its candidates for the 2019 general election and not indirect system.
The chairman of the group, Mr. Idowu Otetubi, said, “We are not surprised at the stand of Akeredolu and his hand-picked state executives. We know that they are afraid and have a phobia for contests. All they want is to be hand-picking candidates for the party which shall be counterproductive.”