Three Ondo PDP governorship aspirants pick forms as consensus attempt fails

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Three Ondo State governorship aspirants on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, on Monday, bought their Expression of Interest and Nomination forms in Abuja.

It was gathered that an attempt by the party to arrive at a consensus governorship candidate among the nine aspirants failed.

The three aspirants, who bought the N5m Expression of Interest form and N35m Nomination form on Monday were Adeolu Akinwumi, Olusola Ebiseni, and Bamidele Akingboye.

The sale of forms began March 7 and will end on March 21.

Aspirants have a March 25 deadline for the submission of completed forms.

Last week in Abuja, during a meeting with party stakeholders and aspirants for the Ondo State governorship election, the PDP National Working Committee discussed the possibility of consensus and zoning, urging everyone to continue the discussion.

A former National Vice Chairman of the South-West PDP, Eddy Olafeso, disclosed on Monday that the attempt to select a consensus candidate had failed.

He emphasised that all contenders for the Ondo State governorship position believed they possessed the necessary qualifications and skills.

According to him, securing the PDP ticket won’t be achieved through shortcuts, highlighting the competence of all candidates and emphasising that the decision rested with the delegates.

Olafeso explained, “I met with all aspirants from the Southern Senatorial District on Friday, despite our appeal to them for consensus and to reduce the number, nobody has substantially shown interest in consensus. And the constitution of the party stipulates that people should be allowed to compete in that direction.

“We thank the party for allowing us to come up with a candidate, so they will compete with themselves.

“The proposed consensus has failed to work because they all see themselves as competent and qualified. However, the delegates’ votes will determine who will get the PDP’s ticket.

“This will not divide the party. If the leadership is not divided. If the primary is free, fair, and credible whoever loses, and whoever wins, wins. For us the leaders we are very united.

“They will have to work very hard. No shortcuts today, let them compete for delegates’ votes and show that they can change our state from the state it is today due to the lacklustre performance of the APC government.

“If we work very hard it is not impossible to win. This election is November, and I think Nigerians have seen a lot of APC, but it depends on how coordinated and how hard-working we are.”

On his part, one of the aspirants, Akingboye, shortly after obtaining his forms in Abuja, on Monday, confirmed that the consensus advocated by the leadership of the party had failed.

“It was suggested by the leaders and elders of the party that since the party has decided to zone to the Southern Senatorial District, and nine of us have indicated interest in the same election, they suggested that we should go back home and discuss with each other and see if we can prune the number of aspirants.

“We have tried it but sincerely, I don’t think that it is going to work out because every one of us believes that he is the best person to do the job. The truth is that if you are not tested or trusted, I don’t think that Ondo State is ready to entrust the mantle to someone who will not be able to carry the load at this particular time. So, by implication, the consensus advocated by the leadership of the party has failed.”

The PDP has fixed April 15 for a congress where its governorship candidate will emerge ahead of the November 16, 2024 governorship election.