Some aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress in Ilaje Local Government area of Ondo State have asked Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and other party leaders in the state to respect the party’s zoning arrangement in the area regarding the coming April 18 local government election.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that APC had on February 5 and 6 held its councillorship and chairmanship primaries respectively in all the 203 wards of the 18 local government areas in the state.
The protesters, who came under the aegis of: “Ilaje APC Patriotic Forum,” stormed the Governor’s Office in Akure on Tuesday, carrying placards with various inscriptions.
Some of the inscriptions read: We are known for zoning; Don’t kill Aketi 4+4 agenda; We don’t want imposition; Stakeholders, save Ilaje from anti-Aketi; Pick candidate from the right zone; and Mahin ward II, it’s is not the turn of Mahin ward I.
Speaking with newsmen, Success Moro, who led the protest, explained that the local council area had agreed on zoning formula.
According to Moro, the party’s chairmanship candidate in the coming local government poll should be from Mahin Ward II.
He said: “All we want is the interest of our party and we don’t want anything that can truncate the chances of APC in Ilaje.
“This is the second time of this protest and it is a great concern to us because of our love for APC in Ilaje.
“Respect begets respect.
“Mr. Governor should respect the zoning arrangement of Ilaje people and we will reciprocate the gesture by supporting him massively for his second term bid.
“Imposing Goke Fatuase on Ilaje may tear the party apart and hinder our performance in Ilaje.”
Moro, a chieftain of APC, alleged that some party’s leaders did not allow primaries to hold in the area, insisting that the emergence of Jatuase was a sheer backdoor arrangement.
He said: “This is an injustice of the highest order because Mahin Ward I has produced two chairmen and Fatuase was still picked through imposition, while Mahin Ward II has not produced any.
“We are not forcing any candidate on the party, but our stand is that whoever emerges as the party’s candidate must be from Mahin Ward II in particular.
“About eight aspirants contested the primaries, but some leaders, because of their selfish and egoistic reasons, did not allow it to hold but forced Fatuase on us.
“This is our grievance; it is an infringement on democracy and this is anti-democracy.”
Moro noted that the forum was not desperate but only wanted to strengthen things, adding: “But if the governor and the party leaders refuse, let them go ahead; but for us, we have played our role.
“The protest letter was delivered to the state Chief of Staff, Chief Olugbenga Ale, and he promised to make it available to the governor without delay.”
Ale, who calmed down the protesters, promised that the governor would soon intervene.