Accreditation, Voting Commence In Ondo Poll

Voting is ongoing in the Ondo State 2016 gubernatorial election holding today.

Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Eyitayo Jegede, his All Progressives Congress, APC, counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN have cast their vote.

Rotimi Akeredolu, was seen casting his vote at Unit 6, St Lukes CAC Primary School, Prison Quarters Ajagbule, Owo LG while Jegede was seen casting his own ballot in Akure.

Also, the simultaneous accreditation and voting innovation adopted by INEC commenced today as voters gathered at polling units across Ondo State to choose their next governor.

There was calm in Ondo West Local Government Area of the state as some voters were sighted queuing up to vote.

As at 7:30 am, some residents were seen Boloerunduro, Owena, Oboto, Elemosho, Wasinmi and Ondo heading to polling units while there was heavy presence of security men at various check points.

At Ward 7, Unit 20 in Ondo, voters were already at the polling unit although INEC staff were not yet at their duty post.

Speaking with NAN at Ward 9 Unit 6,Ondo, a resident, Mr Sola Ajakaiye, commended government and INEC for putting in place adequate security measures to ensure peaceful election.

In Igboroko Ward 2, Polling Unit 2, Owo, the Presiding Officer, Miss Busayo Olawale, said all logistics had been put in place to ensure a hitch-free poll.

Similarly, at Igboroko Ward 2,Polling Unit 8,the Assistant Presiding Officer, Mr Amos Ogunbodede, noted that the unit was only waiting for the starting time to commence the electoral process.

In the same vein, Mr Fumen Nuhu, the Presiding Officer of Igboroko Ward 2,Polling Unit1, said that all logistic arrangement had been made.

Voters were sighted casting their votes at Igboroko Ward 2,Unit1.

However, at Ijebu Ward 4, Unit 9, the voters were disappointed because the card reader was not functioning as at 8:51 a.m.

The unit’s presiding officer, Miss Osidi Safia, said that the device would be repaired within five minutes.

There was also a heavy presence of security personnel in all the polling units visited.

In Akure, accreditation and voting also commenced simultaneously at Ward 4 Unit 12 and Obanla Bada’s House Unit 006 Ward 04.

Some security agents as well independent observers were also sighted while voters were on the queue to ensure a smooth electoral process.

Voting commenced at 8:11 a.m. at Unit 9 Ward 2, Sacred Heart Primary school 1 in Akure South Local Government Area.

Mr Bello Ameen, the Presiding Officer, said all the materials were set and working perfectly.

He urged the voters not to panic if the card reader did not recognise any of the fingers as they would still be allowed to vote.

No fewer than 1,280,580 voters with Permanent Voter Cards would decide who the next governor would be out of the 28 contestants in Saturday’s governorship election.

Although 1,659,186 voters were registered for the election, 378,606 did not turn up to collect their PVCs.

Among the major contestants are Mr Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu of the APC, Dr Olu Agunloye of the Social Democratic Party and Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy.

Others include the candidate of the Accord Party, Mr Oladare Amuda, Mr Yinka Orokoto of the Action Alliance, the candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria and Chief Adetuwo Ogunjumelo.

Also in the race are the candidate of the Citizens Popular Party, Mr Peter Fasua, the candidate of the Labour Party, Adeuti Stephen and the candidate of the Peoples Party of Nigeria, Mrs Temidola Olagbegi.

Pre-election Survey Tips Oke to Win Ondo Elections

Chief Olusola Oke, Alliance for Democracy (AD) candidate, may emerge winner in next Ondo state gubernatorial election scheduled for Saturday, November 26, 2016. This is according to the results of an independent opinion poll conducted in Ondo state by Poll Consult, a Lagos- based agency which specialises in opinion poll and survey.

Three thousand respondents were polled across the three Senatorial districts in the state. They were polled in Akure, Ondo and Idanre in Ondo Central; Okitipupa, Ilaje and Ese-Odo in Ondo South, and Owo, Ikare, Akoko North-west in Ondo North.

Given the options of the leading contenders: Oke of AD, Akeredolu of APC, Ibrahim of Sheriff-led PDP faction and Agunloye of SDP, each of the respondents answered four questions: (1) which of the four leading candidates would you trust with your vote? (2) Which of them has the best programme for the state? (3) Which political party do you think would be best for Ondo State? (4) Which of the candidate do you consider most grassroots–oriented?

In the opinion poll, Oke was followed by former Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, the candidate of the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in that order. Thirty-seven per cent of respondents across the state said they would prefer Oke to succeed Governor Olusegun Mimiko at the Alagbaka Government House while 22 per cent opted for Akeredolu.

Sixteen percent of respondents went for Ibrahim, Dr, Olu Agunloye of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) -14 per cent, while 11 percent said they were either undecided or indifferent.

In the opinion poll conducted across the three Senatorial districts in the state- Ondo Central, Ondo North and Ondo South- a total of 3000 respondents, many of whom are registered voters in the state, were sampled. Their ages range from 25 to 55 years.

They were randomly picked across major towns in the three districts, with 1,400, the highest, coming from Ondo Central, which constitutes about 50 per cent of the voting population in the state.

Oke’s leading points, according to the poll, emerged from the respondents’ view that he is a grassroots man with loads of integrity and one who can be trusted to deliver on his promise, indices on which some other candidates ranked low.

In Ondo North, precisely in Aketi’s hometown of Owo, Akoko North-west and Ikare, where a total of 900 people were polled by the survey officials, a majority of the respondents also picked Oke as the most grassroots-oriented candidate, with some describing him as a ‘grassroots man’, ‘man of the people’ while some other candidates were seen as aloof, with a few respondents describing them as ‘Abuja politicians.’

770 respondents were randomly picked and interviewed in Akure, 400 in Ondo Township and 230 in Idanre all in Odun Central. A total of 931 of the 1,400 respondents polled in Ondo Central district.

Ondo Polls: Oke Presented With AD Flag, As Party Unites

Before a mammoth crowd in Akure, the Ondo State capital, the Alliance for Democracy (AD) Governorship Candidate, Chief Olusola Oke and his deputy, Alhaji Ganny Dauda were on Monday presented the flags of the party, just as the legal tussle threatening to undermine his victory at the November 26, 2016 was laid to rest before the cheering crowd.

At the occasion which was witnessed by leaders of the AD in Nigeria, including its National Leader, Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa, the National Chairman, Chief Joseph Avazi and other top officials, the National Legal Adviser for AD, who is already before the Court challenging the emergence of Oke and his deputy, told the people of the State that there was no more crisis in AD.

His words: “there was a court action based on the on misunderstanding on the appropriateness of Chief Olusola Oke emergence because his victory is sure we don’t want some people to go to court after his victory to challenge him.

“This was why I was in court. And the fact that I am here addressing this mammoth crowd today shows that there is no more crisis in the party, no cracks within the party, we are one indivisible party.

“There are several means of getting a case out of court; by abandonment, by withdrawal and by discontinuance. There is no more case in court as we have resolved the issues raised and I can assure you that Olusola Oke will be the next governor of this state. Oke means mountain in Yoruba language, like his name he is on top. Ondo state will be on top, Yorubaland is on top. No matter how tall an Iroko tress may be, it cannot be taller than the mountain, Olusola Oke is on top and he will win, ” he told the elated crowd who thronged the Democracy Park .

In his address, the National Leader of AD, Senator Akinfenwa , said: “For thirteen years, we have been in the wilderness, now it has pleased God to give us a leader that is capable of putting Ondo back on tracks.

“If you look at the PDP, it is full of crises, people deceive people, they are at each other’s throats. The APC too is not faring better, they are an amalgam of strange bed fellows who cannot deliver on their promises. But we are happy today that the party of papa Obafemi Awolowo, that of Papa Adekunle Ajasin and Papa Adebayo Adefarati is here and I want you all to vote for the AD.”

“If you vote for Olusola Oke, he will replicate all those good programmers of old, he will revamp our education, bring back the Revival of our agricultural sector, education shall also be brought back to reckoning,” the AD leader assured.

Earlier in his short remarks, the AD National Chairman assured that the party was poised to form the next government given the spontaneous show of love for a party that merely came into reckoning in barely two months.

According to him, a new dawn was now breaking in Ondo State and AD was set to bring back the lost glory of the Sunshine State.

“We have ruled this state before, this is our second coming and we shall not disappoint you”, he declared.

In his acceptance speech, Olusola Oke assured that under his watch, Ondo State would be better.

“Some people have been out on campaigns of calumny against me that I will abandon most of the projects I will meet on ground.

“I want to assure you all that we are not out to destroy whatever we meet but to build on whatever we meet on ground.

“Today, Ondo State is undergoing a difficult situation, all our industries are dead and there is wants and abject poverty in the land

“The priority of my government shall be the good of the people of Ondo State. I greet our mothers, we shall ensure we give you life abundance, we shall give you money to trade. Our workers shall receive their salaries and other entitlements as at when due.

“Our youths shall be gainfully employed as we shall wake up all our dead industries and make them functional again.

“I want our people to be wary of those who pelt you with hardships yet ask you to vote for them, they can never give you good governors but hardship compounded.

“I will be in a hurry to deliver good governance, all our dead industries will be completed in a hurry, we shall all laugh and be glad that we vote the best party, the Alliance for Democracy, into power on November 26, 2016, “Olusola Oke assured the cheering crowd.

Ondo Polls: Mimiko Has No Pact With Other Parties – PDP

The Ahmed Makarfi’s faction of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo State has dismissed a report that Governor Olusegun Mimiko asked PDP supporters to support other parties ahead of the November 26 governorship poll in the state.

The Ondo PDP said it had no alternative plan but to contest the November 26 governorship election, fielding Mr. Eyitayo Jegede as the party’s candidate.

Speaking in an interview, the state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Banji Okunomo, stressed that Mimiko had no plan to support any candidate other than Jegede.

He said, “We are contesting this election with Eyitayo Jegede as the PDP candidate. We have no doubt about it because we know we are going to get justice at the appeal court. We are not talking with any opposition party.

In the same vein, the Chairman of the Labour Party in the state, Mr. Wale Gbakinro, has denied that Mimiko had any talks with the leaders of the party.

Also, the Alliance for Democracy’s candidate, Chief Olusola Oke said Mimiko did not hold any talks with him.
Meanwhile , the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, will on Monday and Tuesday inaugurate two additional mega schools in the state.

According to a statement by the state’s Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, Mimiko will inaugurate a mega school in Oke –Agbe, Akoko-North senatorial district tomorrow (Monday).

#OndoDecides: Oke, Akeredolu Bicker Over Alleged Campaign Fund

The race for the Ondo State governorship seat became fiercer yesterday with the campaign teams of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) candidate, Chief Olusola Oke and that of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu bickering over an alleged N7 billion campaign fund.
The Olusola Oke Campaign Committee(OOCC) had cried out to the Presidency over an alleged plan by some government officials to ‘surreptitiously’ release the sum of N7b to the APC governorship candidate, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu from the N10b infrastructural contract slated for Owo community of the state to perfect plans to rig the November 26, 2016 poll in the state.
The organisation while raising the alarm yesterday in Akure, alleged that the plan was hatched in a federal ministry, Abuja, wherein a bogus contract without due process was mooted for works on some infrastructure in Owo area of the state where Akeredolu hails from and then divert a substantial part of the money towards rigging the election.
The OOCC in a statement issued by the Chairman of the Publicity Committee, Kolawole Olabisi said: “The boast of the APC which had been sedentary in its approach to canvassing for votes in the state is that they would rig this election even if only one vote is cast for them.They have been preaching it and now they have professed it with this dastard plan perfected and supervised by the top echelons of the government to use government funds to make good their threat.”
According to the OOCC, the contract sum was perfected and released without going through due process and the money has now been earmarked as part of the war chest to be used by the APC to rig the election later this month.
“We want to appeal to President Buhari to be aware of what is being done by some members of his cabinet in their vaunted ambition to win this election at all costs and immediately arrest the situation. While we have been going round the state canvassing for votes from the people, they have remained in their offices boasting that they will use federal might to rig the election even if nobody votes for them.
“The APC members in Ondo have been preaching this strange gospel of rigging and we are now amazed by this latest antics to win the election with the award of a strange contract for a whopping N10 billion for Owo community where Akeredolu hails from with a view to releasing a whopping sum of N7 billion to him to make the rigging plan a reality.
“The pertinent question to ask now is, why a contract in Owo, which has one of the best road networks in Ondo State? Who approved this contract sum and why did it not go through due process that such contracts have to go through?
“We want to assure them that the people of Ondo State are watching them and the consequences of rigging election here await perpetrators. Winning election should not be a do-or-die affair,” the OOCC said.
The Oluwarotimi Akeredolu Governorship Campaign Organization has however described the allegations as a cheap blackmail and baseless.
The campaign team said Chief Oke has accepted defeat before the election because he knew that the AD could not fly in the coming election.
It added that Oke was only looking for ways to discredit the process before the election is conducted just the way he did after the APC governorship primary.
A statement issued by Chairman of the Campaign Research and Communication Committee, Mr. Soji Alakuro said no amount of blackmail would stop the party from winning.
The statement reads: ”It will be recalled that Oke and one of his main supporters were behind the crisis in APC before it was resolved.They intentionally painted the process of the September 3, APC primary as being fraudulent by asking journalists to interview Oke’s cook and one of his brother from Ilaje who pretended to be delegates. In the said interviews, they lied that they voted during the party primary and also claimed that Akeredolu gave them money to vote during the primary.
“They were declared wanted by security operatives after Akeredolu officially made complaints about the allegation and later on, it was revealed to the whole world that they lied against our candidate. Oke is afraid because he believes that his political trick of running to AD to contest cannot change the mind of the electorate, who have made up their minds to vote for the APC.
It added: “We also challenge Oke to explain the source of his funds because we are aware of those governors oiling his campaign through their states resources. It is unfortunate that Oke, who raised the allegation that N7billion project had been diverted to the campaign of Akeredolu, failed to mention where the project will be cited in Owo and the kind of project that will be executed in that ancient community.
“Oke should be informed that the people of the state are aware of his roles during the primary election and will never believe the lies being spread by a man, who is desperate to rule the state.”
However, our party is not planning to rig the coming election as you all know that our candidate and party have absolute respect for the rule of law.

#OndoDecides: Oke Not Our Candidate, AD Insists

National Legal Adviser, Alliance for Democracy (AD), Mr Kehinde Aworele, said the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) did not recognise Chief Olusola Oke as its governorship candidate in Ondo state. Aworele said this on Friday when addressing newsmen in Akure.

Oke, who claims to be AD’s gubernatorial flag bearer for the election coming up on Nov. 26, had in 2012, contested governorship election in the state on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and lost.

He defected to All Progressives Congress (APC), where he vied for governorship ticket for the November poll but was unsuccessful. He immediately switched to AD and claimed to have picked its gubernatorial mandate for the election.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the AD National Organising Secretary, Mr Ibrahim Abdollah, had in a communiqué on Oct. 14 in Akure, after the party’s NEC meeting said the party was unaware of Oke’s candidature.

Aworele told newsmen that there were certain decisions taken solely by the National Chairman of the party, Chief Joseph Avazi, which ought to have been done by the NEC. He maintained that the outcome of Oct.

14 NEC meeting remained binding, saying, “we have said that Olusola Oke is not known to the party because he does not follow proper procedure of the party, so he is not even a member of AD. “On the issue of his eligibility, I will not comment on that because it is pending before the Federal High Court, Akure.

“But, I can tell you that he is not a member of our party because he has not complied with the constitutional procedure of our party by which a candidate should emerge.’’

He said the party had a candidate named Mr Akin Olowookere, who purportedly stepped down for Olusola Oke, but had not formally informed the party. Aworele said: “It was some members of the party who went to the media that we had rescinded our earlier decision through the communiqué issued by the party’s NEC.

“There was information that Olusola Oke met some members who later spoke against our decision but this cannot be valid.

“As at today, we have passed a vote of no confidence on the national chairman, national secretary and national auditor of the party and it is the NEC of the party that can make a change of that decision.

“I don’t have anything against Oke as a person; he is a nice gentleman and a member of my profession but he should not come through the backdoor.’’ He said the party needed more members but that whoever wanted to join should take the proper channel in order not to jeopardise the party pedigree and integrity.

Reacting, Oke’s Campaign Manager, Mr Bola Ilori, said that AD’s legal adviser’s position was a “distraction and entertainment’’.

AD Leaders Fault NEC, Affirms Oke’s Candidacy For Ondo

Contrary to last Friday’s action of some persons, the national leadership of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) said those who held a meeting where the candidature of Chief Olusola Oke was discussed do not have the mandate to do so.

The National Vice Chairman, North-east, of the party, Alhaji Magaji Kwairanga, who stated this in Akure, Ondo State, at a news conference, affirmed that Oke is the authentic candidate of the party for the November 26 poll.

The conference was also attended by the National Vice Chairman, North-west, Alhaji Sulaiman Aliyu; the Deputy National Treasurer, Sagir Ahmed Ali; the National Organising Secretary, Abdulahi Ibrahim; a National Ex Officio member, Saadatu Bello, seven states chairmen and other national officers.

At the news conference, all the national officers, who were led by the National Organising Secretary, Abdulahi, to reject Oke’s candidature and pass a vote of no confidence on the National Chairman, Chief Joseph Avazi, and other party chieftains, reneged their decisions.

Kwairanga dispelled last Friday communique issued by some allegedly aggrieved leaders of the party after an emergency meeting in Akure to discredit Oke.

He cautioned that misunderstanding among some persons within the party should not be stretched to destroy the chances of the party, especially in the forthcoming election in the state.

“We believe the former national chairman, if he has any issue to settle with his South-west people, should not use AD as a platform. The party, AD, a national party, is now led by a national chairman, a northerner.

“Alliance for Democracy is a national party, therefore, we will not allow any leader of the party to use the party to settle any disagreement he or she has with the any of the leaders in the southwest,” he said.

Kwairange said the meeting earlier, “though not at the instance of the national chairman and the national secretary, was a purported NEC meeting. It lacks all constitutional right and that all Northerners were misled,” he said.

They said Oke and his running mate, Alhaji Gani Daudu, have fulfilled all criteria as spelt out by their party’s constitution and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s) guidelines.

“It is a known fact that Dr. Akin Olowokere handed over the gubernatorial ticket of AD voluntarily to Oke. It is also a truism that the state chapter of AD, our great party, was involved and also consented to the candidature of Oke.

“Therefore, the national chairman and secretary of the party are constitutionally empowered to forward the name of Oke to INEC considering the constraint of time.

“Let us also state that the NEC has no issue and if there are issues relating to NEC meeting, which is internal affairs of the party, the issues will be handled internally. As we speak here, Oke’s name has been duly submitted to INEC as the candidate of our party,” they said.

The leader expressed optimism that Oke would win the forthcoming election in Ondo State.

#OndoDecides: Don’t Vote Oke, Abraham Tells Supporters

The runner-up in the just concluded governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Mr. Segun Abraham yesterday warned his supporters not to vote the gubernatorial candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the forthcoming November 26, election.

Abraham, who addressed a mammoth crowd of supporters at his hometown, Ikare-Akoko, told them that Oke was the reason Akoko failed to get APC governorship ticket.

He added that such people, who were even new in the APC at the time, could not be trusted to represent the interest of the people as it was clear they are only interested in fulfilling their own political ambitions.

He assured his supporters that he would still reclaim his mandate.

He noted that he had approached a court to seek a redress on the outcome of the primary election.

He vowed that he and the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu would not leave the party.

His words, “It is unfortunate that some people within the APC, the people we all now know, employed fraudulent means to rob us of our right by colluding with elements outside our state.

“But, I can assure you that by the grace of God, we will get back our mandate. Don’t listen to the naysayers and liars. I am not leaving this party. Our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is not leaving the party.

“We are already in court to seek redress, and more so, we are still in talks within the party ranks to get back our stolen mandate.

“Fact and figures don’t lie. A fraud was committed. Some people connived to pad our delegates lists, disenfranchised close to 200 delegates and substituted them with fake ones.

“That’s a fact that was established by the Electoral Appeal committee, but wrongfully vetoed by Oyegun.

“But be rest assured, victory is coming and our mandate will be reclaimed.”

Olusole Oke Not Our Candidate In Ondo – AD

The Alliance for Democracy (AD) on Friday rejected the candidature of Olusola Oke as its Ondo State governorship candidate for the November 26th, 2016 governorship election.

Ibrahim Abdullah, the National Organising Secretary of the Party, made the disclosure in a communique read to journalists at a meeting held in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

The meeting was held at the popular Ade Super Hotel in Akure and had in attendance the party’s Deputy National Chairman,  Malam Musa Shehu Loyi.

Mr. Abdullah said that the National Working Committee ( NEC ) of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) was unaware of  Mr. Olusola Oke’s candidature.

He disclosed that none of the National leaders of the Alliance Democracy (AD) at the National Working Committee ( NWC) was carried along in the controversial choice of Mr. Oke.

“Chief Olusola Oke is hereby not adopted as the flag bearer of Alliance for Democracy in  the November 26th, 2016 Gubernatorial election in Ondo State.”

He said the group would now set up a five-man Committee to recommend the next line of action for the party leaders ahead of the November governorship poll.

The Deputy National Chairman also passed a Vote of No Confidence on the party’s National Chairman, Joseph Avazi.

He also berated the party’s National Secretary, Mr. Akin Fasogbon, the National Auditor, Mr. Ismael Ayodele and Southwest Zonal Chairman, Chief Tayo Onayemi for the dubious role they played in the emergence of Oke.

The party has, however, called on the party’s National Chairman and the Secretary to convene the National Executive Committee meeting in Abuja within twenty-one days.

#OndoDecides: AD Declares Oke As Candidate

The Alliance for Democracy in Ondo State has declared a former governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Olusola Oke, as its candidate for the November 26 governorship election in the state.

Oke defected to the AD after the national leadership of the APC allegedly failed to adopt the recommendation of the Electoral Appeal Committee, which recommended the annulment of the September 3, 2016, primary of the party in Ondo State.

The state Chairman of the AD, Mr. Seriki Adebobola, who made the announcement in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Monday, said Oke had the capacity to win the election.

The AD had earlier submitted the name of one Akin Olowookere to the Independent National Electoral Commission after winning the party’s primary in September, but the party chairman noted that Olowokere had stepped down for Oke as the candidate of the party in the election.

He said with the coming of Oke to the AD, the party would win the forthcoming governorship election, adding that the party stood a better chance to win the governorship poll with the former National Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party in its camp.

Ondo APC Crisis: Abraham Blasts Oke, Vows To Reclaim Mandate From Akeredolu

The runner-up in the All Progressives Congress’ governorship primary in Ondo State, Olusegun Abraham, has vowed to continue the struggle to upturn the decision which produced Rotimi Akeredolu as the candidate of the party in the coming governorship election.

Mr. Abraham who spoke through his media aide, Sayo Aluko, on Sunday also denied collapsing his political structure in support of the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy, Olusola Oke.

He claimed that he was the authentic winner of the September 3 primary, given the number of valid votes credited to him and the fact that the election was fraught with malpractice.

He also vowed not to defect to any other party, but would remain within the APC to reclaim his mandate.

The party had been embroiled in a crisis since Mr. Akeredolu was announced as the winner of the September 3 governorship primary in the face of a recommendation of the appeal committee nullifying the election.

Mr. Abraham who had the endorsement of APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, for the governorship ticket, had his supporters stage a protest march last Tuesday to press for the nullification of the candidacy of Mr. Akeredolu.

The protest however resulted to a violent clash between his supporters and Mr. Akeredolu’s as each group tried to gain control of the party secretariat.

“I use this opportunity to reassure my teeming and esteemed supporters that our mandate is alive, and as long as we keep calling for justice to be done, we shall reclaim this mandate and bring practical governance to the benefit of the Ondo people and the pride of our great party,” Mr. Abraham said.

There were reports that Messrs. Abraham and Ajayi Boroffice had collapsed their political structures to support Mr. Oke.

According to Mr. Abraham, the rumour is “blatantly false” and “lacks commonsense and credibility.”

“Contrary to what Olusola Oke is saying all over Ondo at the moment, I have not collapsed my structure for anybody, talk less someone who is no longer a member of my party and someone who I am far popular than,” he said.

“In as much as I am not surprised at this usual level of desperation from the Oke people, I am disappointed at the extent of falsehood being peddled.

“If he is indeed popular, why get so desperate to use my name under a false pretence to deceive the people and gain popularity?”

“Even, anybody with a politically sound mind will know that such move has no iota of truth in it.

“My candidacy enjoys greater popularity and acceptance compared to Olusola Oke’s and all the other aspirants, both by valid delegates’ votes and by the show of massive public goodwill recently typified by the overwhelming solidarity rally staged by the people of Ondo for my candidacy on Tuesday, the 4th of October, 2016.

“So, how can I then undermine this much faith put in me, both politically and publicly, by collapsing my structure for a less popular individual? It doesn’t fit commonsense and surely lacks credibility.”

He called on his supporters in the party and the state to disregard the rumour, while urging them to remain resilient and focused on the quest to save the party from destruction.