Ondo Poll: Shooting at Ondo APC Secretariat as party crisis worsens

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Commercial activities in Akure, the Ondo state capital, was on Thursday disrupted following a clash between members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who are loyal to the state chairman of the party, Hon. Isaac Kekemeke and some aggrieved members who want to take over the office.
The secretariat, which is located along the ever busy Oyemekun road, became deserted as shop owners, passersby and motorists ran for dear life, as the groups exchanged gun shots.

Since Tuesday, APC office has witnessed unrest following an invasion of some members under the aegis of ‘Movement against Imposition’, who sealed off the office.

The group, which quickly sacked Kekemeke and also set up a factional Executives led by Saka Yusuf Ogunleye, accused Kekemeke of anti-party activities, manipulation of delegates’ list for the primary election and attempt to impose a particular aspirant as candidate, among others.

Kekemeke’s men were said to have reopened the Secretariat on Wednesday by chasing away those aggrieved members.

The situation took another twist on Thursday when the aggrieved members reinforced to the party secretariat but were repelled, as those loyal to the party chairman allegedly exchanged gun shots with their opposition by shooting sporadically.

Normalcy was returned when security operatives led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Edward Ajogun, stormed the scene and chased away the miscreants.

Kekemeke later arrived the party secretariat with his Secretary, Rotimi Raham and the Central Senatorial Chairman, Adegboyega Adedipe to address reporters.

The Chairman urged the Saka Yusuf-led executive members to retrace their step and return to his fold and work for the party.

He alleged that those behind the crisis are those who believe that their governorship ambition is threatened.

Kekemeke assured the aspirants, party members and delegates on the primary election that the list of delegates to be used would be as produced by the Femi Pedro Congress Committee and as had been amended by the Chief Aro Lambo Congress Appeal Committee.

He insisted that the party primary election, slated for August 27, would be conducted by the national headquarters of the party.

He added that the process involved sales of forms, through screening, to the appointment of officials; from issuance of delegates list, through the conduct of the primary election to the announcement of results.

He said, “as for endorsement, it should be clear to all by now that “endorsement is not synonymous with imposition”. It has been sufficiently explained that endorsement is consistent and compatible with best democratic practices even in the most advanced democracies and does not in any way impair free, fair and transparent primaries.

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