By Samuel Faleye, Akure
A governorship aspirant in the Ondo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Victor Olabimtan has proposed the formation of ‘APC Aspirants roundtable’ to foster unity among the contestants for the coming primary election of the party.
According to him, the unity of purpose that endeared APC to the heart of Nigerians is what should apply in the state.
In a letter sent to co-contestants, Olabimtan wrote that, “We are leaders in our own rights with multitudes following us. The need to organize, mentor and educate our followers to play politics without bitterness can not be overemphasized.
“We should let our followers know that APC is one big family where intra-party rancor should not be encouraged. APC Ondo state is blessed with many qualified and credible gubernatorial aspirants. This blessing should not be allowed to turn to a curse!
“Therefore I want to urge all of us to prepare ourselves and our followers to relate and work as a team, so that we can jointly deliver Ondo state to APC.
The former Speaker hinged his call on what he called ‘the ugly incident’ that happened within Owo metropolis recently where billboards of all aspirants were destroyed.
He said” We are yet to identify the culprits but the assumption is that it could be the handiwork of some overzealous supporters (followers) of one of the Aspirants.
The former Commissioner representing Ondo/Edo states in the Federal Civil Service recalled that the APC state chairman, Isaac Kekemeke had earlier pleaded with the Aspirants and their followers to avoid anything that could cause enmity within the party.
He however lamented that some people still engage in this verbal attack on social media.
The Supare-Akoko born politician said the act should stop in the interest of peace and for the overall success of the APC.
His words”A fractionalized APC in Ondo state can not successfully engage and wrest power from the ruling party. The need therefore, for us to organize and put our house in order is a clarion call for all and sundry”.
He noted that the party has enough squabbles at the moment which must be resolutely healed rather than accentuated.
According to him,the success or failure (God forbid) of APC in the forthcoming governorship election depend largely on their actions as aspirants and individual ability to place the partyâ€™s interest above personal and selfish gains.
Olabimtan opined that intra-party fracas and opposition would not benefit any aspirant and the party as a whole,saying “It is very essential for us and our followers to preach and promote peace before, during and after the primaries.
He urged them to take a cue from the decorum experienced in the build up to APC presidential primaries and general elections in 2015 where there was no place each of the distinguished presidential aspirants engaged in character assassination ditto their followers.
“It was also a known fact that all the aspirants queued behind and supported the partyâ€™s flag bearer after the primaries.
“We are in government at the center today because of the united efforts of our party leaders, aspirants, party members and Nigerians in general.
“The electorate supported us to dislodge the PDP at the center because they saw unity of purpose in us.The need to unite and jointly fight and defeat our common enemy is inevitable”.Olabimtan stressed.
The former Speaker expressed optimism that the Aspirants Forum would enable them organize themselves and coordinate their supporters, unite the party and fortify them to take over Ondo state from the reactionary forces.