By Samuel Faleye, Akure
One of the governorship aspirants in the Ondo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Mr Rotimi Akeredolu has debunked the news making the rounds suggesting that he was imposed as the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate in the state in 2012.Akeredolu, who spoke with newsmen in Akure on Friday is one of the 23 aspirants who will participate in the APC governorship primary in the state scheduled for Saturday ahead of the November 26 general election.
Debunking the claims, Akeredolu stated, “How l emerged as the governorship candidate of ACN in 2012 in Ondo State was not an issue of imposition because all aspirants of the party then submitted themselves to a process.
“At meetings, all aspirants told the party leadership that we were all prepared to abide by whoever they chose as candidate. The party, ACN, did not conduct any primary. We had the leadership of the party who sat and used democratic process to choose who became the candidate.
“The leadership was not Sen. Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande alone, but we had governors and other leaders of the party. It was a collective decision of the leadership of the party then and nobody imposed me as the ACN candidate in the 2012 governorship election in Ondo State.’’
Akeredolu, who was Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state between 1997 and 1999, condemned alleged plans by some APC leaders to impose one of the aspirants as the party’s candidate in the forthcoming primary.
He said that any of the party leaders could only endorse the candidate that emerged through primary but not impose an aspirant as the candidate before the primary.
“I am against imposition of candidate, but when it comes to the issue of endorsement, I am not against endorsement. Let us know how endorsement operates outside. Let us look at the example of Hillary Clinton and Sanders, who ran under the Democratic National Congress in America (DNC).” He said.