Mobilizing for a generational change

Ondo Unity forum aspirants back zoning

Emmanuel Oladesu

All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirants in Ondo State, who belong to the Unity Forum, want the governorship ticket to be zoned to the North Senatorial District, The Nation has learnt.

Although they acknowledged that zoning is not in the party’s constitution, they said it has always been adopted as a convention by the progressive bloc.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), who is seeking re-election, is from the north district.

The calculation of the contenders is that if the forum can agree on a consensus aspirant from the north, who can defeat the governor at the primaries, he will spend four years, if he wins the governorship election.

The aspirants, including Awodeyi Apata, Jumoke Anifowose, Bukola Adetula, Adedapo Adelegan, Odimayo and Mr. Kazim, a lawyer, reiterated their support for zoning during a tele-conference meeting moderated by another aspirant, Dr. Gbenga Abraham.

Abraham was tipped as the most saleable candidate in an opinion poll conducted by Atunse Foundation, based on 10 criteria. They are age, political background, experience, financial capability, acceptability, academic qualifications, consistency, philanthropy, marital status and party administration.

However, during the tele-conference, Olusola Oke, who is from the south, cautioned against zoning, saying the debate on it was academic.

An aspirant from the south, Ife Oyedele, did not participate in the meeting.

A serial contestant, Awodeyi, said zoning has its root in the convention, recalling that the governor was a product of zoning.

He added: “We are on agreement that the governor should come from the north so that whoever emerges can complete Akeredolu’s tenure.”

Kazim, a lawyer, said he wanted Ondo North Senatorial District to produce the candidate, urging other aspirants to make him the standard-bearer.

Adelegan said: “I reconfirm my vote for the north.”

Also, Adetula, a lawyer, said: “North is my choice.”

Echoing Awodeyi, Olayide, who also supported zoning to the north, said: “Whoever gets the ticket in the north should not spend more than four years.”

Odimayo described zoning as the most acceptable political arrangement that could foster equitable distribution of power and other benefits of democracy.

Anifowose said: “North please, for obvious reasons.”

However, Odimayo noted that the forum candidates cannot agree on a candidate.

He said: “They should go to the primary election.”

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