The governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State commenced exactly 2:00 pm on Monday with some aspirants shunning the venue.
Ife Oyedele, Segun Abraham and John Odimayo had earlier announced their withdrawal for Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN).
Among the remaining nine aspirants, only four turned up at the venue of the election as at 2:00 pm when the exercise commenced. They are Akeredolu, Isaac Kekemeke, Owolabi Adelami and Olusola Iji. Olusola Oke (SAN) arrived later.
The chairman of the election committee, Governor Yahaya Bello, announced commencement of the exercise, stressing that all aspirants have been given sufficient notice.
He said all of them were expected to be in attendance and insisted that the election would be completed by 12 midnight as planned.
Bello recalled that at an interactive session Sunday evening, the committee had a robust discussion with all aspirants, pointing out that after the meeting, none of them objected to the procedure and holding of the election on Monday.
His words: “We had an interaction with all aspirants and leaders of our great party in Ondo State yesterday (Sunday) evening. Our interactive session was smooth. So, we are all prepared for this election. After the interactive session, nobody objected to the conduct of this election.
“Aspirants have received enough notification. They are expected to be here. All agents are also expected to be here. Since we arrived here, we have inspected this venue of the election including the accreditation area in this dome.
Ballot papers are sealed. I have not seen how they look like.”
Delegates from Akoko North East Local Government were called first to cast their votes. The exercise was going on smoothly as at press time.