The All Progressives Congress (APC), Ondo state chapter, on Sunday debunked the allegation that it defrauded chairmanship and councillorship candidates of the party in last year’s aborted council election in the state.
A group under the aegis of Conference of APC Councillorship Aspirants had petitioned the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, against the state chapter.
In the petition, the group called for the refund of the money paid by its members to obtain forms for the local government election among others.
But Alex Kalejaye, state publicity secretary, described some of the allegations in the petition as harsh and unfounded.
Kalejaye said in a statement that following the announcement by the Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC) to conduct council election, the state chapter advertised sales of forms for interested aspirants.
He explained that many aspirants showed interest and obtained the Expression of Interest forms, indicating readiness to participate in the said election.
According to him, while the party was at the top of preparation for the election, the state electoral body said the date earlier set for the election was no longer feasible and postponed it.
“To keep the local administration alive, the State Government opted for a Caretaker arrangement, in which members were drawn from the aspirants that had obtained the Expression of Interest form.
“The State Chairman, Engr. Ade Adetimehin, later met with the entire aspirants that obtained the forms and assured them of the party’s readiness for local councils’ election once the electoral body shows green light.
“The State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, also granted audience to the aspirants, and assured them that the local government election would come up soon.
“We were therefore surprised at the attitude of the aspirants in disparaging the Government and the party in the State. We are of the view that loyal members of the party should be less boisterous while presenting their cases.
“Our duty is to ensure fair play; promote party cohesion, and work assiduously for the welfare, and interest of all the members. We have not reneged.
“We appeal to all the aspirants and indeed any other party faithful, to see the party as a structure that we must all join hands to build, and display much understanding in our dealings,” he said.