A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Isaac Kekemeke, has threatened that the ruling party will maximise the power of the federal government for the October 10 governorship election in the state.
By Adejumo Kabir
Mr Kekemeke was one of the aspirants who contested in the APC primary that produced Governor Rotimi Akeredolu as the party’s candidate for the October 10 election. He is also a former chairman of the party in Ondo.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Akeredolu recently resolved his differences with Mr Kekemeke and other APC aspirants that challenged him in the primaries.
Mr Kekemeke spoke in a viral video published by Sahara Reporters while meeting with his supporters. He said the party will ‘beat’ the opposition using all means.
He also criticised the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Eyitayo Jegede, for alleging that his banners were destroyed by APC thugs.
“We will use all those loyal to us to win this election at all costs. Eyitayo (Jegede) is only crying foul that they tore his posters in town. He has not seen anything yet.
“Governor Akeredolu is the one currently battling with him. By the time the Federal Government comes to the state for the election, he will run away… He (Jegede) cannot even withstand Yahaya Bello. I’m a militant with Niger Delta blood and we will give in all that cost”.
“We all should come together and ensure that we beat them in all local government. So, there is no room for them,” he said in the video.
Mr Kekemeke did not respond to PREMIUM TIMES calls and text messages seeking clarification on what he specifically meant by his statement.
However, in Nigeria’s political parlance, the use of federal government’s resources, or federal might, in an election means the use of federal resources like security agencies, election officials and funds to back the candidate supported by the federal government.
The two parties that have controlled the federal government, PDP and APC, have both been accused of using federal might in separate elections while in office.
The APC is Nigeria’s current ruling party and federal officials have been accused of playing unprofessional roles in elections in states like Rivers, Kogi and Bayelsa.
The video of Mr Kekemeke comes a few days after a former chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, was caught in another video discussing the “arrest” of unnamed persons with the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, in relation to next month’s Edo State governorship election.
The presidency has, however, said the men were simply discussing how to avert violence and ensure a peaceful election.
Nigeria has a history of violent elections with dozens killed in recent governorship elections in the country.
For the Ondo election, although the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said there are 17 candidates from different political parties running, there are three major contenders.
They are Mr Akeredolu of the APC, Mr Jegede of the PDP and Agboola Ajayi of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).