Ondo 2024: Edema emerges as NNPP governorship candidate

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Mr Olugbenga Edema, a former All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in Ondo State, on Wednesday, was announced as the candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) for the Nov. 16 governorship poll.

The News  Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Israel Ayeni, who won the party’s primary on April 26, voluntarily withdrew, paving way for his substitution with Edema.

At the substitution primary held on Wednesday, Edema, the sole candidate of the election, was affirmed by a voice vote by the 180 delegates across the 18 local government areas of the state.

The Chairman of the 2024 NNPP  Electoral Committee, Mr Ayeni Aladelusi, who announced Edema as the party’s candidate, said that there was a constitutional provision for substitution within a stipulated period.

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Aladelusi explained that following the withdrawal of Isreal Ayeni, the members resolved to substitute him with Edema, a tested politician and administrator, to fly the party’s flag.

Also speaking, Ayeni said that he withdrew his interest in the governorship race in the interest of the party.

In his acceptance speech, Edema thanked the  God for giving him the opportunity to present himself  to serve the people of the state.

He also appreciated the National Chairman, members of the National Working Committee, State Working Committee of NNPP and delegates for their support and confidence reposed in him.

“ I offer myself as your candidate and standard bearer for the Ondo State gubernatorial election coming up on the 16th November 2024.

“I accept the challenge, I accept the mandate freely and willingly granted to me today, and I promise not to ever look back,” he said.

Edema further said that the manifesto of the party aligned with his vision as encapsulated in the ‘Igbega Ondo’ manifesto.

The governorship candidate, who was one of the 16 aspirants that jostled for the April 20 governorship primary of the APC, stated that his vision was set on the “consolidation and sustainability lane for total development of the state.”

Edema, who decried the conduct and process of the APC primary poll in April, said that internal democracy was well rooted in the NNPP.

According to him, the purported primary election conducted by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on April 20 lacked internal democracy.

“This act of impunity should not be supported and be allowed to continue in our polity. It is trite that you cannot give what you do not have.

“ And as the saying goes “a house built with spittle will certainly collapse under the early morning dew”.

“The demise of APC is just around the corner like its sister, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from which it took over the reign of power.

“It is on this note that I hereby formally announce my resignation from APC forthwith.

“I hereby pitch my tent with the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), a truly progressive and people-oriented party,” Edema said.

He subsequently nominated Dr Rotimi Adeyemi as his running mate in the Nov. 16 governorship election in the state.  (NAN)

By Alaba Olusola Oke

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