Seven key aspirants vying for the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) gubernatorial ticket in Ondo State have expressed serious reservations about the party’s ongoing membership revalidation process. These aspirants, including prominent figures like Jimoh Ibrahim, Olusola Oke, Wale Akinterinwa, Diran Iyantan, Dayo Faduyile, Gbenga Edema, and Jimi Odimayo, have collectively raised alarms regarding potential threats to the fairness and credibility of the upcoming primary election.

Their concerns were formally communicated in a letter addressed to the APC’s National chairman, outlining various issues that they believe could disrupt the smooth conduct of the election. A major focal point of their unease is the alleged lack of transparency and openness during the revalidation exercise, which they fear could compromise the integrity of the party’s membership register.

According to the aspirants, despite significant financial contributions, including approximately N300 million in dues, certain genuine party members reportedly encountered difficulties in completing the revalidation process. This discrepancy has led to suspicions that individuals outside the authentic party membership circle might attempt to influence the primary’s outcome through irregular means.

Particularly concerning is the allegation that a specific aspirant has been involved in the mass production and distribution of fraudulent party membership cards. The aspirants assert that this scheme aims to disrupt the accreditation of genuine party members during the primary, potentially allowing unauthorized individuals to participate unlawfully.

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“We, the undersigned, are aspirants from the South senatorial district of Ondo State who have collected forms to participate in the forthcoming Ondo State gubernatorial primary election slated for April 20, 2024”, a part of the letter read.

Citing pertinent sections of the Electoral Act, the aspirants stressed the legal obligation for political parties to maintain credible and duly certified membership registers. They called for immediate intervention and corrective measures to address identified flaws in the revalidation process, emphasising the critical need to adhere strictly to lawful procedures to prevent potential legal and constitutional challenges.

The aspirants also urged the APC leadership to prioritise transparency, fairness, and strict adherence to electoral guidelines to ensure an outcome that is both credible and acceptable.