“How l emerged as the governorship candidate of ACN in 2012 in Ondo State was not an issue of imposition because all aspirants of the party then submitted themselves to a process,” he said on Friday, August 26, 2016, while speaking to journalists in Akure, the state capital.
“At meetings, all aspirants told the party leadership that we were all prepared to abide by whoever they chose as candidate. The party, ACN, did not conduct any primary. We had the leadership of the party who sat and used democratic process to choose who became the candidate.
“The leadership was not Sen. Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande alone, but we had governors and other leaders of the party. It was a collective decision of the leadership of the party then and nobody imposed me as the ACN candidate in the 2012 governorship election in Ondo State.
“I am against imposition of candidate, but when it comes to the issue of endorsement, I am not against endorsement. Let us know how endorsement operates outside. Let us look at the example of Hillary Clinton and Sanders, who ran under the Democratic National Congress in America (DNC).
“Barack Obama, as the President and Leader of their party, did not endorse Clinton until she became the presumptive candidate of DNC. That is what is expected of any leader. As a leader, l will not endorse any aspirant, more so when you have given your word to all the aspirants that you will not endorse anybody, and that anybody that wins the primary, you will support.
“Doing so as a leader, you are betraying the trust people reposed in you and it is condemnable when you are using the party apparatus to impose the aspirant you are supporting,” he added.
APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu has been criticized by a governorship candidate, Tunji Abayomi for supposedly endorsing another candidate, Segun Abraham and urging party members to help him win the election primaries.
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Abayomi also warned Tinubu not to repeat the same mistake he made in 2012 by selecting Akeredolu as his anointed candidate.
Meanwhile, the APC has postponed the Ondo governorship primaries from Saturday, August 27 to Wednesday, August 31, due to the rising tensions in the party.