The Ondo State candidate of the Alliance for Democracy, Olusola Oke, got a legal reprieve in his quest to become the next governor of the state following the withdrawal of a suit challenging his entrance into the party and eligibility to contest the election.
This is even as the party on Monday formally handed Mr. Oke the flag to contest the governorship election on its platform come November 26.
The party had been embroiled in a litigation initiated by its National Legal Adviser, Kehinde Aworele, who opposed the candidature of Mr. Oke, asserting that the latter was not properly registered and was not qualified to hold the party’s ticket for the coming election.
He had argued that the National Executive Committee of the party did not meet to decide on Mr. Oke’s candidature.
“As at today, we have passed a vote of no confidence on the national chairman, national secretary and national auditor of the party and it is the NEC of the party that can make a change of that decision,” he was quoted as saying.
“We have said that Olusola Oke is not known to the party because he did not follow proper procedure of the party, so he is not even a member of AD.”
But speaking at the party’s campaign flag off for the governorship candidate, Mr. Aworele said his legal contention was a “misunderstanding” of Mr. Oke’s manner of entering into the party.
He said he had decided to withdraw the suit challenging Mr. Oke’s eligibility to contest on AD’s platform from the court and to discontinue the process.
“I went to court because we did not want anything that would affect the victory of our candidate,” Mr. Aworele said.
“We did not want a situation where there will be a petition against his eligibility after the election.
“So you can see that there is no crack in the walls of the Alliance for Democracy.”
While addressing the crowd, Mr. Oke said he was committed to revamping the moribund industries in the state as a way of providing employment for the teeming youths.
He also dismissed insinuations that he would reverse some of the good projects of the present administration, saying he would build on the good foundations laid by previous administration.
“Ondo State is transiting from poverty to prosperity,” he said. “I assure you, I have not come to destroy, but to build on the solid foundation of previous administration.”
He said all abandoned industries would be revived, asserting that he would cater for the welfare of the people and ensure prompt payment of salaries.
The national leader of the party, Mojisola Akinfewa, who addressed the crowd, called on the people of Ondo State to return to the party of their founding fathers.
He said a vote for AD was a vote for the Action Group and UPN, platforms on which late Obafemi Awolowo delivered legacies of development to the people of the south west.
Mr. Akinfewa assured that Olusola Oke would implement the policies of the AD effectively to the benefit of the masses.
The National Chairman of the party, Joseph Avas, urged Ondo people to return to their party, as returning to the AD was home coming.
He said the people should vote massively for the party, as the state would become the springboard for spreading AD to the rest of the south west states and entire country.