From Priscilla Ediare Ado-Ekiti

Sunday Akintunde, an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain and independent observer in the recent Ondo State governorship primary, has described the exercise as a “mockery of democracy.”

Akintunde expressed his disappointment in an open letter to the party’s National Leader, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, alleging that the primary fell short of best practices and was marred by financial irregularities.

“Nigerians see the APC as a beacon of hope and President Tinubu as a true Democrat who is ready to right the wrongs in the nation’s democratic processes,” Akintunde wrote. “However, as an independent observer in the just-concluded 2024 Ondo state primary election, I was saddened and bitter that the APC primary election was not conducted in wards and local governments of Ondo state.”

He claimed that figures were fabricated to favour the incumbent governor, with the election not being conducted in accordance with standard procedures.

“The collation centre was under lock and key, and the election materials were not made available to the aspirants’ agents throughout the 20th and 21st of April, 2024,” Akintunde alleged. “Figures were cooked and announced.”

Akintunde urged President Tinubu to intervene and save the party and the nation’s democracy, arguing that all political activities under the APC-led administration must reflect the “Renewed Hope Agenda.”

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He reminded Tinubu of his long-standing support for the party and his belief in Tinubu’s leadership.

“However, at the peak of the 2023 election, I can say categorically that most of my friends and associates became my enemies because of the undiluted love and belief I have in Tinubu,” Akintunde wrote. “I believed that when you become the President of Nigeria, you will take Nigeria to the promised land as exemplified by your excellent performance as governor of Lagos state for 8 years.”

Akintunde advised the President to ensure that future party responsibilities are entrusted to individuals of proven integrity.

“Nigeria has a lot of natural and human resources that can transform our country to a greater height and compete comfortably among emerging economy nations if we get it right from our political ideology,” he wrote. “Our national secretariat saddled with the responsibility of conducting our primary elections is polluted with money bag politicians bent on writing election figures to the highest bidders. It is high time sir, Your Excellency, you intervened before it is too late.”

Akintunde concluded by emphasising the importance of selecting popular candidates who can win elections, rather than relying solely on financial resources.

“As a matter of urgency, our party should stop putting square pegs in round holes and ensure performers and quality aspirants emerge as our party candidates, not moneybag politicians,” he wrote.