The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday ruled out an automatic ticket for Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa ahead of the November 16, 2024 governorship poll in Ondo State.

It’s spokesman, Felix Morka, who spoke on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme, emphasised that there will be no preferential treatment.

Morka described the the ruling party as a democratic platform, adding any aspirant itching for nomination should earn it.

Aiyedatiwa, former deputy governor, succeeded his former boss, Rotimi Akeredolu, who passed on last month. He is believed to be eyeing the governorship ticket of the party.

Apart from the governor, no fewer that eight other aspirants are warming up for the primary.

They include Secretary to Government Princess Oladunni Odu, Finance Commissioner Wale Akinterinwa, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, Ife Oyedele, and Isaacs Kekemeke.

It is not clear whether the chapter will zone the ticket or throw the contest open for aspirants from the three districts.

However, the National Publicity Secretary clarified that the governor will not be given the right of first refusal ahead of the shadow poll.

He said: “We have not had that discussion, but we are a democratic party. W are a progress party; we don’t give anything to people. Pople have to justify and earn it.

“And it is not to us they have to justify their suitability, their qualification, or criteria. It is to the people of the state who are our members, who would participate in the direct or indirect primary.”

“Whatever preference anyone may have, it is all subject to the democratic decision of the party members who will participate in our primaries.

“We don’t give free gifts in APC; we contest and we compete and we win whatever it is we can get in terms of representation.

”Morka also said he cannot pre-empt whether the governorship ticket would be zoned in Ondo State or not, stressing: “We are yet to engage on zoning. We will explain to the people if and when we do that.”

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed the Ondo State Governorship Poll for November 16, 2024.

Aiyedatiwa, who will complete Akeredolu’s second term by February 2025, has the constitutional right to run.

But, as an observer asked: Can he get the support of the Akeredolu camp if he unfolds his bid and if he becomes the candidate, can he lead the party to electoral victory?

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