BOROFFICE, ABAYOMI IN WAR OF WORDS OVER ONDO NORTH SENATORIAL SEAT

Boroffice: Nobody can stop me in Ondo North Abayomi: After eight years, your time is up
The candidate of All Progressive Congress (APC) for Ondo North senatorial district, Prof. Robert Ajayi Boroffice and his Action Alliance (AA) counterpart, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, have been exchanging hot words over the automatic tickets given to serving senators of the ruling party in the state. Both candidates, who are from the Akoko area of Ondo North, also disagreed on the chances of their parties, APC and AA in the February 16 National Assembly elections. While Abayomi said the gesture to the serving senatorsof the APC, Boroffice maintained that it is the prerogative of the party to give its ticket to whomever it wants. Boroffice, who said he was not given an automatic ticket as insinuated by his co-contestant, explained that it was the screening exercise embarked upon by the national secretariat of the APC that disqualified Abayomi and other aspirants. His words: “I was not given an automatic ticket. The party has criteria to say you are qualified or not.

I did not need a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate because I graduated before the scheme. I pay my taxes and I have tax clearances up to date. If you are disqualified on account of that, do you blame the sitting senator?” He boasted that he would coast home to victory as he stands a better chance than other candidates in the zone and that he is not bothered by the noise over the outcome of APC primaries as he has started his local government campaigns in the senatorial district.

“The Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) has been set up. As far I am concerned, I have started my local governments’ rally. President Muhammadu Buhari will get not less than 90 per cent in Ondo State. I am not new in the field; I am a veteran. Nobody, including the governor, can stop me from contesting. Even the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cannot stop me from winning. “Don’t forget that I am the Asiwaju of Akoko. I am the number one citizen in Akoko land. I have delivered dividends of democracy to Akoko land and Ondo North. Tunji Abayomi is my friend, but I am going to win hands down. INEC cannot stop me. As long as INEC conducts a free and fair election, I am going to win. Nobody can stop my victory,” he said. The AA senatorial candidate told New Telegraph in an interview that he has a brighter chance than the candidates of other political parties, including Boroffice. His words: “My chance is as good as that of any other person.

If you talk of the personality of the candidates, I am likely to score higher than the other candidates. If you talk about the political party, I will score less because we got a new outfit. If you talk about compassion for the people and general assessment, I will score higher than other competitors.

“The incumbent cannot stand on my way to the Senate. You must remember that he has been there for eight years and the general assessment is that he is not injured if a new person takes over. The general feeling is that he has tried his best in eight years and we should look in another direction.

“There is no other candidate who can present to the people, the record of commitment to their happiness in terms of making sacrifices. As a human rights activist, I am passionate about the wellbeing of the people. I am an activist, who not only stood up for something, but has made sacrifices for their happiness. I am a competitor with a mission. “Boroffice is not a human rights activist, he never went to jail for the people, he never confronted the military on the strength of belief in freedom. He may have some profile, but these are essential sacrifices without any expectation. “I don’t have a bitter feeling against Boroffice, he is actually a brother, we met some few days ago and some people were surprised about the relationship we enjoy.

The problem in my view is not that of Boroffice, the problem is that of a party that cannot obey its constitution. “The constitution of APC states categorically that a candidate can only emerge through a primary election. Even if you have a consensus, people must still vote to ensure that it is not an imposition that may cause a crisis. It is not about a person, it is about the system. The system is corrupted by ignorance.” On his party’s chances in the elections, he said: “AA is a child of circumstances and most people in APC understand that. I wrote to the governor because all possibility was blocked by this automatic candidacy, which does not exist in a democracy. We will score a whole lot of votes from APC. There are some people talking about party supremacy; that is nonsensical. The only thing that is supreme is the constitution.”

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