Ondo 2024: Edema emerges as NNPP substitutes governorship candidate

Barrister Olugbenga Edema on Wednesday emerged the candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party( NNPP) for the Nov. 16 governorship poll in Ondo State as the party substituted its candidate for the poll.

The News  Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) reports that the former candidate of the party, Mr Israel Ayeni, who won the party’s primary on April 26, had voluntarily  withdrawn his candidacy in the race paving way for a substitution.

Edema, being a sole governorship  aspirant of the party, was elected through a voice vote by the 180 delegates of the party across the 18 local government areas of the state. 

The Chairman of the 2024 NNPP  Electoral Committee, Mr Ayeni Aladelusi, who announced Edema as the party’s candidate, said that there was a constitutional provision for substitution within a stipulated period. 

Aladelusi added that the former candidate of the party felt that there was need for better hand to carry out the candidacy of the party, adding that Edema was known for a success.

Also speaking, the former candidate of the party said that he withdrew his interest in the race, considering the interest of the party to use a more mature person having listened to the party’s leadership at the national and state level.

In his acceptance speech, Edema thanked the  God for giving him the  opportunity to yield himself  to be able to serve people of the state.

He extended his appreciation to the  National Chairman and all the members of the National Working Committee and the State Working Committee of NNPP and delegates  for their great support, and for the confidence reposed in him.

“I would like to congratulate the National Leader of the party. His Excellency, Distinguished Senator, Dr Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso,  the Mandugu of Nigeria politics, for leading this great party through the process of conducting a seamless, rancour-free congress to elect the candidate of the party for this gubernatorial election, of which I am the chief beneficiary. 

“This is the hallmark of good leadership. May the good lord continue to enrich you with wisdom and strength in this journey. Amen.

“ I offer myself as your candidate and standard bearer for the Ondo State  gubernatorial election coming up on the 16th November 2024. 

“I accept the challenge, I accept the mandate freely and willingly granted to me today, and I promise not to ever look back,” he said.

The governorship candidate said he had studied  the manifesto of the party which had been skilfully put together by some great minds,adding that  it aligned with his vision as encapsulated in the ‘Igbega Ondo’ manifesto.

Edema, one of the 16 aspirants that vied for the April 20 governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress ( APC), stated that his vision was  seit on the “consolidation and sustainability lane” for total development of the state. 

Edema, who decried the conduct and process of the APC primary poll in April, said that internal democracy was well rooted in the NNPP.

“It is in the public domain that the purported primary election conducted by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on 20/04/2024 for the selection of its gubernatorial candidate for the 16th November 2024 election is lacking in these attributes and as such cannot be described as democratic. 

“This act of impunity should not be supported and be allowed to continue in our polity. It is trite that you cannot give what you do not have. 

“ And as the saying goes “a house built with spittle will certainly collapse under the early morning dew”. The demise of APC is just around the corner like its sister, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from which it took over the reign of power.

“It is on this note that I hereby formally announce my resignation from APC forthwith. I hereby pitch my tent with the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), a truly progressive and people-oriented party. This is a party for the immediate future. I ‘don port o!.’,” he stated. 

Edema said his candidacy in the NNPP was a notice to quit to Gov.  Lucky Ayedatiwa and APC that  effective from  Feb. 24, 2025, the Government House, Alagbaka would no longer be available for their use.

He added that with NNPP, “ we are providing a more veritable and people-oriented government to all the good people of Ondo State as captured in our manifesto which would be made available in due course.”

Edema, therefore, picked Dr Rotimi Adeyemi as his running mate.