Controversy Over Alleged Endorsement Of Akeredolu For Second Term In Ondo
Some stakeholders in Ondo chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have dismissed the insinuations that the party’s National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; former Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande; Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Kayode Fayemi; erstwhile governor of Ogun State, Chief Segun Osoba and others had endorsed the return of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu come next year.
The reactions followed reports that the leaders, who were in the state on Tuesday to placate aggrieved faithful at the instance the one-time National Vice Chairman of the party, South West Zone, Chief Pius Akinyelure, allegedly made a case for Akeredolu’s re-election bid. But Tolu Babaleye, a lawyer, who was part of the meeting, said there was nothing of such, just as another source close to the national leader dismissed the claim, stating that the delegation was in Akure to “reconcile all aggrieved persons as all the factions narrated their complaints, including the governor. It was never discussed that Akeredolu would or should be supported for a second term. We have not reached that level at all. Babaleye, who stood in for the lawmaker representing Ondo North, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, said three resolutions were arrived at, one of which was the dissolution of the current party executives to accommodate more members, especially the aggrieved faction.
The second, according to Babaleye, was for Akeredolu to put in place a caucus for the leadership of the party in the state to be led by him while lastly, he (the governor) should henceforth see himself as the leader and must be ready to accommodate others, which he agreed to, adding: “There was nothing like issue of support him for second term. He was told to forgive us while we were also urged to forgive him in the interest of the party. But it was learnt that the parley may have held to avoid a repeat of the Oyo debacle where the party lost the last governorship election. Another attendee, Pastor Bankole Oluwajana, said the essence of the meeting was to foster peace in the political grouping. However, another source said that there was nothing like Akeredolu’s endorsement though nobody complained that the governor had underperformed. It was learnt that the suggestion by the governor for ex-state chairman of the party, Isaac Kekemeke, to head the caucus was rejected. Efforts to reach Akinyelure and Chief Olusola Oke for comments were futile as they neither picked calls nor responded to text messages.