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Controversy trails Ajayi’s choice as Akeredolu’s deputy

By Oluwaseun Akingboye, Akure   |   04 October 2016   |   2:23 am
Rotimi Akeredolu

Rotimi Akeredolu

Oke’s exit is a good political riddance, says party
The crisis trailing the All Progressives Congress (APC) preparation for the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State seems to have no end.

While the rippling effects of the controversy surrounding the primary that threw up Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) as the party’s candidate is still reverberating, the choice of his deputy, Agboola Ajayi is raking up dust already.

Some leaders of APC in the State have spurned Ajayi’s candidacy on the grounds that it would spell more doom for the party.

They claimed that Akeredolu and Ajayi have filial relationship rooted in Kiribo, Ese-Odo Local Government Area of the state. According to them Ajayi is from the same town and Council Area with Akeredolu’s mother.

Besides, they argued that Ajayi has an ‘integrity baggage’ to contend with haven been allegedly indicted for certificate forgery.

Accordingly, Mr. Bola Ilori and Chief Samuel Ikujuminu, called on the party leadership to reconsider the choice of the deputy governorship candidate and substitute the name before the deadline allowed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

They contended that a non-review of the action would worsen the crisis rocking the party over the selection of Akeredolu as the candidate of the party.

“Even when the NWC just upheld the fraudulent primaries that produced Aketi, the nexus of fraud in the party is trying to perpetrate another fraud to enforce the initial fraud.

“And while we are still on the fraudulent primaries through fake delegates and delegates’ list padding, that produced Akeredolu as the candidate, another fraud is also being foisted on the party as the Deputy Governor,” Ilori asserted.

In addition, he faulted the integrity of the party’s Deputy Governorship candidate, alleging: “This is a man whose election was annulled by the courts for certificate forgery. Why do this people hate Ondo State APC this much, why would they cut their nose to spite their face just because of hatred for (Asiwaju Bola) Tinubu.”

On his part, Ikujuminu argued that there would definitely be problem for the party if two brothers were allowed to be the governorship and deputy governorship candidates of the APC in the election.

To enhance the chances of Akeredolu in winning the election, he posited that Ileoluji/Okeigbo/Odigbo Federal Constituency in Ondo South Senatorial District should produce his running mate.

“Support Ileoluji/Okeigbo/Odigbo for APC Deputy Governorship Position,” he stated insisting that justice, fairness and equity demanded that the zone should be given the slot.

The APC leader argued that Ileoluji/Okeigbo/Odigbo has the highest registered voters in Ondo South with 184,233 followed by Okitipupa/Irele with 156,275 while Ilaje/Ese-Odo has 171,490 votes.

He affirmed that the Federal Constituency ranks third in the state in terms of registered voters, adding: “Akure South/North has a total 302,888 voters while Ondo West/East has 188,307 with Ileoluji/Okeigbo/Odigbo having 184,233 registered voters.”

Meanwhile, the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Abayomi Adesanya, said that the defection of Chief Olu Oke to Alliance for Democracy (AD) was a good political riddance.

Adesanya noted that the party leadership, particularly those in the South West, never trusted Oke’s claim that he was done with the PDP, reckoning on “his past political antecedents and inordinate ambition … a leopard will never change its spot.”

The party chieftain said’ “that was why Oke was the first aspirant to raise an alarm over the governorship primary election and thereafter arranged his female cook and one of his family members to present themselves as fake delegates, allegedly used during poll in order to dent the free and fair poll.”

Adesanya bragged that APC would defeat Oke at his stronghold, which is believed to be the Southern Senatorial district, saying some credible politicians are already waiting for him to leave so that they could join them.

He empahised that Oke’s late defection in 2015 was motivated to cover-up many public atrocities, claiming that the people only know him as a political harlot who jumps around from one party to another.

“We are relieved that Oke has finally left our great party, we can now sleep with our two eyes closed. The fear of mole in our party has vanished; we can now hold political discussion without fear of betrayal.

Meanwhile the Senator representing Ondo Central Senatorial District, Chief Tayo Alasoadura has said that the crisis within the party was “regrettably disappointing,” but urged party members to remain calm and loyal.

The Senator, who expressed surprise at Oke’s defection, implored aggrieved members and leaders of the party to bury their hatchets and support the candidature of Akeredolu.

He said that though the process that led to the emergence Akeredolu might have aggrieved some party members, this was no time for internal wrangling, adding: “Now is the time to sink our differences and move forward as a united family to win in the November 2016 governorship election for our party. We will work so hard to see that all reconcilable are reconciled.”

“While my supporters and I appeal for calm and are ready to work with Akeredolu, we want to wholeheartedly plead with our leaders at the national level and more importantly our dear Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and all other concerned citizens to candidly bear with us and our idiosyncrasies in Ondo State.”

He lamented, “Some issues as presented by some members of our party are regrettably disappointing. They have engaged in making claims and counter-claims, which have greatly fictionalized the party thereby affecting the public perception of APC in Ondo State as if electoral processes in advanced democracies are perfect.

“Reflecting deeply on recent happenings within our party, we will see glaringly the extent to which we have embarrassed ourselves and equally brought our national leaders into ridicule as a result of our actions and utterances in pursuance of personal ambitions,” he stated.

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