Akeredolu May Emerge APC Governorship Candidate In Ondo | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Akeredolu May Emerge APC Governorship Candidate In Ondo

APC; Ondo APC; Ondo Election
Posted: Apr 27, 2016 at 4:37 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Temidayo Akinsuyi, Lagos

Ahead of the November 26 2016 governorship election in Ondo state, indications has emerged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) may settle for Chief Rotimi Akeredolu as its flagbearer in the election.

According to Independent findings, though the party will conduct a primary election in order to ensure a level playing field for all the aspirants, majority of the party leaders in the state have unanimously endorsed Akeredolu as the best candidate to square up with whoever emerges the PDP flagbearer.

Akeredolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria contested the governorship election in 2012 under the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). He lost the election to incumbent governor, Olusegun Mimiko who ran under the banner of Labour Party (LP).

According to a party source in Ondo who spoke to Independent “the general impression amongst the people of Ondo then was that Akeredolu was an alien who only came to Ondo to contest. That was the propaganda used by the LP then. Also, there was the belief amongst some electorates that Mimiko had many uncompleted projects on hand at the end of his first term and should be allowed to complete them in his second term”.

He added that shortly after the election, Akeredolu permanently relocated to Ondo state and used the opportunity to connect with the grassroots, monitor the performance of the Mimiko administration and toured the entire local governments in the state to know the various challenges and how to effectively tackle them.

On the fate of the over 15 aspirants who have indicated interest in becoming the candidate of the party, he said most of the aspirants have seen the handwriting on the wall and some have tactically withdrawn from the race.

“ It will be like the case in Lagos State during the last general elections. The party leaders and many APC supporters wanted (Akinwunmi) Ambode. They believe he is best suited to continue where ( Babatunde )Fashola stopped. But some aspirants challenged that decision and chose to contest. What happened at the end of the day? Ambode won by a landslide and is now the elected governor of the state” he said.

According to him, Akeredolu’s major challenger is Senator Ajayi Boroffice, who currently represents Ondo North Senatorial District in the Senate. He however added that Boroffice is currently facing a backlash in Ondo owing to the recent action of his colleagues in the Senate over the purchase of state of the art jeeps while the country is facing economic challenge.

However, another party member who also spoke with Independent said the APC leaders in the state should avoid a repeat of what happened in 2012 where many aspirants left the party because they believed that Akeredolu was imposed on them.

“ The major reason why the then ACN lost in Ondo was due to the mass defections and internal bickering in the party over the emergence of Akeredolu. Some felt that he was imposed on them. We don’t want a repeat of that in 2016. Let there be a free and fair primary. Each of the aspirants must be given a level playing field and the best amongst them should be made the flagbearer of the party.

Speaking on the development in a chat with Independent, Akeredolu said he is not aware that he has been endorsed by the party. He however said he is ready to abide by any decision taken by the party in the interest of Ondo state.

“ I am not aware of the fact that I have been endorsed by the party leadership and supporters. I am just hearing that now. I have been touring the local government and wards in Ondo and the response I have been getting is massive. I am quite impressed that the people of Ondo are gearing up for the change that will berth in Ondo come November”.

“ The party is supreme. I have always believed in the supremacy of the party. Whatever the party asks me to do in the interest of the good people of Ondo is what I will do. Wherever they ask me to go, I will go” he said.

Efforts to get the reaction of the state chairman of APC, Isaac Kekemeke proved abortive as calls to his phone were not answered. Also, he did not respond to text message sent to his line.