Day  Progressive Governors Declare  Support For Akeredolu | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Day  Progressive Governors Declare  Support For Akeredolu

Rotimi-Akeredolu
Posted: Nov 16, 2016 at 7:15 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Temidayo Akinsuyi 

Lagos –  True to Independent findings, the state governors elected under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have shown solidarity with one of their own, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), who is the party’s flagbearer in the forthcoming Ondo State governorship election slated for November 26.
Expressing worry over what they termed brazen display of anti-party activities in the state following the disputed governorship primary that produced Akeredolu as the party’s flagbearer, the governors not only frowned at that, but also pledged to join forces to mobilise the electorates to vote for the party at the polls.

There has been a sharp division in APC following the outcome of the September 3 primary that produced Akeredolu as winner. While some aspirants such as Tunji Abayomi, Senator Tayo Alasoadura hailed his emergence, others such as Olusola Oke and Segun Abraham, the aspirant endorsed by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, one of the party’s national leaders, rejected it.

While Oke has since defected to the relatively unknown Alliance for Democracy (AD) where he is now the party’s flagbearer,  Abraham is in court challenging the outcome of the primary, while Tinubu is rumoured to have instructed his supporters to support Oke while also pledging logistics and financial support.

Led by Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, Independent learnt that the governors last weekend decided to speak with one voice and show solidarity with Akeredolu so that the party may emerge victorious at the poll.
It wuld be recalled  that during the flag-off of the party’s campaign last week where the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun presented the party’s flag to Akeredolu, aside Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, other APC South West governors loyal to Tinubu were absent at the rally. They include Governors Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos, Rauf Aregbesola of Osun and Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo.

According to a credible source that was privy to happenings in the Progressives Governors Forum, “The governors are not happy with the developments in Ondo. We have cases where some APC members are declaring support for a candidate of another political party while there are reports that one of the leaders of the party has given instructions to some party members and leaders to work for the candidate of another party and even promised them financial and logistics support.
“While the governors agreed that the APC, as a fledgling political party, will have its internal issues, they believe it is the height of indiscipline for party members to declare support openly for another party candidate. That is the height of treachery and indiscipline and they felt an urgent need to address it.”

On why Aregbesola, Ambode and Ajimobi are hesitant in supporting Akeredolu, our source said: “I believe they have nothing personal against him. They are only being careful not to offend Asiwaju Tinubu who has not taken a definite position on whom to support, though rumours are rife that he is throwing his weight behind Olusola Oke.”
To back their words with actions, Okorocha, Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum,  stormed Akure, the Ondo State capital, on  Tuesday  with his entourage where he met with Akeredolu and pledged the governors’ support for him. He also said that all the leaders would meet the aggrieved party members to resolve all their grievances.
The governor, while speaking with journalists, also said contrary to the impression being created that  Tinubu and the governors decided to stay away from the flag-off ceremony as a way of registering their displeasure with Akeredolu, all the party leaders, including Tinubu, are behind Akeredolu and are committed to delivering Ondo State to the APC.
He explained that there was no division among the leaders of the APC over the emergence of Akeredolu as the party’s governorship candidate in Ondo State.

He however said though the party is not jittery about its chances of winning the election, it is concerned about the spate of defection in its Ondo State chapter following Akeredolu’s emergence governorship candidate.
He said: “We are not jittery, but we are concerned. We are not happy that we are losing some of our illustrious members of the APC. I will call on them to please make haste and come back.

“Those who are aggrieved by any means should please come back. Sometimes, it is about communication. If the right communication was dispatched, I don’t think this would have happened. Everybody is still with him (Akeredolu), Bola Tinubu is still with him, the Ogun, Osun, Lagos, Oyo governors are with him. The problem is that, like in all families, we have a communication gap. We are all together and by the grace of God, Ondo State will be APC-compliant.”

Okorocha, who also met with Igbo community in Ondo State, also appealed to them to vote for Akeredolu come November 26.
“The Igbo people will support him, not because he is our in-law, but because he is a good man. The PDP and the AD candidates are strong. But I know we will win.”
On his part, Akeredolu, who said he has mended fences with stakeholders who felt aggrieved about the primary, said Tinubu has accepted the outcome of the primaries that produced him.

“Since the primaries, you would see that as a leader of the party, he (Tinubu) has not said anything about it. He has accepted the primaries, and we are moving on. So, I don’t have any rift with him at all and we are moving on,” Akeredolu said.
Also speaking, a former Interim National Chairman of the APC Chief Bisi Akande, at the weekend said he did not shun the campaign of the party for its Akeredolu, contrary to reports in the media.
Akeredolu had also met Akande shortly after the primary, where the former Osun State governor gave him his blessings to emerge victorious at the polls.
Akande, who spoke through his media aide, Mr. Lani Baderinwa, in a statement, said he had been going abroad for medical treatment for some time, adding that he decided to stay away from stress in line with the advice of his doctor.
“Chief Bisi Akande has no reason to shun APC campaigns and rallies in Ondo State because every APC aspirant that contested the governorship primary in September had always been his close associate and knew so well that he (Bisi Akande) is being treated from one hospital to another in the United States, United Kingdom and Nigeria since last April.
“He, according to medical advice, is being asked to take things easy in the time being. Despite that, as an APC leader, he has been working behind the scene to reconcile differences among the warring tendencies in the party.”