*Fayemi’s peace move fails * Tinubu seeks to be neutral for now
By Temitope Adedeji, Akure
As Ondo governorship election draws close, all odds seem to be stalked against Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in his re-election bid.
Almost on a weekly basis, the governor’s moves are met with a brickwall, the latest being his inability to resolve the differences with some political gladiators within the state and also secure the support of others outside the state, particularly that of APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
For instance, WESTERN POST learnt that Akeredolu’s ally and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi had on Saturday May 2, 2020 came to the state House in Akure in a bid to settle the rift between Akeredolu and two cabinet members believed to be powerful and who could truncate the chances of the governor to secure a second term.
It was, however, gathered that not much was achieved by Fayemi, who arrived Akure, Ondo State capital, in the evening of that fateful day, held the peace-making meeting till the early hours of the next day, Sunday.
Those who attended the meeting included the state’s Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi, Secretary to the State Government Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde and Chairman of APC in the state, Engr. Adé Adetimehin. In attendance was also Governor Akeredolu.
Governor Fayemi had two days before reportedly called to plead with both Agboola and Abegunde to attend the meeting.
Informed sources said at the meeting, Fayemi pleaded with the duo of Agboola and Abegunde to bury the hatchet and focus on how to make the second term ambition of Akeredolu possible.
But the meeting, as it turned out, was only a partial success. WESTERN POST learnt that, that same night, the deputy governor drove to Abegunde’s house to review what was discussed at the earlier meeting with Fayemi.
Sources said Deputy Governor Agboola is of the view that the Ekiti State governor played a trick on them by luring them into the Aketi re-election project when many issues are still burning and remain unresolved by Governor Akeredolu.
Meanwhile, SSG Abegunde had also allegedly demanded that Governor Akeredolu make available to him a large sum of money as palliatives for the people of his constituency which the governor reportedly turned down.
Akeredolu was said to have been irked by reports that the SSG was planning to dump APC for PDP in conjunction with the Deputy Governor.
The deputy governor, sources said, was alleged to have mentioned Abegunde to some PDP Governors as one of those who would decamp from the APC to PDP with him along with 13 other members of the state House of Assembly.
Outside the state, Governor Akeredolu was also said to have met a stonewall in Lagos a few days ago when he went to seek the support of the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, allegedly on the advice of Governor Fayemi.
It was learnt that what Akeredolu met was not what he bargained for. Asiwaju Tinubu was said to have pointedly told the governor that he would like to be neutral and not get involved in the process of picking any candidate for any state election for now.
The APC leader was also said to have added that the party members and ultimately the electorate would decide, adding that if they decide in Akeredolu’s favour, he would surely have his support.
The visit to Lagos was considered necessary, according to sources, after the calculation of Abuja support seemed to have collapsed following the passing of a top shot at the presidency believed to be a pillar of support for the duo of Fayemi and Akeredolu.
All obstacles are now swirling around Governor Akeredolu and he would need the mercy of God to surmount them.
Party members in Ondo are not happy with him for neglecting them not too long ago. The elders of the party are also divided over whether to support him or pick another person for the election over what they described as Akeredolu’s past neglect of them.
They fear that once he gets the party’s ticket and is re-elected for a second term, like a leopard who can hardly alter his spots, Akeredolu would abandon them again the way he did after his election in 2016 despite their unflinching support for him.