Temitope Adedeji Akure.
To whom much is given, they say much is expected. This saying does not go dawn well with the All Progressives Congress (APC) in ondo state as the leaders and party faithfuls distance selves from the government of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu since assumption of office in February 2017.
The leaders of the party in Ondo State worked in the last election to wrestled power from the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), under the leadership of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, who ruled the state for eight years conveniently, but which the APC have fallen apart that the centre may not hold. All the contestants with Akeredolu are no longer in the party even those that are in with him are in logger heads with the administration.
Chief Segun Abraham, who contested primaries with him is in court challenging the candidature of Akeredolu as party candidate. Also, senator ajayi Borroffice representing ondo north senatorial is not in talking terms with the governor. The senator representing ondo central , chief Tayo Alasoadura, also keeping arms length with the state governor. Chief Olusola Oke, left the party for Alliance for Democracy AD during the last governorship election in the state and many others.
However , in what could be perceived as solution to the problems on ground,leaders and critical stakeholders across the 18 local government areas of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the state passed a vote of confidence in the leadership of Hon Isaac Kekemeke as the authentic chairman of the party in the state.
Kekemeke, who was suspended and removed as the party chairman few weeks after the Governor was swore in into the office.
However, on the assumption of office as the executive governor of the state, Akeredolu could not hide his feelings towards the chairman over some allegations that was levied against him before, during and after the November election , a three man panel was set up headed by Hon. Saka Yusuf Ogunleye, the now Commissioner for youths,to sack the the chairman from office on the premise that he supported another candidate.
Days after days, the party began to sink as supporters of other candidates from the party were openly pushed aside and sidelined in scheme of things in terms of appointments. The Governor only gave opportunities to the two major camps that supported him. The camps of the Secretary to the state government, Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde and that of his Deputy, Hon. Agboola Ajayi.
This in-balances gave no hope to the leaders of the party who all worked for the victory of the party in November 2016 that ushered in Rotimi Akeredolu as the 4th executive governor of the state on the platform of the APC.
In the quest to show that he has not forgiven those that failed to support him during the party primaries in Akure, during the southwest national conference held in the state capital , Hon. Bola ilori.,an indigene of the state, who is also a serving commissioner in osun state, was beaten blue black and stripped naked in the public. These and many others prompted the leaders of the party in the state to stay away from the administration since the inception, not until when the conference of the concerned party faithfuls across the state was convened at the house of the embattled chairman of the party at Alagbaka GRA in Akure to find a lasting solution to the lingering crisis before it degenerates to something else most especially that elections are fast approaching in 2019.
In the meeting held,the party stalwarts on Monday expressed support for president Muhammad Buhari led federal government and promised to stand by the party at all times.
The party leaders unanimously agreed to grant unconditional amnesty to party members that express their grievances by contesting the 2016 governorship election under other parties following the fallout of the party’s primary election and called for truce within all aggrieved members and forge common front at restoring the glory of the party in Ondo state and Nigeria in general.
According to the resolution passed “We are very conscious of the need to deliver more votes to president Buhari more than we did in 2015. Although we thank God that we still won the 2016 gubernatorial election but the huge reduction in the votes scored by APC in the election has taught us the need to bring everybody on board for the good of APC in Ondo state. Therefore, all members that left the party in annoyance or became less active in the party because of the fallout of the last gubernatorial election are hereby invited to return home to their party and are hereby granted unconditional amnesty with full rights and privileges as obtained before their brief departure” Kekemeke said.
The embattled state chairman also called on all the major aspirants in the controversial primaries to close ranks in the interest of the parties. “We are specifically calling on Senator Borroffice, Dr Segun Abraham and Chief Olusola Oke to come out strong for APC henceforth, our disagreements are now in the past and it’s our collective duty to build a vibrant party”. “Who is not proud to have Bola Ilori and the likes of Chief Aiyegbusi in our midst today, these are the conscience of the party the state has known for a long time, we are expecting Chief Olusola Oke, Dr Abraham and many other heavyweights of the party to join hands for the growth of our collective party”
They commended the peaceful conduct of the party chairman, Hon Isaac Kekemeke during the trying period and his doggedness at stabilizing the party before and after the 2016 election in Ondo state.
Speaking after the meeting, the senator representing Ondo north senatorial district, professor Ajayi Borofice, lawmaker representing Idanre/Ifedore federal constituency, Hon Bamidele Baderinwa and Osun State Commissioner for Regional Integration, Hon Bola Ilori all agreed to put their differences behind them and work for the victory of the party in the 2019 general election.
Senator Borofice noted that the meeting became imperative in view of the need to reposition the party ahead of the forthcoming election and make the party formidable.
The senator said “I can assure that this meeting we started will go a long way in helping the party in its future endeavours. We also repose confidence in Hon Kekemeke led executive committee and am not aware of any other chairman”.
On his part, Hon Baderinwa noted that the meeting was borne out of the need to correct every imbalance being experienced in the APC in Ondo state.
“we will ensure that the interest of party members are prioritized and every member treated accordingly for the betterment of the party “.
Addressing the meeting, state of Osun Commissioner for Regional Integration Hon Bola Ilori noted that members should forget the past and mobilize members even from the grassroots.
“the election has come and gone, let’s leave all the dramas behind us and look for an avenue to reunite all our members in the best interest of all”.
“We have all one way or the other that we felt hurt on all sides to the controversy, we were aggrieved and genuinely so, but that’s over now, either we like it or not Governor Akeredolu is using our party, APC, ticket, so he remains our governor and we must not let his administration fail in the interest of the party. I say this not because I need an appointment in his government as I already have the highest appointment I could aspire to under his government from another APC government, but our support for the government becomes imperative to bring the enormous number of competent hands that left the party back to support and ensure the success of the government and reduce the current level of complaints against the current APC government in the state Ilori said, “Ilori praised the national leaders of the party that have also directed all and sundry back to APC.
The APC leaders also used the meeting which has more than five hundred elders and leaders in attendance to express belief in the leadership of the National Leader of APC Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the South West Chairman of the Party Chief Pius Akinyelure.
The question now is, if the storm does not stop, where will it lands?