Dayo Johnson- Akure
GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state is jittery ahead of the public pronouncement of his suspension by the party’s National Working Committee NWC for anti-party activities.
He has consequently dashed to Lagos to make peace with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
” I am not in a position to tell you the reason for the visit, all I know is that Oga will be in Lagos later tonight”, an aide of Governor Akeredolu confided in Vanguard last night.
Also, Akeredolu according to sources in Akure would join other south-west governors to welcome President Muhammadu Buhari who is billed for a state visit to Lagos today.
Bold But Belated Step?
Vanguard gathered exclusively that he left Akure, the Ondo state capital yesterday by road after some notable leaders of the party including the immediate past national vice chairman of the party in the south-west, Pius Akinyelure intervened in the festering cold war between the APC national leader and Akeredolu.
Reports had it that he would denounce the statement by his aide, Otito Atikase who accused Tinubu and the party national chairman Adams Oshiomole of being the brains behind Akeredolu’s yet to be confirmed, but undenied suspension from the party.
Since Akeredolu saw President Muhammadu Buhari in company of the Ekiti state governor Kayode Fayemi after the last election, fresh moves to explain to the president, reasons for the APC dismal performance have been reportedly thwarted by the cabals at the Presidential Villa.
Vanguard learnt that the likes of Akinyelure impressed it on Akeredolu that the best bet for him was to make peace with Tinubu and other leaders and stop being heady.
It was gathered that some party leaders from the south-west would join him at Bourdilon, the residence of the national leader of the party.
Infiltrated Cabinet as Commissioners Set To Jump Ship
Meanwhile, reports had it that no fewer than seven commissioners are set to shift their allegiance from Akeredolu to an alternative candidate for the 2020 governorship election being groomed by the cabals in the Presidency.
The commissioners it was learnt do not want to sink with him ahead of the 2020 election and they have shifted their allegiances to other governorship aspirants who have infiltrated Akeredolu cabinet.
Vanguard gathered that since the suspension saga became public, the party former governorship aspirant, Dr Segun Abraham has started oiling his campaign machinery while another prominent party leader Olusola Oke and a loyalist to President Buhari, lfe Oyedele who is presently the Executive Director, Engineering and Technical Services of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company.
Oyedele and Abraham are banking on making two of the commissioners their deputies and the affected commissioners are recruiting other cabinet members to support them.
Two other commissioners are equally positioning themselves as deputy governorship aspirants to either Oyedele and Abraham using the religious card.
Sources said that Oke may be asked to step down for Oyedele who is the choice of the aides to the President while he may be given the senatorial slot in 2023.
Findings showed that the national coordinator of the APC House of Representatives members-elect Bunmi Tunji Ojo of Akoko North West/ North East Federal Constituency has been coordinating for Femi Gbajambila as speaker of the House of Representatives is equally eyeing the deputy governorship slot with Oyedele.
Oyedele was said to have been responsible for the upkeep of many of the commissioners who earn a paltry N296, 000 monthly salary.
A member of the House of Representatives elects told Vanguard that Oyedele gave each senatorial candidate in the state N2m each before the election was postponed and another N2m when the election finally held.
” Do you believe that when the governor dumped all the Senate and House of Representatives candidate somebody sent money to all the candidates because they were all stranded.
Vanguard learnt that he first gave N500,000 to each of the House of Representatives candidates before the election was postponed and another N1m each after while each of the House of Assembly members received N350,000.
He said; “Akeredolu did not give us a dime for the election, we were stranded financially. He only gave N2m to some of his loyalists during December to buy rice for the party members in our constituencies. Some candidates were even sidelined and were not given the money to buy rice.
” Ordinarily the Northern senatorial area of the state was expected to spend 8 years but Akeredolu has turned the entire North to Owo and the rest of the Akokos marginalised so why clamour for 8 years for Akeredolu when others are marginalised. We are not bothered if North is shortchanged or not; what we are after is a quality material who believes in the party, not himself and his family alone.
State APC Exco In The Eye of The Storm
Vanguard was informed that members of the state executive of the party are under pressure to dump Akeredolu to avoid being dissolved.
When contacted, the media team of the governor declined to comment on the suspension saga and the visit to make peace with Tinubu. Also, the party in the state said it would rather keep mum on the issue.
The Proxy Defence
But a group sympathetic to Akeredolu has described the suspension as a mere rumour.
The group under the aegis of The Campaign Concourse (TCC) said the news was a rumour sponsored by enemies of good governance who are not pleased with the developmental revolution the governor is presently leading in the state which has given birth to massive infrastructure, industrialization and grassroots development.
Its Coordinator, Amudipe Marcus pointed out that the NWC of the party has not issued any official statement from Abuja or anywhere around the world announcing the suspension of the Governor.
The group said ” It’s crystal clear that the purported suspension of the Governor was only sponsored by some detractors who are not happy with the development taking place across the state today.
The people of Ondo State stand with Akeredolu. The governor has performed so well that he has represented that party well in the state.