*Endorsement pits Akeredolu against delegates
*Aspirants petition APC chairman
*It’s a lie—State Chairman
By Dayo Johnson
AKURE—FIVE Senatorial aspirants of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the Southern senatorial districts in Ondo State have kicked against the alleged imposition of the business mogul, Jimoh lbrahim, by the state party chairman, Ade Adetimehin.
The aggrieved aspirants include Morayo Lebi, Mayowa Akinfolarin, Ambassador Sola Iji, Boye Oyewunmi and Matthew Oyerinmade.
Speaking on their behalf in Akure, Ambassador Sola Iji specifically accused Adetimehin of canvassing supports for Jimoh lbrahim who is one of the aspirants in the race.
Iji expressed their dissatisfaction over the high handedness and direct involvement of the party leaders in the senatorial district campaigns ahead of the primaries of the party.
The aspirants specifically alleged that the Adetimehin openly canvass for Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim and have turned himself to the Director-General of Jimoh Ibrahim campaign organization.
Iji noted that despite all assurance from governor Rotimi Akeredolu that the party will ensure a level play ground for all aspirants, the leaders of the party have been polluting the political environment in the southern senatorial district, ordering delgates to vote for Ibrahim.
The aspirants, however, urged Governor Akeredolu and the National Chairman of the party to call the leaders to order in order not to cause disharmony in the senatorial district and distrupt the peaceful atmosphere the party has been enjoying in the area.
Endorsement of Jimoh Ibrahim pits Akeredolu against delegates
Similarly, Akeredolu had denied endorsing the billionaire, but the Governor met with members of his cabinet from Ondo South inside Cocoa Hall, Government House on Tuesday Evening to formally inform them that Jimoh Ibrahim is his preferred choice.
It was further gathered that majority of the delegates are not taking the threat of the Governor serious because neither the Governor nor the cabinet members have control over them.
The delegates have vowed to take their destinies into their hands.
Akeredolu is just wasting his time—Delegates
A delegate, who spoke in confidence, said: “Akeredolu is just wasting his time. The people have made up their minds. Since he became Governor, he did nothing for us. Now he is trying to impose another character that is worst than Akeredolu himself on us in Ondo South.”
Another delegate, from Ondo South, said: “Akeredolu is from Ondo North. He should mind his business. We thank God for the new electoral act that gave democracy back to the people.
“We are voting for those we know. We see Jimoh Ibrahim as a personal non-grata. He could have gathered more votes if he Campaigns on his own. For being endorsed by Akeredolu is a minus for him.”
Aspirants petition APC chairman
But the aspirants, in a petition addressed and forwarded to the national chairman of the party said: “Adetimehin is already biased by choosing to be a campaign manager for one of us, which is against the principle of natural justice, he therefore cannot be trusted because he will definitely try to influence the electoral officers to the favour of his preferred
“We the undersigned Senatorial Aspirants want to plead with the National Chairman, Senator Adamu Abdullahi and his executives to call the State Chairman to order by prevailing on him to stop his biases with immediate effect, and allow all aspirants to go about their campaign without his (Adetimehin’s) interference.”
“We also respectfully urge the state governor to call the State Chairman to order against his act of impunity and gross abuse of power, and to direct him to make a public retraction of his said antiparty activity which is capable of causing serious disaffection within the party.
“That his actions, if left unchecked, can cause disharmony in Ondo South Senatorial District. He should be told not to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere our party has been enjoying in state, particularly in Ondo South.
“That since he has been elected to hold the esteemed office of the party’s Chairmanship position in the state, he has been enjoying the needed cooperation and support from all of us and the deserved respect accorded him.
“We are still pleading with him to play the fatherly role he is elected to perform and remain neutral henceforth. Without prejudice, we are committed to upholding the ideals of our Noble party, and we will continue to pursue same until the party achieves its ultimate aims and objectives.”
It’s a lie—State Chairman
But reacting, the state Chairman of the party, Ade Adetimehin denied backing any of the aspirants from the area or any other part of the state.
Adetimehin said: “I am shocked and saddened by the false allegations against me. I have always conducted myself honourably and with utmost integrity.
“This is nothing but a lie from the pit of hell. I can’t do such a thing, the governor has assured all of a level playing ground and this is my position too.
“I am the Chairman and father of all, that is the role I am playing now, we are all working towards the success of the primary, those accusing me of that allegation are not being fair with me. I am a total party man and I am for all the aspirants. I am not bias neither am I supporting any of the aspirants.