Ondo 2024: APC gov aspirants draw battle line with Ayedatiwa, shun stakeholders meeting

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

This is certainly not the best time for the Ondo state chapter of All Progressive Congress, APC as some governorship aspirants under the platform of the ruling party drew a battle line with the state governor, Mr. Lucky Orimisan Ayedatiwa.

One of the signs of a serious battle line between Ayedatiwa and other governorship aspirants of the Ondo APC was the deliberate absence of the aspirants at the stakeholders meeting which the governor called for yesterday.

The meeting which had the attendant of the the excos of the party led by Chairman Adetimehin, APC state lawmakers led by Speaker Oladiji and the Ondo state Excos led SSG Oladunni Odu was to discuss a way forward prior to the forthcoming primary election.

Although, Governor Ayedatiwa pleaded for a level playing ground and transparent governorship primary election, some of the aspirants who didn’t attend the meeting said the governor has started making plans to hijack the party’s delegates in order to get the ticket.

Two of them who spoke anonymously said Governor Ayedatiwa had pocketed both the state and national chairmen of the party, Engineer Adetimehin and Alhaji Ganduje. He was accused to have given an undisclosed amount of money to the duo in order to manipulate whatever delegate list is brought to the national secretariat of the party in Abuja.

They said the party leadership is already planning to give Ayedatiwa a smooth run even though they had “deceived” the public that there won’t be an automatic ticket for the governor.

Meanwhile, aggrieved governorship aspirants who didn’t attend the meeting were Chief Olusola Oke, Hon. Wale Akinterinwa, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, Rt. Hon. Mayowa Akinfolarin, Mr Gbenga Edema, Jimi Odimayo and Olamide Ogunyeye.

Other that were absent were Interior minister, Bunmi Tunji Ojo, Youths Development minister (State) , Mr. Ayodele Olawande, National vice chairman of the party in the South West, Isaac Kekemeke and all the national assembly members except Rt. Hon. Abiola Makinde.

Their grievance according to sources is that the governor is making plans to manipulate the delegate list in order to pave a way for himself to be the party’s flag bearer in the November, 2024 governorship poll.

However, they are claiming that they weren’t invited to attend the stakeholders meeting with Governor Ayedatiwa but the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Ebenezer Adeniyan disclosed that all the stakeholders of the party including the aggrieved aspirants and leaders were invited through their respective local government chapters of the party.

In his explanation, Chief Sola Oke told our reporter that he only saw the invitation on his phone at 2pm yesterday, Monday whereas the meeting had already started at 11am.

Oke wondered why such late invitation was sent to him. He said that he was already in Abuja for an important meeting at the time the late invitation got to his phone.

Apart from Oke, another governorship aspirant from Ondo South Senatorial Zone, Mayowa Akinfolarin while stating the reason behind his absence said that he was not invited at all, stressing that it was not possible for him to attend a meeting he was not invited to.

Also, an aide to Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim who doesn’t want to be mentioned said that the senator is too busy to be attending a meeting where party members would be deceived. The Aide pressed further that Jimoh Ibrahim wasn’t invited the same way he wasn’t being invited to state functions since the late governor, Rotimi Akeredolu took ill.

Some of them have however decided to actualize their governorship ambition in the Social Democratic Party, Alliance for Democracy, Labour Party and the Zenith Labour Party if Ayedatiwa secures the APC gubernatorial ticket at the forthcoming primaries of the party.

Although, Mr. Abbass Mimiko a younger brother to a former governor of Ondo state, Dr. Segun Mimiko is already in the picture as the possible candidate of the Zenith Labour Party, he Wil be asked to give the ticket to Chief Sola Oke while he is made his running mate.

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