James Sowole in Akure
Indications that efforts of the South-west leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to reconcile aggrieved members of the party in Ondo State may have failed emerged on Saturday as most concerned leaders were conspicuously absent at a rally organised to show the end of the crisis.
The State Government on Saturday organised what it called â€˜Unification Rallyâ€™ meant to show that the aggrieved party had buried the hatchets as part of activities to mark the first year anniversary of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s administration.
At the rally held at the MKO Abiola Democracy Park located within the heart of Akure, the state capital, the suspended Chairman of the party, Mr. Isaac Kekemeke and his supporters shunned the rally.
Also, Senator Ajayi Borrofice of Ondo North, whose presence many people believed would have signalled the end of the crisis, was equally absent along with his supporters.
The remarks of Akeredolu at the rally further exposed that the crisis was far from being resolved. The governor, who commended those who stood by the party, declared that Kekemeke and his supporters should continue to fight and go their way.
Akeredolu said he knows only the acting Chairman of the party, Mr. Ade Adetimeyin as the authentic chairman in Ondo State.
â€œAdetimeyin is the only chairman of the party that I know. Another chairman is a counterfeit. Anybody that is not pleased should continue to fight and go their wayâ€, Akeredolu said.
The governor, who did not hide his position about Borrofice, said he does not know him but he knows only two out of three senators representing Ondo State.
â€œI know of two senators in APC in Ondo State, and that is Tayo Alasoadura and Yele Omogunwa. For me, those two have been supportive and I know Yele has other engagement somewhere. Senator Alasoadura has been supportive from beginning to the end. So, those are the two senators I know in APC in Ondo Stateâ€, he said.
Akeredolu for the first time broke his silence on President Muhammadu Buhariâ€™s second term ambition saying, â€œWe endorse Buhari and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for second termâ€.
The governor disclosed that the Buhari/Osinbajo campaign office would be opened soon.
â€œIt is not a tactics support. It is an open support; I am one of those governors that asked him to come. I am one of the governors that will give everything it takes for him to continue as president in 2019 .I am open and frontal about the second term”, he said.
The APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun congratulated Akeredolu for all he had been able to achieve in just one year. He enjoined the people of the state to continue to support the governor in order to achieve the set goals.