James Sowole in Akure
Following the reported suspension of the Ondo State Governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Special Duties and Strategy, Dr. Doyin Odebowale, Wednesday declared that the people of the state and the governor would not succumb to intimidation.
Odebowale, who blamed the current APC crisis in the state on the plan of some people to govern the state by proxy, said those accusing the governor of anti-party activities in the last general election were the architect of the situation in the state.
A former Commissioner for Regional Integration in Osun State and former Chairman of Alimosho Local Government in Lagos State, Mr. Bola Ilori had in a reaction blamed Akeredolu for the crisis that led to the defeat of the APC in the last election.
Ilori had alleged that the primary election that produced Akeredolu in the 2016 governorship election was fraught with irregularities, adding that the governor did not forgive those who did not support him in the primary that produced him as governor.
But Odebowale in a statement said Ilori and his sponsors laid the foundation for anti-party activities and was using their control of the APC at the centre to vilify their perceived opponents across the states in the country.
He said those that were against Akeredolu were doing so because of their belief that the control of the party at the centre is firmly in their grip.
“They are correct to a great extent. The party leadership at that level has been able to isolate and victimise all those perceived to be antagonistic to pernicious expansionist tendencies.
“Their hyper activities have never been for service; and the irrepressible people of Ondo State are acutely aware of the lie, freely bandied by these strange progressives whose sole motive for participating in politics is to gobble the people’s commonwealth.
He said that the people of the state are independent and know what is good for them at any point in time.
“It is the people of the state that would determine who govern them and would not succumb to those who have the expansionist tendencies to rule over territories outside their domains.
“Any true indigene, including some of us who hold an insurable interest in the progress of the state through an established degree of contiguity and residency, should work for her advancement.
“The people of Ondo State will be responsible for choosing their leaders. No foreign gods will be allowed to dictate to a land whose resources contributed, immensely, in the quest for the development and sustenance of the defunct Western Region. This point has been made consistently and repeatedly. They have left no one in doubt that they will do so again”, he said.