‘It’s only honourable we support Oke’s emergence’

Olanrewaju Kazeem, a lawyer, is one the aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) under the Unity Forum in Ondo State, He speaks with HAKEEM GBADAMOSI on the crisis that greeted to the choice of Olusola Oke as the choice of the group and why others should support Oke’s aspiration. Excerpts.


THE choice of Olusola Oke seems to be tearing the Unity Forum apart.  What actually happened?

I am one of the aspirants of the Unity Forum of the APC in Ondo State under the chairmanship of Alhaji Ali Olanusi. As an aspirant, I hail from the northern senatorial district of the state. We are two from the Akoko axis of the state, five people from Owo and three from southern senatorial district. The leaders of the group said we should not dissipate energy unnecessarily because the focus is to have one aspirant presented as consensus candidate from the Forum to engage the incumbent or any other person contesting the in primary. This is to make it easy for the aspirant presented by the Unity Forum to win the party’s ticket.

The aspirants held various meetings in Akure and Abuja. It was at the meeting we held in Abuja that Senator Ajayi Boroffice came out openly to tell us that he would not be contesting in the election and pleaded with all the aspirants to allow the Unity Forum to present a candidate that will win election for APC because we are not all happy with style of the incumbent governor. We invited the leader of the group, Alhaji Ali Olanusi to the meeting and he said if it would not be in the group if all the aspirants should participate in the primary. He stressed the need for us to come together and pick one of us because, without doing this, the results is very obvious and the purpose for which Unity Forum was established would be defeated. We all agreed to abide by the decision and outcome of the decision of the seven-man committee put in place by the forum. This is one of the reasons why I am standing with the decision of the committee, though I was not happy because I aspired to become the governor too. If I become the governor, I could still perform better than this present governor. At the end of the day, one of us was picked, Chief Olusola Oke. Everybody is not happy with Governor Akeredolu the way he is running the affairs of our state. I would have wished somebody from Ondo North (senatorial district) succeeds him during the 2020 election, but it is only honourable if we all support the choice of our Unity Forum.


But some aspirants have been kicking against the choice of Oke.

We all agreed to abide by the outcome of this process and I see no reason why we should be going back on our promise. My advice is that we should all accept the decision of the committee and support Oke who has been chosen. The seven-man panel voted on the day the decision was made, and six of the seven members were present at the sitting, and the six people voted,  four in favour of Oke and two  members voted for an aspirant each. If we really love this state and have the interest of the state at heart, if we don’t want all the exercise to be in futility, we must abide by the decision of the committee. We need to speak with one voice to dislodge Akeredolu during the party’s primary. Let us work towards same goal and we should all drop our personal ambition for the collective good of the people of the state.


But the secretary of the Committee said the choice of Oke should be disregarded, while the aspirants too are describing it as a ruse. What’s your take on this?

I have told you the gospel truth of what happened, though some people want the slot to be zoned to the north. Senator Boroffice is not an aspirant and member of the panel. So, I wouldn’t know how he knows what transpired. But I learnt that Ehindero also voted during the process and to come back to sing another tune is what I don’t understand. We must ask him questions why he decided to sing another tune after the process had been completed and Oke confirmed as the group’s choice.


Are you dropping your aspiration for Oke?

I belong to the Unity forum and subscribe to all its ideology. I have given my words during the process that I will abide with the decision of the committee and it will be wrong for me to turn my back on the promise I have agreed on. We are gentlemen and should not turn our back to our agreement. It should be followed. As for me, I don’t believe in do or die politics. I have spoken with virtually all the aspirants over the development, but one thing I don’t subscribe to is the idea of if it’s not me, it shouldn’t be any other person. It is bad and we can’t move forward with this attitude.  Let me also use this opportunity to warn against what happened in Zamfara State where our party with over 500,000 votes lost out and the PDP with over 100,000 votes is in power in that state today. Our leaders must seat down and do a direct primary for Ondo state election and must respect the outcome to avoid repeat of what happened in Zamfara.



Buy and read digital replicas of your TRIBUNE titles by subscribing through E-VENDING

Moon Not Sighted, Sultan Says Ramadan Ends On Saturday
Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has confirmed that this year’s Ramadan will come to and end on Saturday, 23rd of May, as moon for the new month was not sighted. This is according to a press statement signed by Professor Sambo Wali Junaidu, Chairman Advisory Committee on Religious… Read full story

Lagos Finalises Register- To- Open Guidelines, Set To Restart Economy ― Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State government has set the process of re-opening its economy in motion, with the rollout of Register-to-Open guidelines, saying the 4-page guidelines were the major part of the measures initiated to achieve phased re-opening of the state economy… Read full story

Buhari’s Executive Order Gives Financial Autonomy To State Legislature, Judiciary
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday signed an Executive Order granting financial autonomy to both legislative and judicial arms of states. It was tagged Executive Order No 10 of 2020 according to a statement by Dr Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations Office of the… Read full story

Reps Threaten To Prosecute MDAs Over Breach Of 2020 Budget
Following the submission of the revised 2020 budget proposal by President Muhammadu Buhari, the House of Reps on Friday warned that Federal Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to desist from tampering with the 2020 budget. The Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Hon. Muktar Aliyu Betara… Read full story

Ogun Govt Extends Lockdown By Another Week
Ogun State government has, yet again, extended the existing lockdown by another week. Gov Dapo Abiodun made this known while briefing journalists on Friday in Abeokuta. He maintained that the state was constrained to extend the lockdown for another week as it continued to record more cases of the Coronavirus… Read full story

Islamic Cleric Ordered To Return 16-Year-Old Girl He Married As 9th Wife In Ondo
An Islamic cleric in Odo State was on Friday, May 22, asked by a court to return a 16-year-old girl to her parents after he forced her into marrying him, thus becoming his ninth wife. The Islamic cleric, Alhaji Yusuf Lateef, was ordered by the Family Court based in Akure, the state capital, to return the secondary… Read full story

US Family Returns $1million Found On Street
A sheriff’s department in the US state of Virginia praised a family who returned two large mail bags they found in the middle of the road — filled with nearly $1 million in cash. Emily Schantz told local television station WTVR that her family was out driving when they ran over one of the bags… Read full story

COVID-19 Fears: Buhari Bars Sallah Visitors From Villa
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has said that he will be obeying the directive of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar that all Muslims in the country should observe Eid-el-Fitr prayers at home. He also asked politicians, religious leaders, top government officials and children not to… Read full story

Chinese Medical Team Not In Nigeria To Treat Coronavirus Cases, Says CCECC
The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) on Friday said the 15-man Chinese medical team has been carrying out its “assignment in Nigeria basically in an advisory role capacity and not treating coronavirus patients. In a statement released on the official Twitter handle of the company on Friday… Read full story

Nigerian Who Works As Nurse In UK Dies Of COVID-19 Because ‘He Was Not Given Adequate Protection’
The family of a Nigerian who works as a nurse who died from COVID-19 in the United Kingdom have claimed he had not been given protective equipment and was trying to buy his own on eBay. Father-of-two, Andrew Ekene Nwankwo, 46, died on May 16 after spending five weeks on a ventilator at Boomfield Hospital… Read full story

Yoruba Ko’ya Set To Promote Food Production, Others In South-West
A pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Yoruba Ko’ya Leadership and Training Foundation, on Friday, said it is resolved to propel knowledge-based entrepreneurship, food production, trading and vocational training among the younger generation and market men and women in the South-West geopolitical zone of the country… Read full story

History Of Abacha’s Theft Is Being Rewritten Before Our Eyes
In her historical fictional narrative titled “The Lost Sisterhood,” Danish-Canadian writer Anne Fortier quotes one of her characters as saying that “those who control the present can rewrite the past.” This is playing out right before us in what I called the curious posthumous deodorization of Abacha’s grand larceny in… Read full story

Trump Calls On Governors To Allow Places Of Worship To Open This Weekend
The United States President, Donald Trump, on Friday, demanded that states allow religious services to take place again this weekend, thus ending shutdowns that were part of efforts to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. Trump made the proclamation, which he phrased in the form of a verbal order, from the… Read full story

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. AcceptRead More