The crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo state, took a new dimension on Monday, as a group within the party, Ondo APC Mandate, alleged the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, and the party leadership of causing unnecessary division within the party in the state.
The Mandate group, specifically alleged Akeredolu of sidelining some members of the party during the last state congress, saying any member who is not a member of Aketi group within the party will not be seen as a bonafide member of Ondo APC.
Speaking on behalf of the group at a press conference in Akure, Ondo state capital, the convener of the group, Comrade Micheal Olorunfemi, called on the national leadership of the party, to urgently wade into the cold war in the state chapter of the party, in order not to affect the fortune of the party in the next general election election.
According to Olorunfemi, the crisis has disintegrated the party in the state alleging Governor Akeredolu of demarketing the political future of both APC and President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “In fact, as it stands in the state, Mr President cannot get 10 per cent votes from the Akeredolu-led government if things continue like this in the state.”
The group also alleged Akeredolu and his group of working against the direct primary option adopted by the party for the forthcoming election.
He said “Akeredolu has been seriously mobilising against the direct primary for the forthcoming party primaries. It is also an established fact that Ondo State governor has a strong alliance with tenure elongation of former Chairman John Oyegun due to his surreptitious plans of working against, political future of President Buhari.”
He said since the party had adopted direct primary for all its primaries in the forthcoming elections, Ondo state should not be an exception and urged the state leadership of the party to key into the direct primary option.
Olorunfemi attributed the crisis that emanated from the state congress of the party to the hijack of party structures by the Aketi group while some members of the APC in the state were sidelined, saying “virtually all the secretly elected congress members in APC are members of the so-called Aketi group ”
The group also frowned over the style of governance of Akeredolu, noting that things are not working in the state, saying the performance of the governor might affect the chances of the party in the next election.
They however called on the national leadership of APC led by Adams Oshiomhole to quickly wade into the matter by calling the party leadership to embrace and accommodate all members by calling a peace meeting which will eventually lead to an all inclusive government.
“The party is at war with itself. If APC should have its bearing right, we will win the forthcoming election, but if APC is in this present shape, nothing tangible will be achieved by the party,” Olorunfemi said.
However, the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Alex Kalejaye, denied any crack in the ruling APC in the state, saying members of the party in the state had been working together as one big family.
Kalejaye said the leadership of the party in the state has been moving round the state to ensure peace and stability in the party and to ensure victory for Buhari in the next year general election.
He said: “I am not aware of any crack in the soul of the APC in Ondo State. The State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has so far appointed men and women of integrity into the government based on their contributions to the party, and ability to deliver.
“You will agree with me that it is impossible for every dedicated member of the party to be appointed at the same time, considering the limited resources available.
“Our appeal, therefore, is for leaders and members of our party to be patient with the administration.
As long as we are in one accord, and remain in power, chances are that those that have not be patronised today would take their soonest.
“We only need to stay together and work for the success of the party in future elections. The welfare of our members and development of the State are not negotiable”