Scramble for Akeredolu’s running mate polarises Unity Forum
• as APC youth calls for direct primary
Ahead of the next Monday governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo state, some of the aspirants jostling for the ticket of the party have been making move to settle as the running mate to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu after the primary.
Tribune Online gathered that some of the aspirants have been talking with Akeredolu on the possibility of other gov conceding the deputy governorship slot to their group, indicating that the aspirants have given up on their ambition.
It was gathered that the camp of the Unity Forum led by the former deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, which was against the reelection of Akeredolu has been polarised with some of the splinter group agitating to produce the deputy governorship candidate of the APC.
A credible source close to one of the leaders of the Unity Forum confided in our reporter that already, talk on the possibility of Akeredolu conceding the deputy governorship slot to the group have commenced in order to pacify members of the group who are aggrieved.
It was, however, unclear if the governor was considering any move to accept the proposal on the issue, but the source disclosed that the consensus candidate of the Unity Forum, Olusola Oke has sent an APC chieftain from Odigbo to the governor to explore the possibility of concessions, while the deputy Senate leader, Ajayi Borofice is said to have instigated proxy negotiations with the Governor.
He said “From Tuesday, we knew where they were going. The governors have made it so clear that they want one of their own, Akeredolu to return as governor.
“But unlike previously when some openings were possible in terms of other platforms, it is difficult because making any move to defect to another party means taking a big risk since this is an off-season election.
“I know of course that our man, Oke, had cleverly sent someone to him but from all indications, the governor appears battle-ready for an all-out fight without giving room for concessions in any form.
“I’m also aware that our patron, Senator Borofice has been mulling the idea of presenting Jimi Odimayo as possible running mate but it not our collective idea so it won’t fly.
“The fact that the senator endorsed Jimi before now has even rubbished the idea because if he is actually our leader, he ought not to have single-handedly, endorsed Jimi against our popular choice, Oke.
“So for him to go ahead and make proposals without c0nsulting others to work nocturnally for Jimi to run with Aketi means nothing good to us; it is unacceptable”, he said.
Meanwhile, a youth movement in the state, known as Coalition of APC youth in Ondo state has advised the National Caretaker Committee of APC against adopting Indirect primary in the state.
The youth who stated this after a meeting Akure expressed concerns that APC can only win the next gubernatorial election in Ondo state if the party adopt a direct mode of the primary.
Speaking at the event the leader of the group, Oladimeji Akande said the party must provide equitable opportunity for all its aspirants if it desires to win the next election.
” Indirect primary will not help APC in Ondo to win an election. Other aspirants have made it known that the delegate election held in May 2108 was done by the people in government alone. They wrote the names of the executive in the offices. Therefore it could not have been the delegate Congress of the people and majority of the party members and leaders”
” We advise the leaders to adopt direct primary in other to give all the aspirants level playground”