A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Mr Bola Ilori, on Thursday, attributed the crisis in the Ondo State chapter of the party to the alleged unforgiving spirit of the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu.
Ilori who stated this in a statement made available to a journalist in Akure, Ondo State capital, specifically accused Akeredolu of being the architect of disunity within the party in the state.
The former Commissioner for Regional Integration in Osun State said Akeredolu vindictive traits aided disharmony within Ondo APC, saying that “it was strange for a man that has become governor for years to still begrudging on an intra-party primary that preceded his tenure.
Ilori stated that Akeredolu was never the choice of party members in the 2016 gubernatorial primary election that produced him as the party’s flag bearer and said that the open exposure of the fraud that lined his way to the Government House was never at rest.
He recalled that the party’s Appeal Panel annulled the primaries that produced Akeredolu due to glaring fraud, stressing that the National Working Committee of the party never agreed to the emergence of Akeredolu but the Oyegun/Saraki conspiracy of that era, allegedly and unilaterally submitted Akeredolu’s name to INEC and allegedly mobilised huge funds for his victory to become an’ imposed’ Governor in Ondo State.
He said “Some of us could not stand such shenanigan led by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun. We followed the party’s internal mechanism, but it was unilaterally terminated by the then National Chairman.
“Subsequently, we left the party in the expression of our democratic rights on the platform of another party in the agitation against the clear injustice. We lost the elections.”
He said further “they appealed to all aggrieved against the gubernatorial election processes to drop all further agitation and return to the party and embrace unity. The Governor thereafter organised a unity rally and I attended.
”Chief Olusola Oke has since been working hard for the success of the party and was the South West Coordinator of the APC Presidential Campaign, while I, who was his Director General in the AD was the Chairman of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (Field Operations) Door–Door Campaign throughout the Country.
”Akeredolu’s anti-party activity would have been justifiable as a payback were it to be that their mischiefs were directed against either Oke or Ilori, but neither of us was on the ballot but President Buhari and our National Assembly candidates. So, it was deliberate sabotage against the fortune of the party.”
But the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Yemi Olowolabi, absolved governor Akeredolu, of causing disunity in the party, disclosing that the governor has been working round the clock to bring all aggrieved members together.
Olowolabi said the governor never failed to accommodate and embrace all those who defected to Alliance for Democracy (AD) at the wake of the 2016 governorship election back into the fold of APC.
He said Akeredolu had extended hand of fellowship to all aggrieved members of the party immediately he came on board in order to move the party forward.
But said “Ilori was one those who led the party into crisis by working for AD in the election. Even when Olusola Oke returned to APC and participated in the party, Ilori continues to cause disunity in the party.”
He queried, “So who is causing disunity? He has been staying outside to throw a stone and causing a crisis in the party.
Olowolabi, however, traced the crisis in the party to the next governorship election in the state, saying “One can understand that the election is here but I want to advise Ilori and others to come and join hands with governor Akeredolu and leaders of the party to move the party forward ahead of a future election.
“Nobody profits from disunity, we cannot continue to have a divided house and keep throwing stones. Let us come together to build a formidable force ahead of next election.