The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has reacted to allegations that he was in cahoots with some governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to remove the party’s national chairman, Adams Oshiomole.
While denying any involvement in any attempt to remove the former Edo State governor, Akeredolu accused Oshiomhole of exhibiting incompetence in the handling of the party’s recently concluded primaries across the country.
In a statement by his Senior Special Adviser on Special Duties and Strategy, Doyin Odebowale, Akeredolu said APC primaries exposed the incompetence of Oshiomhole. He described the exercise as a “political charade” and a revelation of “a shocking proclivity towards banditry and impunity.”
He asserted that recent events had justified his opposition to Oshiomhole’s election as party chairman.
A group of party members staged a protest at the national headquarters of the party in Abuja on Tuesday alleging that Akeredolu and other “conservative” governors were planning to remove Oshiomole and scuttle the efforts of the party towards winning the 2019 general election.
The group pointedly described the Ondo State governor as a mole in the APC, whose recent actions could result in Buhari losing Ondo State.
The crises in the APC followed the outcome of the conduct of the governorship and national assembly primaries across the country, where the National Working Committee seems to have undermined the powers and influence of the governors.
A number of governors protested against the final list of candidates approved by the Oshiomole-led NWC, and had called on President Buhari to intervene in order to reverse the trend.
Akerdolu is particularly livid over the failure of some of his preferred candidates to make the list of candidates to be fielded by the party in the Senate and House of Representatives, despite being in firm control of the party machinery in the state.
Akeredolu said those who feel aggrieved reserve the right to demand justice, including calling for Oshiomhole’s removal.
The governor, however, restated his commitment to work “assiduously” for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election, who he said is loved by the people of Ondo State.
Referring to the protest in Abuja on Tuesday, Akeredolu described the organisers of the protest as “opportunists,” and denied that he led governors of Ogun, Kaduna, Adamawa and Ekiti States against Oshiomhole’s leadership.
He said he found the report laughable and distracting, adding that as a fiercely independent personality, he was not about to change his attitude to please any person or a group of persons.
“There is no truth in the whole contrivance. The governor has been pre-occupied with matters of governance in Ondo State for which he was elected,” the statement said.