Ondo 2016: APC worried about defection of members

FILE PHOTO: From left: APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; APC Gubernatorial Candidate for  Ondo State, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu and Governor of Plateau State/Chairman APC National Campaign Council for the Ondo State 2016 Governorship Election, Mr Simon Lalong, at the inauguration of 50-member Campaign in Abuja on Thursday (12/10/16).
7686/13/10/2016/Hogan-Bassey/ICE/NAN
FILE PHOTO: From left: APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; APC Gubernatorial Candidate for Ondo State, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu and Governor of Plateau State/Chairman APC National Campaign Council for the Ondo State 2016 Governorship Election, Mr Simon Lalong, at the inauguration of 50-member Campaign in Abuja on Thursday (12/10/16). 7686/13/10/2016/Hogan-Bassey/ICE/NAN

The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, on Tuesday disclosed that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was worried about the defection of some of its members ahead of the November 26 governorship election.

He also assured that President Muhammadu Buhari will attend the grand finale of the party’s campaign on Saturday.

Mr. Okorocha, Chairman of the APC Governors Forum, told journalists in Akure that the disagreements within the party would not affect the support for its candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu.

In a vague reference to the defection of Olusola Oke to Alliance for Democracy, AD, as well as other aggrieved members within the party, Mr. Okorocha said the party was not jittery in the face of the weaknesses.

Mr. Oke left the APC for AD after he contested the results of the September 3 governorship primary without success.

With the PDP bugged down by a lingering legal battle for its governorship ticket, Mr. Oke’s AD stands as the major challenger of the towering APC’s popularity.

His campaign flag off on Monday in Akure witnessed the biggest crowd so far in the series of rallies held by the parties, but the APC accused him of going to rent a crowd to fill the campaign ground.

Some members of the APC also defected to the Social Democratic Party last week to join forces with Olu Agunloye who is now positioned as a fourth force in the contest for the Alagbaka seat.

“We are not jittery, but we are concerned,” Mr. Okorocha said. “We are not happy that we are losing some of our illustrious sons of APC but I will call on them to please make haste and come back.”

He noted that the grievances were caused by poor communication, stating that with the right communication in place, matters would be resolved amicably.

According to him, all the APC governors were united in support of Mr. Akeredolu’s candidature, and there was no crack in their ranks.

“Everybody is still with him; Bola Tinubu is still with him, Ogun, Osun, Lagos, Oyo governors are with him,” he said.

“The problem is that like in all families, we have communication gap. We are all together and by the grace of God, Ondo State will be APC compliant.”

He also said he was in Ondo State to ensure that the APC candidate received all the votes from the Igbo community.

“Igbos will support him (Akeredolu) not because he is our in-law, but because he is a good man,” Mr. Okorocha said. “The PDP and AD candidates are strong but I know we will win.”

The Imo State governor said the emergence of Mr. Akeredolu as the flagbearer of the party was based on the trust reposed in him by the people of the state.

“We are just here to support our incoming colleague , let me correct one impression, all APC governors met and have resolved to support our candidate , there is no division in our family, and APC is still one,” he said.

“That is why the father of APC, President Muhammadu Buhari will be coming on Saturday, and will address the people of the state to clear air on those who doubt the unity of our party. We are united.

“What brought us together is not interest to acquire power, it is the interest to bring the necessary change for economy emancipation of our great nation.

“So, I am here to inform you that I came and Aketi has been chosen by all of us and we are solidly behind him, we are unshakably behind him.

“We looked carefully and we did not force anyone to give us a candidate, we want the people to choose who they want and Akeredolu is as a result of that exercise.

“Akeredolu was never imposed by anybody, no party leader gave him any money, no party leader gave him anything , we allowed Akeredolu to come here and test his popularity but the people have spoken and since the people have spoken and given him to us, it is now our responsibility to support him and give him success.”


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  • Patriot

    Akeredolu is a good candidate and he is my favorite, but he won the primary through a dishonest arrangement which I think he himself should have rejected and call for a rerun of the primary so that due process can be followed. Accredited delegates names were removed from the voters register and were replaced with the names of mercenary’s loyal to him so that he could have undue advantage over other contestants, that kind of cheating was not expected from the camp of a person of Akeredolu’s caliber and integrity

  • ojays

    The primaries could have either way considering the result was close. If Akoko people had united they easily could have won. Oke was just a spoiler too ambitious and will behave like Mimiko if he gets elected. He was less than a year in APC, ought not to have been allowed to contest in the first place. Borofice did not have the financial backing of Abraham would be a better choice bcos he seems more prudent to me.
    Ondo abhor Tinubu’s influence so the only alternative was Aketi and he got it.