Crisis-ridden All Progressives Congress in Ondo State has moved towards reconciliation, in an attempt to close the party’s broken ranks and brighten its chances of winning the November governorship election.
The party’s aggrieved aspirants and leaders have pledged their support for the party’s candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu.
The reconciliation followed several peace meetings between the party’s candidate and the party’s leaders as well as tradeoffs which resulted in the choice of Agboola Ajayi as his running mate.
During the week, Mr. Akeredolu met with the party’s embattled chairman, Isaac Kekemeke, signaling reprieve for the chairman who was earlier removed by the party’s structure.
Mr. Kekekeme was purportedly sacked by majority members of the state working committee of the party after crisis erupted prior to the primary election.
He remained at the sidelines ever since, but has now been appointed into the membership of the campaign team of the party’s candidate.
The candidacy of Mr. Akeredolu further received a boost on Thursday with a declaration of support from one of his rivals, Ajayi Boroffice, the senator representing Ondo North and who contesting the ticket with him.
Mr. Boroffice in a statement, said although the outcome of the September 3 primary raised tempers and created disagreements, the party must unite and focus on winning the election come November 26.
He noted that the crisis had created delays in the announcement of the party’s candidate as well as the campaigns.
“What happened within Ondo State APC was not more than a disagreement among patriots over a highly competitive and keenly contested primaries,” Mr. Boroffice said.
“I wish to put on record that all the contestants were men and a woman who felt genuinely concerned about the parlous and regrettable state of our state today.
“Each of us have the zeal, the passion and fervour for rescuing this land from the 8 year misrule of PDP which have relegated our citizens to poverty and misery.”
He said as true democrat, he knew that after every election with many contestants, a winner must emerge.
He stated that it was the desire of the opposition to see discord, disaffection and crack in the party, especially after the primaries, but their expectations had failed, adding that APC would go ahead and win the coming election.
“Gentlemen of the Press, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, his team and I and mine have met a couple of times after the primaries. We have been discussing our differences. Other great leaders of this party have also interacted with me and we have shared ideas about the issues emanating from the primaries as well as the way out,” said Mr. Boroffice.
“At all of those times, we were united on the fact that Ondo state people needs help. And that public interest must at all times be above personal desires.
“It is therefore in the light of all these as well as as the utmost desire to protect, preserve and develop our party that I Professor Robert Ajayi Borrofice wish to announce to you and all Nigerians today that I accept the decision of our party’s NWC affirming Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN as the Ondo state APC Governorship candidate for the November 2016 elections. My supporters and I view, accept and congratulate him as our party’s flag-bearer.”
He also said he would work with Mr. Akeredolu to ensure victory for APC at the elections.
According to him, the reconciliation is total and unconditional, acknowledging that the party, discipline, integrity and the voice of the people are supreme.
“As I have always reiterated, I am a true partyman. I believe in our great Party, the APC. I will never abandon it for any reason. I will always remain in it to sustain and strengthen it for the sake of Ondo state and Nigeria,” he pledged.
He directed all members and supporters of his group throughout the state to make themselves and all their resources available for the APC and its candidate to pursue successful campaigns.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the party leadership for their fairness and commitment to seeing the party through the period of crisis and putting it in a position to excel in the coming elections
Speaking further on the reconciliation, the Publicity Secretary of the party, Abayomi Adesanya, said the party has chosen the path of reconciliation in order to ensure victory in next month’s election.
He said Mr. Kekemeke was back to the saddle of leadership in the party all to promote harmony in the pursuit of the common goal.