The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State is taking its internal conflict to a new height, with the party leadership’s recent attack on a member of the APC Board of Trustees, Ali Olanusi.
Mr Olanusi had accused the governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, of orchestrating the loss of Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential election in Ondo State.
According to Mr Olanusi, Mr Akeredolu instigated the anti-party activities within the party during the elections which saw a good number of the party’s membership teeming with Action Alliance.
He had also warned that the governor should not be trusted with the party’s ticket in the 2020 governorship election.
But the party on Thursday reacted to Mr Olanusi’s allegations, describing them as trumped up stories and a product of the figment of his imagination.
A statement signed by the director of publicity, Steve Otaloro, said Mr Olanusi had never been on the same page with the party leadership in the state and the governor, and so could not be a credible commentator on anything done by the party in the state or the governor.
“With these statements they have brought to fore their secret agitation against governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu who has refused to do their biddings,” the statement said.
“We should be reminded that Alhaji Ali Olanusi received several millions of naira from the present APC-led government in Ondo State to offset his accumulated salary arrears over his removal from office by the previous administration.
“Alhaji Ali Olanusi would refuse to acknowledge the governor’s quick response to his plight, rather, he countered with contempt. He demanded for more money. When he was denied, though, knowing fully well the government has paid in excess of the amount due him in emolument and other benefits as directed by the court, he became dissatisfied and turned himself into a critic of the government and an enemy of our party.
“Ali Olanusi did not only lost his constituency 2 to the opposition, two wards in his town, Supare Akoko was actually won by Taju Falana of the Action Alliance, AA, which happens to be the only wards won by AA in Ondo State. So the question is who is working for AA in his area?
“We have it on record that Alhaji Ali Olanusi is cooking up a grandiose plan to present a puppet candidate ahead of the 2020 governorship election in the state. He is welcome to that, however, he doesn’t have to heat up the polity over such matter of a white elephant project.”
The statement noted that the APC in Ondo State would not succumb to the “cheap blackmail and terrible lies told around.”
“We have it on record that Alhaji Ali Olanusi is an itinerant trouble maker. He was at a logger head with Chief Adebayo Adefarati, Dr Olusegun Agagu, and Dr Olusegun Mimiko. That he lost out in all of these battles is enough lessons to learn from, but alas, he never learns from his past. His proclivity for crises at his age, and, as an elder statesman, is worrisome,” the statement further reads.
“We are advising Alhaji Ali Olanusi to desist from his present habit of constituting himself as an enemy of the party he claims to belong to and behave as a true statesman open to true society growth, more so, being a former Deputy Governor and a member of our party’s prestigious Board of Trustees.”
Mr Olanusi and his group of supporters had also accused Mr Akeredolu of diverting the fund disbursed to Ondo State by the national leadership of the party for the 2019 general election to other things and that the governor was the major financier of the Action Alliance party in Ondo state.
He had also advised the national leadership to probe the said anti-party activities of the governor before the 2020 Ondo governorship election.