The crisis in the All Progressives Congress (APC) seems to be expanding, this is as some members of the party have accused the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, of leading a group of conservative governors to sabotage the party’s electoral prospects.
Making the allegation on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, the members in a protest at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja said through its coordinators Ibrahim Sikiru and Gbenga Bojuwomi that, the protesters were drawn from different groups.
According to them, they are drawn from members of the Buhari/Osinbajo Movement, Forum of Buhari Support Groups, Love to Love Foundation for Buhari 2019, Niger Delta Women for Buhari, Buhari/Osinbajo Destiny Group, Women for Buhari and Osinbajo, and Farmers Congress Group for Buhari.
They said that they have discovered that a “lot of damage has been done underground by the conservative governors to thwart the bright chances of the party in the forthcoming general elections. They said that:
“It is evident that Gov Akeredolu is purely a mole in APC. It would be recalled that he worked alongside with Gov Kayode Fayemi and Gov Amosun against the party’s choice in Osun election.
“Right now, he has instructed all his loyalists and cabinet members in Ondo State to work against all party’s candidates in Ondo during the general election”.
According to the group other governors are working with the Ondo state governor.
“It was revealed that Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu is the leader of the new conservative movement within APC coupled with the assistance of Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and Gov. Bindow of Adamawa State”.
They said that the governor was determined to fight three personalities in APC, President Muhammadu Buhari, Bola Tinubu and Adams Oshiomhole.
They claimed this is so “because he is not happy with the strategies by APC National Working Committee to reunite the party with a view to bringing democracy to the door-steps of party members by the Introduction and adoption of direct primaries for all elections”.
They claimed that with the governor’s actions so far, it will be difficult for the president to win in Ondo State in 2019.
“As it is in Ondo State, President Mohammadu Buhari cannot get 10% votes come 2019 general elections due to de-marketing policies of Gov. Akeredolu.
“Instead of this accidental governor to focus on projects that will better the lots of good people of Ondo State, he is busy running from North to South collecting signatures of governors and party chairmen of various states to pass vote of no confidence on Adams Oshiomhole”.
The protest by the group is coming amidst alleged moves by some governors to force a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting to address issues of arbitrariness raised against the national chairman.
Some state governors like Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Abdul-aziz Yari of Zamfara, following the outcome of the party’s primaries, had openly opposed Oshiomhole’s leadership in respect of the candidates listed at various levels.
Governor Amosun again on Monday, October 22, 2018 accused Oshiomhole of collaborating with a cabal based in Lagos to manipulate the primaries in his state to favour political interests outside the state.
The fallout of the primaries has also led to the defection of some senators like Shehu Sani and Sani Mustapha and protests in states like Imo.
Despite all these, the chairman claimed he still enjoys the support of majority of party members.
The protesters however said they believe in the leadership of the party led by Oshiomhole and his determination to position the party for victory in the 2019 elections.
Noting that the party is greater than any individual or group, the group urged all to come together and face their common goal to remain the most efficient and trusted party in Nigeria.
Responding, the spokesperson of the governor, Segun Ajiboye, dismissed the allegations against Akeredolu as spurious. He said that:
“Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu is too busy with state matters and working to develop the state for him to be bothered by spurious allegations such as this. Those behind fake allegations like these are out for only one thing- seeking to be noticed. They are attention seekers.
“However, as a loyal party man, the governor is working and will continue to work for the progress of the party and do anything that will ensure that the All Progressives Congress (APC) continues to win elections at all levels in the country”.