*As Akure-based lawyer begins sensitisation on 10 reasons Ondo should vote en-masse against party
The All Progressives Congress (APC) may be in for trouble as unfavourable body language of the newly elected governorship candidate for the September 2016 governorship election in Ondo Sate, Rotimi Akeredolu, has been described as going to work against the chances of the party. An Akure-based lawyer and prominent member Ward 8, Akure South Local Government Area of the state, Mr. Jimoh Saliu, who gave this assertion in a phone conversation with PBAoF, has started a sensitisation crusade capable of ensuring mass votes against the party “should APC leadership not prevail on the candidate or on its state executives in the choice of deputy governorship candidate which must be Akure and Muslim.”
The constitutional lawyer said he would soon address a press conference through which he would reveal the 10 reasons why Ondo State people should move out en-masse and vote against the party at the election except it does the needful. He added that much as picking an Akure deputy governorship candidate was pivotal in the fight between the major contenders of APC and PDP for Alagbaka that quality based candidate must be what they should look out for.
Asked what the 10 reasons were, Saliu simply said, “Wait for my press conference in the next few days” but he said the candidacy of Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu was going to bring jeopardy to the chances of the APC at the coming election especially at this time, he added, that the party had failed to fulfill one of two conditions that were given by Akure Division and Ondo State Muslim Community for any party to succeed at the coming election. One of the two conditions bothers on need for each of the contending parties to pick Akure as its governorship candidate and the other being that any candidate that would emerge, wherever he might come from, must ensure a Christian-Muslim ticket.
At the moment, only the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has met the first condition of picking an Akure as its governorship candidate with Eyitayo Jegede who is former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of Ondo State. The PDP, with the look of things, appears set to exploit every failing points of the APC in its desperation to clinch the victory to Alagbaka as it may pick a responsible Muslim from any of the two other zones as its deputy governorship candidate any moment from now. Already Akure have declared that irrespective of party affiliation, they would only give their votes for any party that picks Akure as governorship candidate. Again, Ondo State Muslim Community said regardless of party affiliation, it would vote for a party that ensures Christian-Muslim ticket. Against the respective conditions, Rotimi Akeredolu already has a record of once saying Muslim or no Muslim he had won although he lost gallantly at that time and this time even if he would pick an Akure as deputy, Akure people do not trust him for picking a candidate that would sincerely represent their interest.
The Akure Division and Ondo State Muslim Community are worried on their respective conditions that APC may not have their votes much like they gave to President Muhammadu Buhari during the 2015 presidential election as Akeredolu is not from them except that the party manages to pick its deputy from among them and, to the state Muslim Community, where the same Akeredolu is considered to be ever unfair to Islam, they are worried that he may not pick a Muslim as deputy although unbothered as they have their Plan B. Whereas Akure Agenda advocates still beef that APC failed to pick from their division as governorship candidate, the Ondo State Muslim Community seems to also be upset that an Akeredolu, who, it was gathered, boasted in 2012 that he was not moved by whether or not he picked a Muslim as his deputy governorship candidate saying, “I have won Muslim or not Muslim,” even though he lost gallantly at that time, was now the candidate that APC has picked at its primaries.
Solution, whether Rotimi Akeredolu would win by his boast which has been envisaged would be repeated again remains a decision on the balance as the Owo-born APC governorship candidate was said to be up for a serious heat from different directions. “He will face the heat of his nonchalance about Christian-Muslim ticket and, even if he resolves to pick a Muslim as deputy governorship candidate, he will also face the heat of his inability to pick him from Akure.
“Those are two options open to APC now. One, Akeredolu or the party must pick a Muslim as APC deputy governorship candidate and whoever the Muslim deputy governorship candidate will be must come from nowhere except Akure to placate the Akure who have cried of marginalization for long in the administration of the state. That is the only card at hand we can use to negotiate with the Akure people and, of course, with the Ondo State Muslim Community who have threatened to work against any party that fails to ensure Christian-Muslim ticket in the 2016 governorship election,” PBAoF’s further investigations revealed.
From the foregoing, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has got a big challenge in its hands unless he acts fast. What is clear now is that, all is not lost as it has the time to use the available chances to ensure Akure deputy governorship candidacy and who must be Muslim.