A news report on the purported protest to the APC Secretariat, Abuja, organized by an opportunistic group in support of the Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiomole, contained in Guardian of the 23rd October, 2018, just caught the attention of the Ondo State Government.
The name of the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi O. Akeredolu, SAN, was mentioned as the “leader” of the “Conservatives” bent on working against the reelection bid of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and the removal of Mr Oshiomole as the Chairman of the Party.
We would not have considered responding to this obvious mediocre contrivance by the embattled, consequent upon fraudulent acts, both perceived and real, predicated on misplaced obduracy. We believe that the good people of Ondo State, the primary constituency of the Governor, and the Presidency can see beyond the mendacious spin peddled through the hired louts.
In the said report, the Governor is accused of leading Governors of Ogun, Kaduna Adamawa and even Ekiti, whose helmsman just assumed the mantle of leadership just two weeks ago, against Mr Adams Oshiomole’s leadership. He is also accused of “demarketing” the President to the extent that he can barely get 10% of the votes in a general election in Ondo State. The Governor is equally upbraided for “moving around North and South to collect signatures” to force the Chairman to resign or be removed.
While we find this report laughable and somewhat distracting, it becomes pertinent that certain issues are clarified for the benefit of the good people of this country, particularly members of the All Progressives Congress. The Governor of Ondo State is a fiercely independent personality. He is not about to change his attitude to please any person or a group of persons. There is no truth in the whole contrivance. The Governor has been pre-occupied with matters of governance in Ondo State for which he was elected.
Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, is not a person who enjoys hiding behind a finger when an occasion demands that men and women of principle should stand against injustice. Mr Adams Oshiomole should recall the Governor’s insistence on the sanctity of his mandate stolen by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, at a time when no hired rabble took interest in defending him. This happened when the Governor was the President of the Nigerian Bar Association. If Mr Oshiomole did not offer him any inducement for his principled stance, it is uncharitable for anyone to suggest that he can act, discreetly, in order to effect a desirable change.
Let no one also forget in a hurry the noble interventions of Aketi at critical moments in the cause of the progressives in the country. Unlike some exigent activists whose sordid deeds in their inglorious past seem obliterated by time, especially during the criminal annulment of the June 12 Presidential election won by Chief M.K.O Abiola, GCFR, this quintessential Bar activist has remained consistent till date. Beneficiaries of his altruistic interventions can attest to his character. Aketi is not in the same category as the current noisemakers whose whole existence exacts tremendous pressure on the people.
The Governor had expressed preference for someone else during the contest for the office of the Chairman of the Party. He did not hide his opposition to Mr Oshiomole’s aspiration for the simple reason that the leadership of a party, especially the one just emerging from a merger, should distance itself from egregious and inherently destructive narcissism. Recent events seem to justify this position as prescient. Only sycophants will fail to see the obvious. Mr President would not have expressed worries over the crises in the Party if everything had gone on smoothly.
The handlers of the mob strive in vain to set the President against certain government functionaries considered antagonistic to their pernicious scheme for dominance. Their devious plot to outsmart those perceived as opposing their expansionist tendency compelled them to take desperate measures.
Anyone endowed with an attitude of sobriety should have seen the need for calm. Rather than retrace their steps and display genuine contrition, their desperation pushes them to embrace measures capable of not only hurting the Party, but, regrettably, the President, whom they pretend to love so much.
It is ludicrous that anyone will consider a former President of the NBA, whose tenure was remarkable at a crucial period in the political history of the country, a conservative. Those who collected varying and humongous amounts as fees from aspirants during the last grandiose charade called primaries and submitted names dictated to them by a cabal, notorious for capturing political power for unbridled pillage, should be bold to explain their real motives to the people. they should be honest enough to deal with the issues.
Events, which took place across the country during the political charade, have exposed not only sheer incompetence on the part of the national leadership of the Party, but painfully, it has revealed a shocking proclivity towards banditry and impunity. It is becoming clear, increasingly, that party leadership at that level is seriously challenged in terms of capacity for serious engagements. Aketi does not need to move from “North to “South” to collect signatures from victims of electoral heist. Those who feel aggrieved reserve the right to demand that justice be done. If this includes the removal of Mr Oshiomole, so be it.
May we seize this opportunity to reiterate the fact that the people of Ondo State are favourably disposed to the second term bid of Mr President. Our people are unique; they are unwavering in their support for justice. They alone determine what is in their best interest at all times. The President is loved by the people of Ondo State.
All of us shall work, assiduously, for the President’s victory at the polls next year. We do not need any band of mendicants ready for hire to remind us of this sacred patriotic duty.
Dr Doyin Odebowale
SSA, Special Duties & Strategy to the
Governor of Ondo State