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By: Ade Adeleke
The Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has been purportedly hammered with a suspension by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC) for alleged anti-party activities during the just concluded February 23, 2019 Presidential and the National Assembly elections.
The party’s NWC had on March 1, 2019 issued a query to the governor over what it described as glaring anti-party activities.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Isa-Onilu, after a meeting presided over by the National chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, the party had said the governor’s anti-party activities “greatly affected the fortunes of its candidates in the recently conducted presidential and National Assembly elections in the state.”
SUNSHINETRUTH recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC lost to the PDP’s Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar while two of the three APC Senators lost their reelection bid and the party only won four out of nine House of Representatives seats from Ondo state.
The governor was said to have worked for the candidates of the Action Alliance (AA) who are mostly his friends and political associates after they lost APC ticket as a result of imposition of candidates by the National leadership of the APC prior the 2019 general election.
A member of the NWC, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, however, confirmed to our correspondent on Friday that the governor had been suspended.
The source said the decision to suspend Akeredolu was hinged on the fact that his case was similar to the allegations levelled against his Ogun State counterpart, Ibikunle Amosun, and that of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, for which the two governors have been suspended.
The Source added that the NWC was also aware of the governor’s claim that he had not received any query from the party and therefore mandated its National Vice Chairman for the South-West to make it available to him as confirmed by Isa-Onilu.
He said, “Yes, the governor has been suspended by the NWC. He claimed that he has not seen the paper (query) and we asked the National Vice Chairman from the South-West to make a copy available to him.
The NWC member noted that, “after the election, we want to build and not to destroy the house. But we want to do the needful. Since we suspended the Imo and Ogun states governors, we want to treat them the same way. We have suspended them but they need to defend themselves, It is like a query and a suspension. They have to advance reasons why they did what they did”.
“Some people grumbled that why will three people commit similar infraction and we will suspend only two. That was what brought about the suspension of the Ondo State governor.”
When contacted on Friday, the party’s spokesman, Onilu simply said “no comment.”
The party had earlier suspended Amosun, Okorocha, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru, and the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, for alleged anti-party activities.
Responding on behalf of Akeredolu, the Ondo State Commissioner for Information, Mr Yemi Olowolabi, said, “the matter is an internal affair of the APC, and whatever issues have arisen would also be addressed at the level of the party.
Olowolabi insisted that, “but, contrary to claims that he was suspended for not responding to the query him, it is not true. The governor never got a query from the party. We only read of it in the papers (newspapers) and you cannot respond to such.”