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By: Ade Adeleke
The Deputy Senate Majority Leader and Senator representing Ondo North, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice has dropped a bombshell over the selection of Chief Olusola Oke as the consensus candidate of the APC Unity Forum ahead of Ondo state Governorship election scheduled for October 10, 2020 by INEC.
The Senator in an exclusive telephone interview obtained by SUNSHINETRUTH, alleged that Olusola Oke, former deputy governor and embattled Chairman of the Forum, Alhaji Alli Olanusi and Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu had struck a deal that would not be acceptable to the party’s national leadership.
Pix: Akeredolu & Boroffice.
Boroffice said the plot by Olanusi and Oke was to give Akeredolu smooth ride to pick the 2020 governorship ticket of the APC.
The lawmaker opined, “it is a plan between Olanusi, Akeredolu and the people (Unity forum selection Committee members), what they are planning is to field Oke as a consensus candidate and a week to the (APC) primary (election), Oke will now step down for Akeredolu.
“And in return, Akeredolu has promised that after his second term he will hand over to Oke. It will not work, the (National) leaders of APC will never accept Oke,” Boroffice said.
Boroffice said the Unity Forum has no consensus candidate uet, while urging governorship aspirants to start preparations for the direct primaries of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State slated for July this year by INEC.
The ranking Senator through his Media Aide, Kayode Fapuyi yesterday declared that, “the media report suggesting that Unity Forum has adopted a consensus candidate to represent the Forum in Ondo APC governorship primary election is misleading. The fact is that Unity Forum has no consensus candidate. This fact is premised on two fundamental reasons.
“Firstly, the political tendencies in Unity Forum could not agree on critical processes that could have led to adoption of consensus candidate. For instance, while some members opted for zoning, some members disagreed. Recently, aspirants participated in a zoning process and majority agreed that Ondo North senatorial district should produce the consensus candidate.
“Secondly, when the idea of consensus candidacy was mooted, the understanding was that all seven members of Gubernatorial Candidate Selection Committee must unanimously agree on a consensus candidate. That condition has not been met.
“Therefore, it is the consensus opinion of majority of leaders and members of Unity Forum in Ondo North senatorial district and other parts of Ondo State that Unity Forum is yet to present a consensus candidate.
“While it is unfortunate that Unity Forum could not present a consensus candidate, it is soothing that all political tendencies in Unity Forum remain committed to the success of the APC in the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State.
“As the aspirants embark on campaign for the direct primaries of the APC, I urge them to continue to exercise utmost decorum and rare camaraderie. The outcome of Ondo APC governorship primaries will offer Unity Forum another opportunity to unite together in the overriding interest of the party,” Boroffice concluded.
In their reaction, a group of aggrieved leaders of the ruling APC known as Ondo APC Unity Forum today dismissed an allegation that its selection Committee members and its Chairman, Alhaji Alli Olanusi were financially induced to settle for the choice of Chief Olusola Oke as the consensus candidate of the group to face Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in the forthcoming Ondo state October 10 2020 governorship election.
The group at a news conference held at the Olanusi’s residence, Alagbaka-Akure, also asked the public to ignore those claiming to be Elders of the Forum who said they have removed the former deputy governor as the group’s Chairman.
Addressing newsmen, Alhaji Olanusi flanked by the selection Committee Chairman, Senator Yele Omogunwa, former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Ismaila Olurimisi and other top chieftains of the group, explained that the choice of Oke was purely based on his popularity within and outside the APC to oust Governor Akeredolu from office.
“You will please recall that all the stakeholders in the Forum came together for the sole purpose of salvaging the State from the nepotic and despotic AKETI administration in the last three years.”
Also reacting, Governor Akeredolu through the state Commissioner for information and orientation, Hon Donald Ojogo said the governor should should be left out of the APC Unity Forum crisis, as he has no hand in the emergence of Oke or subsequent uproar.
In a telephone interview with a Radio station, Ojogo said “the governor is not interested in the group’s crisis, leave him (Akeredolu) out of their problem, thank you.”