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By: Ade Adeleke
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress(APC) and former Commissioner for Regional Integration in Osun state, Mr Bola Ilori has accused Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu as the architect of crisis within the ruling APC in Ondo state.
According to him, his vengefulness traits has aided disunity in the Party, stressing that it was strange for a man that has become Governor for years to still be grudging on an intra-party primary that preceded his tenure.
Ilori, an indigene of Ondo state in a statement noted that the open exposure of the fraud that lined his way to the Government House was never at rest.
He recalled that the party’s Appeal Panel annulled the primaries that produced Akeredolu due to glaring fraud,stressing that the National Working Committee of the party never agreed to the emergence of Akeredolu but the Oyegun/Saraki conspiracy of that era, allegedly and unilaterally submitted Akeredolu’s name to INEC and allegedly mobilized huge funds for his victory to become an’ imposed’ Governor in Ondo State.
The APC said “Some of us could not stand such shenanigan led by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun. We followed the party’s internal mechanism, but it was unilaterally terminated by the then National Chairman.
“Subsequently, we left the party in the expression of our democratic rights on the platform of another party in agitation against the clear injustice. We lost the elections.
Ilori noted that, “It was well reported on national headlines that Akeredolu organized an attack on me at the venue of an official government assignment in Akure. We were to go to court, but some elders of the party led by Chief Bisi Akande, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief Pius Akinyelure and others intervened.
“They appealed to all aggrieved against the gubernatorial election processes to drop all further agitation and return to the party and embrace unity. The Governor thereafter organized a unity rally and I attended.
“Chief Olusola Oke has since been working hard for the success of the party and was the South West Coordinator of the APC Presidential Campaign, while I, who was his Director General in the AD was the Chairman of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (Field Operations) Door – Door Campaign throughout the Country.
Ilori said, “Akeredolu’s anti-party activity would have been justifiable as a payback were it to be that their mischiefs were directed against either Oke or Ilori, but neither of us were on the ballot but President Buhari and our National Assembly candidates. So, it was a deliberate sabotage against the fortune of the party.
“I laugh at how, in their confusion and desperate search for justification, they misguide themselves with falsehood and hope it will turn to truth in an era of Google Search Engine. Let me put it on record; if they are too lazy to Google, I was not holding any position in the party or government six months before and after the 2016 elections, contrary to their claims that I was in Osun Government while in AD, Osun had no cabinet for about 16 months at the time. So, dragging Aregbesola into their justification of treachery is not only based on falsehood but pure mischief”.
Speaking further, he said “I also wish to place on the record that, as the Director General of the Alliance for Democracy campaigns in 2016, I don’t have any record of funding received from Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola or Senator Ajayi Boroffice for the AD. I dare Akeredolu and his team to come up with such fact. Let it be noted that neither Asiwaju Tinubu nor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola directed us to the AD nor funded the party. They did not campaign for the party to the best of my record also. If any of Akeredolu minions is in possession of substantive evidence against any of our leaders let such fellow come forward with it or forever keep their peace. We as adult have rights to our independent actions and Asiwaju never encourage sycophancy, he promotes robust intellectual discuss and don’t see dissent as a crime, yet we voluntarily owe him in high esteem”.
Reacting in an interview with newsmen, the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Yemi Olowolabi, absolved governor Akeredolu, of causing disunity in the party, disclosing that the governor has been working round the clock to bring all aggrieved members together.
Olowolabi said the governor never failed to accommodate and embrace all those who defected to Alliance for Democracy (AD) at the wake of the 2016 governorship election back into the fold of APC.
He said Akeredolu had extended hand of fellowship to all aggrieved members of the party immediately he came on board in order to move the party forward.
Olowolabi said “Ilori was one those who led the party into crisis by working for AD in the election. Even when Olusola Oke returned to APC and participated in the party, Ilori continue to cause disunity in the party”
He queried, “So who is causing disunity? He has been staying outside to throw stone and causing crisis in the party.
Olowolabi however traced the crisis in the party to the next governorship election in the state, saying “One can understand that the election is here but i want to advise Ilori and others to come and join hands with governor Akeredolu and leaders of the party to move the party forward ahead of future election.
“Nobody profits from disunity, we cannot continue to have a divided house and keep throwing stones. Let us come together to build a formidable forces ahead of next election.