Bola Ilori, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has accused the Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, of being the “spanner in the cog of wheel” of the state’s chapter of the ruling party.
Ilori, who was a former Commissioner for Regional Integration in Osun State under the Rauf Aregbesola administration, claimed that Akeredolu penchant for vendetta culminated into the unhealthy disunity and disharmony within the state chapter of the APC.
He emphasized that the governor’s travails were not caused by the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Ilori, an indigene of Ondo State, in a statement on Thursday, described the attitude of Akeredolu as too pedestrian, stressing that after two years of emerging as governor, he was still unsettled over the intra-party primary that preceded his tenure.
He maintained that the process that led to the emergence of Akeredolu as the party’s standard-bearer in 2016 was faulty; adding that the party’s Appeal Panel had annulled the primaries that produced Akeredolu due to what he described as “glaring fraud.”
He 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.
“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.
“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 was 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”.
The statement added, “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 adults 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.”