New Telegraph

2024: I Didn’t Stepdown For Aiyedatiwa – Akinfolarin

A two-time House of Representatives member and the runner-up in the last governorship primary of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Hon Mayowa Akinfolarin has denied stepping down for Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa in the last Saturday primary election.

Akinfolarin in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Olugbenga Ajongbolo said the rumours flying around in regard to his governorship ambition were not only embarrassing, and baseless but sickening.

Pointedly, Akinfolarin said the rumour that he stepped down 24 hours to the Saturday’s primary election when he had traversed all the 18 local governments and 203 wards in search of voters was not only embarrassing but unfair, unimaginable, baseless and ungodly.

Akinfolarin in his statement by his spokesman said “We are concerned that those fabricating and peddling these lies have resolved to dent the image and damage the reputation of an Akinfolarin whose records remain untainted despite spending the last twenty-five years in the political space of Ondo and Nigeria in general.

“Out of the sixteen aspirants who jostled for the APC candidacy, only Akinfolarin, and a few others, reached out to party members in their homes and across the two hundred and three political wards of the state, while the others were only on social media.

“Akinfolarin, a grassroots mobiliser and political strategist par excellence, who has won five elections out of six he contested in the past years, visited and sat with party stakeholders, leaders and members in the eighteen local governments area of Ondo, listened to their agitations and promised a new beginning for them.

“This is why party members, in the nooks and crannies of the state, responded and gave him more than fifteen thousand votes to clinch second in the contest.

“At a time, there were allegations that one of the aspirants bought his forms for him. At another time, there were rumours that our campaign director general, Hon. Timehin Adelegbe, also collapsed his structure for another aspirant.

“There were also lies that our principal exchanged his aspiration for a million dollars. This is a confirmation that our principal has the popularity and sagacity to clinch the ticket and ultimately win the election come November. After all, nobody throws a stone at a fruitless tree!

“Recall that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the secretary of the Primary Election Committee, was categorical in his speech on the eve of the election while addressing aspirants and stakeholders at St. Thomas Events Centre, Ondo Road, Akure.

According to him, no aspirant applied to step down amongst all the sixteen screened and certified to contest the election. Mayowa Akinfolarin, who traversed the length and breadth of the state, committing personal resources and funds, will never bring his gubernatorial journey to an abrupt end when he was almost at his destination, the Alagbaka Government House.

“Confident the party faithful in Ondo would massively vote for him, and having received the clearest signals from the party leaders across the state, Akinfolarin ordered his supporters to immediately embark on celebration galore on Saturday morning, as he was sure of his victory.

“The recent media attacks on the name, character and integrity of Akinfolarin have to end. It is unhealthy for the progress of the APC, the party everyone has contributed to build. For Mayowa Akinfolarin, it is time for the distortion of facts to stop. It is time for rumour-mongers to close shop.”

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