New Telegraph

Ondo Crisis: Battle For Akeredolu’s Seat Hots Up

The battle in Ondo State is no longer about the Acting Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, but who picks the ticket of the All Progressives Congress(APC), in the state’s governorship election billed for November next year. The gladiators have been making their interests known. They include: New entrant and former governorship candidate, Olusola Oke; serving Commissioner of Finance, Wale Akinterinwa and Ibrahim Jimoh, representing Ondo South in the Senate.

Sources familiar with happenings in the political landscape of the Sunshine State, said had ailing Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu been in good health, he would have played a decisive role in who picks the ticket. However, in his absence, President Bola Tinubu and National Chairman, Umar Ganduje, are now the men of the moment with all of them worming up to the duo. Also, one of Sunday Telegraph’s sources, who confided in the newspaper, said that the fight against Aiyedatiwa was premised on the belief that with him out of the way, it would be an easy cruise for them.

The Source said: “Entrenched interests believe that if they exclude him, the road will be cleared for them to pick the governorship ticket of the APC. “There are still some underpinning crisis crossing the length and breadth of the corridors of power, trying to curry the favour of Mr. President and of course, the National Chairman of APC, Umar Ganduje. “The fight for the party ticket with the absence of Akeredolu, who ordinarily, would have played a decisive role in who picks the ticket but now that he is absent, it is an open battle and anybody who has the power and the backing of the powers-that- be may eventually pick it.”

He continued: “Olusola Oke has this belief that he has the way to push through, having contested once. He believes that this is his time.” Another source said that Aiyedatiwa would not be a pushover as he is consolidating his hold on power and before then, would have entrenched himself as the man at the helm of affairs of the state. Even before the recent developments, multiple sources, who spoke with the newspaper, said the battle has now shifted to who succeeds ailing Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, whose tenure expires in 2025.

One of our sources said: “We would see what will happen. The people who wanted to stop Aiyedatiwa are now jittery. “The battle in Ondo State is about who succeeds Akeredolu in the November 2024 election. “In the next few weeks, there will be heightened political tension and battle as the gladiators return to the board to strategize, especially in the APC for the Governorship ticket. That was part of the reasons they were trying to fight the deputy governor from becoming acting governor.

They believe that if he consolidated his position, as acting governor, he will be angling to become the anointed successor of Akeredolu. That is why they were planning and plotting against him. “But some persons are say- ing that why should he not succeed him because he is from the right part of the state that should produce the next governor. Why not, if not? “Before they threw major crisis between him and his boss, the boss was not also averse to his succeeding him.

He actually said it that he must decrease and the man must increase. He said it publicly but the real battle now in Ondo State is who succeeds Akeredolu.” Another source weighing in on the matter in the Sunshine State said: “There is panic among the Cabals, who worked against Lucky Aiyedatiwa being declared as the acting governor of the state. They are also trying to make up with the acting governor.” Sunday Telegraph learnt that some things were done that would put them in trouble if there are probes, especially in relation to some spending, approvals and including the signing of the signature of the governor.

Some hawks, who are close to the new acting governor are asking him to probe the activities of members of the cabal. However, those who are involved are claiming that based on the letters of the first agreement with Mr. President, they should allow sleeping dogs to lie. But there are so many groups, most of them obviously sympathetic to the cause of the governor or the acting governor, who believe that Aiyedatiwa had not been treated well, and therefore, those people should be pushed out of government, in particular, those people who may and should be afraid include but not limited to a commissioner, who is said to be interested in running as governor with him, a powerful woman in the administration and the chairman of the party.

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