It is over six months since the APC in Ondo state has won election as the ruling party in the sunshine state, people of the state are already wondering if truly the party is really placed as the party in government. DAILY POST CORRESPONDENT TEMITOPE OLANIPEKUN Writes.
Tongues are wagging about the place of the All Progressives Congress (APC)in Ondo State despite being the party of the incumbent governor of the state, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN.
Like an unfriutful banana tree besides a river bank, the APC in the state has become uneventful even though the party is at the helm of affairs in the sunshine state.
The ghost of the events which pervaded the last year governorship election in the state, especially the primary election which was filled with intra party kicks and maneuvering, seems to be haunting life out of the party.
In fact, the gigantic edifice of the party, located along Oyemekun road Akure is now deserted with no political activities taking place in the arena.
Unlike the previous parties in government in the state, the Alliance for Democracy (AD) of late Chief Adebayo Adefarati , the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of late Segun Agagu and the Labour Party and PDP of former governor Olusegun Mimiko, there is conspicuous lack of aura of ruling power in the APC in Ondo state as a political party.
One would have expected that since the party has clinched power, the APC should have been everywhere in the state today, even the government would have slogonize it’s activities with its party, the APC.
During former governor Olusegun Mimiko regime, especially his reigns in the Labour Party , many people would confused the the slogan of the LP with the motto of the state. Evidently, the governor painted most of his landmark projects with the color of the LP which was his political party at that time. Although, he his allies later claimed that the orange color is was the official color of the sunshine state.
Besides, legs would almost kill a live chicken as the state secretariat of the party was always besieged by large number of its members.
Indeed, power was in the party and the government in power clearly projected its political party in major activities of the state.
Today, under the APC led government, the story is not the same, as life seems to have left the Progressives party since its inception in government.
Political observers believed that the crisis experienced in the party during the build up to the last year’s election which threatened the existence of the party in the state may be responsible for the present situation in the party.
They said the division occasioned by the unparalleled interest of those perceived to be leaders of the party within and outside the state still leave a sour taste in the mouth.
Political observers opined that even though the party was successful during the last election, there are still some aggrieved tendencies within the ruling power.
The suspicious and accusation that trailed the pre and post election which saw to the inactiveness Of the party state chairman, Hon. Isaac Kekemeke have also affected the patronage of some leaders of the party among whom are a Senator and some federal lawmakers.
A high ranking member of the state executive who claimed to have always been at the logger head with the Chairman, Kekemeke accused the chairman of working against Akeredolu during the last election.
The source who does not want his name in the print due to the sensitive nature of the matter also accused a member of the national executive of the party from the state of sponsoring the AD against Akeredolu in the last election.
He said “We all know what happened during the last election, except we are deceiving ourselves, as far as I am concerned, Engr Ade Adetimehin is the Chairman of the party in this state, Kekemeke did not just romanced the AD, he also took active roles in their activities
“While we were campaigning in Owo during our gandfinale campaign tour, Kekemeke, our supposed chairman was busy distributing AD money in his house
“The governor is not a fool, he is aware of the many atrocities of Mr. Kekemeke, for your information, no one asked him not to take charge of the office or the party, his conscience is just pricking him and that’s why he has stayed away from the party’s activities
“As a party, we are getting stronger, the fact that we are not holding activities at party secretariat doesn’t mean we are not functioning, we are getting stronger and stronger as a party
“Today, the party is coordinated by Engr. Ade Adetimehin and we are good, you know everyone is still looking up to God for one political appointment or the other, so that’s another thing to consider “he disclosed.
Another competent source within the party, who prefers to be called Tosin said “it is a pity we are getting it wrong, I think the problem we are having today is that some people believe they are the ones who worked for the victory of the governor
“They refer to themselves as team Aketi, no one is saying there is no team Aketi, so far the election is over and we have won the election collectively, I think the attention should be on the party and not the so called team Aketi, if the trend of team Aketi doesn’t stop on time, I believe it will be injurious to the party sooner or later
One of the social media activists of the party, Jimoh Ibrahim deferred in his opinion, he believed that every political personality has their own team.
According to him, since the governor has won the election, it is expected that all lovers of the party who wish to join the team Aketi can so join at anytime.
He said ” The APC is one big family in Ondo State, the governor is the leader of the party and we, under the leadership of Engr. Ade Adetimehin, we won’t stop acknowledging Team Aketi, because if we have lost the election, the story would have been different
“There is no issue with the party, we are very very active, few days ago, some members of the PDP and AD still defected to our party, so, we are that active and Engr. Adetimehin is really doing wonders “he said
Meanwhile, political observers believed that since the party has won election, the issue of who worked for who should be less emphasised.
It is believed that since there will be another election soon, the party must quickly put its house togther and face the future.
Obsevers also believed that it is too usual for the APC in Ondo State to bask in the euphoria of victory, neglecting the business of the party.
It was observed that even the PDP which is no longer in power in the state tends to have a stronger command than the APC.
However, many believed that the issue with the party may not be unconnected to the fact that the governor Is not a politician.
It is believed that since Governor Akeredolu is more of a technocrat than a politician, it may take a while for the party to pick up on its activities.
A competent source in the government disclosed that Adetimehin is being careful not to take the role of the chairman, despite that people know he is acting in that capacity.
The source, a very close ally of the governor explained that Adetimehin was the arrow head of the success of Akeredolu.
He said even though, some mischievous people wanted to spite Adetimehin against the governor when the chief of staff was given to another person, Adetimehin remains one of the most inner caucus of the governor.
Observers are of the view that for the APC to assume the place of a ruling party, the party must put its house together and gear up for the challenges ahead.
It is also believed that the party must embark on early alignment and realignment to anable it prepare well for the challenges ahead.
A political analyst, Dr. Joseph Akinlolu believed that the political battle that will storm the state come 2019 may be more daring than the last governorship election.
He said if the APC remains uneventful, the way it is going, it may soon be edge out of power sooner than it is imagined.
Akinlolu an indigene of Ondo state predicted that Akeredolu will perform excellently for the masses of the state but may soon make some political mistakes.
He said “We are lucky to have Akeredolu, I can assure you that Akeredolu will perform, but politically he will soon make some mistakes
“He doesn’t know politics, you will even see that in his speech, he is too blunt to be a politician, me meant well for the state but, politically things will soon go wrong, quote me
“I know Adetimehin, I know Agboola Ajayi (the deputy governor), those are great politicians, especially Adetimehin, you can leave politics for Adetimehin and go to sleep
“I believe the governor made a mistake by not making him his chief of staff, that would have been an opportunity to secure good politics both in the party and government
“But all hope is not lost, let the governor make Adetimehin the chairman of the party, since we are saw what happened in the last election, the chairman Kekemeke worked for AD” He said.
Dr. Akinlolu reasoned that a political tsunami will hit the APC should former governor Olusegun Mimiko and Chief Olusola Oke decide to run for Senate in their respective senatorial district.
He however advised that since election is over, the APC must start bringing people together in preparation for the next election.
He said” I am quite impressed with what Saka Yusuf Ogunleye did in Akure North, he has brought nearly all the AD and PDP together and he led them to the APC last week, that is what political leader is all about
“Some one like Saka has taken a right step, let other leaders of the party follow suit, people must be brought back into the party” he noted.