Why Buhari, Tinubu, Osinbajo Shunned APC’s Ondo 2016 Mega Rally

By Ikenga Chronicles November 10, 2016

Why Buhari, Tinubu, Osinbajo Shunned APC’s Ondo 2016 Mega Rally

The festering crisis bedeviling the All Progressives Congress, APC, ahead of the Ondo State Gubernatorial election is sent to grand the ruling party to a halt as top officials of the party including President Muhammadu Buhari were absent from a scheduled rally.

The rally was organised by the Ondo APC to flag off the campaign of Rotimi Akeredolu, on Thursday, November 10 by its candidate for the November 26 governorship election in the state.

Apart from Buhari, other notable absentees were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, APC’s National Leader, Bola Tinubu, and governor of neighboring Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola. Ikenga Chronicles gathered that the APC heavy weight declined to attend the rally because of the in-fighting among aspirants seeking the party’s ticket at all cost.

‘’Tinubu’s recent call on his former protégé within the APC coalition, John Oyegun, to resign as the National Chairman of the party and the strained relationship between him and Buhari were factors,” a source said.

Tinubu and Oyegun parted ways soon after the Ondo State APC gubernatorial primary election held on September 3, when Rotimi Akeredolu, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, who reportedly got the support of Oyegun, defeated Olusegun Abraham, said to be Tinubu’s candidate.

Many pundits expected that when Tinubu, using the outcome of the Ondo State APC primary as a basis, draw the battle line between him and Chief Oyegun, the APC as a party should talk.

But, sadly, nearly three years after its establishment, the ruling party does not have a Board of Trustees which is aptly described as the “Conscience of the party” that could be handy in moments of distress like this.

And with the exception of few, all those working with Oyegun at the national headquarters of the APC have maintained sealed lips, apparently sceptical about talking to the press.

Before now, there were reports that Tinubu could not get Buhari to accede
to certain choice appointment especially ministerial positions.

Oyegun, who was speaking after presenting the party’s flag to Akeredolu on Thursday as the candidate of the party and his running mate, Hon Agboola Ajayi, said the state is strategic to the Federal Government to be left in the hands of the opposition political party.

Flanked by other leaders of the party including Governors, Ministers and National officers of the party, Oyegun said: “Ondo State is important to the Federal Government. Akeredolu is part of the APC’s Federal Government,” saying the state should not be allowed to continue with opposition politics.

The flag off rally was witnessed by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Engr Babachir Lawal, Deputy National Leader of APC, Chief Segun Oni, Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, Kasim Shettima of Bornu, Mohammed Abubarkar Bauchi, and Ibikunle Amosu, Ogun.

Others included National Vice Chairman (Southwest), Chief Pius Akinyelure, Dr Patrick Akinyelure, Ministers of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Nigige, Health; Prof Isaac Adewole, Communication; Adebayo Shittu, Niger Delta; Usani Uguru Usani, Prof Claudius Daramola, former Deputy Governor
Alhaji Ali Olanusi, Director General of Technical Aide Corps, Dr Pius Osunyikanmi, former governors of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi and Otunba Niyi Adebayo and Senator Olorunnmibe Mamora among others.

Oyegun said the array of people that witnessed the flag off rally showed the importance attached to the realization of Akeredolu’s governorship ambition. He said the state should join its counterpart in the Southwest states in the mainstream of Nigeria’s politics.

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