The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has split into five major political camps ahead of the August 27 governorship primaries in Ondo State. The election for Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s successor holds on November 26.
The arrowhead of one of the groups and probably the most formidable is the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who has pitched his tent with Dr. Olusegun Abraham from Akoko North East Local Government.
The support given to Abraham by Tinubu has, however, led to sharp disagreement with the group headed by former Interim National Chairman of the APC and erstwhile governor of Osun State, Chief Adebisi Akande, who has thrown his weight behind the candidature of Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, the Senator representing Ondo North Senatorial district. Interestingly in the camp of Akande is Tinubu’s wife, Senator Remi, who is an unrepentant supporter of Boroffice.
Mrs. Tinubu addresses Boroffice as ‘My Governor’. Impeccable sources told New Telegraph that Tinubu, Akande and National Vice Chairman of the APC (South-West), Chief Pius Akinyelure, had in one of their meetings in London, agreed on Boroffice’s choice for Ondo governorship ticket until the trio disagreed and now sponsoring three different candidates for the election.
In a bid to pacify Tinubu to back down on his support for Abraham, a meeting was held in Bourdillon Road, the residence of the APC leader, at the weekend in Lagos. Tinubu, his wife and Boroffice were in attendance.
A source said that Tinubu reeled out a catalogue of allegations against Boroffice and why he is withdrawing his support. One of the issues raised is that Boroffice would turn out a “difficult governor” to relate with.
It was learnt that Borofmay fice denied all the allegations. Another formidable group is that of Abuja headed by Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai.
El-Rufai’s group is supporting former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and governorship candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2012 election in the state, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN).
In the camp of el-Rufai are prominent ministers from the South-West and a minister from the South- South. Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar is said to be sympathetic to this group.
New Telegraph learnt that the Abuja group is not in support of Boroffice because of the role he played during the party’s presidential primaries leading to the emergency of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari as the presidential candidate of the APC. Boroffice had supported former Kano State governor and now senator, Rabiu Kwankwaso, with the intention of being his running mate.
The fourth camp is that of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State. Aregbesola is pushing for Chief Olusola Oke from Ilaje Local Government in Ondo South Senatorial District of the state. Aregbesola’s strategy is to pair his Special Adviser on Environment, Hon. Bola Ilori, with Oke, the former National Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Oke’s albatross is that he is a new entrant to APC from the PDP.
New Telegraph learnt that Akinyelure is also supporting Mr. Boye Oyewumi, a new entrant into the political firmament of the state. Akinyelure has an alternative; Mr. Awodehin Akinsehinwa, popularly called Apata, from Owo Local Government Area of the state.
Although there are five major formidable groups contending for the sole ticket of the party, there also other splinter groups including that of Chief Segun Oni, erstwhile governor of Ekiti State and the Deputy National Chairman of APC who is supporting his godson, Prince Ademola Adegoroye from Akure in Ondo Central Senatorial District.
Another splinter group is the state chairman of APC, Hon. Isaacs Kekemeke who is supporting Dr. Bode Ayorinde, a member of the House of Representatives representing Ose/ Owo federal constituency. Despite the existence of the camps, the APC national secretariat cannot rein in the groups because of the weak national leadership of the party.
The camps within the party, New Telegraph learnt, are threatening the chances of the party at the polls as the groups that lost out in the party primaries Borofmay work against the interest of the candidate at the polls.
This development made the chairmen of APC in the 18 local government areas of the state to warn against the imposition of any candidate ahead of the primaries fixed for August 27.
The chairmen said the party would lose the November 26 governorship election in the state should they impose any candidate on the party as the people would prefer the ruling party in the state, the PDP, ahead of any imposed APC candidate.