The suspended Chairman of the Ondo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Isaac Kekemeke, in this interview with PETER DADA, blames Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, for the lingering crisis in the state
You were the vice-chairman of the APC in Ondo State. When did you become the acting chairman
I became the acting chairman of the party in Ondo State last year after the suspension of the Chairman (Isaac Kekemeke).
Who suspended the chairman?
The chairman was suspended by the State Working Committee. The APC national secretariat also approved the suspension.
What are you doing to resolve the lingering crisis in the party?
We don’t have any crisis in our party. If we have crisis, we won’t be able to win the election which was conducted on November 26, 2016. The election was adjudged the freest and fairest ever held in Ondo State. So, if the party is in crisis, there is no way it will win the election. The party has been waxing stronger since we won the election. Members of the opposition political parties have been defecting to our party. From March this year, after the first anniversary celebration of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, members of the State Working Committee of the party went round the 18 local government areas of the state and they were accorded great reception in all the places they visited.
You said there is no crisis in the Ondo APC but a chieftain in the state is challenging the outcome of the September 3, 2016 primary election of the party in court?
You were in this state when the primary was conducted and you can testify to it that the election was free, fair and transparent. An aspirant has the right to decide what he or she wants but since the issue is an internal affair of our party, the leaders will look into it. As the acting chairman of the party, who also participated in the primary election, I can confirm that the exercise was the best primary election ever conducted in the state.
The plaintiff, Segun Abraham, got a judgment at the Supreme Court on March 23, 2018. What do you think is the implication of the verdict on the party?
I am not a lawyer but the issue is about serving of court papers. One person wants his opponent to be served while the other person said the court cannot serve him. So, it doesn’t have any effect on the party; we are moving. It is a party affair that would soon be resolved.
It was in the news recently that Senator Ajayi Boroffice has been shut out of the party activities for quite some time now. Don’t you consider that as a form of crisis?
I insist that there is no crisis in Ondo State APC. Ask Senator Boroffice, if you see him, if he worked for the APC in the last governorship election. During the campaign, he did not attend a single rally. In his unit where he voted, the APC lost. Can we regard such person as a member of the APC? Again, after the primary election of September 3, 2016, Boroffice has not attended any of our party meetings till date. You cannot claim to be a party member and you will not be active or get yourself involved in anti-party activities. It is a serious offence.
Has any disciplinary action been taken against him for doing that?
The greatest offence anybody can commit in the party is to be involved in ant-party activities because it is like plotting a coup and if the coup fails, we all know that the verdict is death penalty. So when you work against your party, the penalty is expulsion.
Why has he not been expelled?
What we are trying to do is to let the sleeping dogs lie. We have just decided to leave him alone. If other party members had behaved the way he did during the election, we wouldn’t have won the election. We just have to appreciate God and the people that worked for us during the election. The APC government is working in Ondo State and everybody is happy. Workers salaries are being paid regularly. Governor (Rotimi) Akeredolu inherited a seven-month salary arrears and he paid three-month arrears within one year. In terms of infrastructural development, what Akeredolu has done in one year, no government has done it in the history of Ondo State.
What are you doing to bring the aggrieved members back home?
You see, one of the leaders I respect so much in this state is Chief Olusola Oke (SAN). He left APC and joined the AD (Alliance for Democracy). When he came back with his loyalists and supporters, we celebrated him. That is the beauty of democracy. But we can no longer trust someone who did evil against our party particularly during the election. However, that is not a crisis to us and all I know is that Ondo State APC is intact; we have no crisis at all.
Do you also share the same opinion with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu who said the reconciliation committee, led by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, does not need to come to Ondo State?
Asiwaju is our leader and we revere him, but it is when there is crisis that there will be a need for reconciliation. He (Tinubu) built the party in this state but he does not have any crisis to reconcile. If he comes to visit us, he is welcome and all I know that our leader, Tinubu, will never tolerate anti-party activities.
You are one of the party chairmen that attended the last NWC of your party in Abuja. What is your own position on the issue of the tenure elongation for the National Chairman.
In fairness, the issue of tenure elongation is not about (Chief John) Odigie-Oyegun alone; it is about the system but I won’t talk much about it because it is an internal affair of the party and it will soon be resolved.
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