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Ondo Guber: Ganduje’s Reconciliation Meeting Deadlocked As Three Aspirants Shun Photograph With Governor Aiyedatiwa

Three vanquished Ondo guber aspirants shunned victorious candidate Governor Aiyetadiwa, despite APC chairman Ganduje’s intervention.

The reconciliation meeting convened by the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje to pacify aggrieved aspirants in the Ondo State governorship election scheduled for September 21 ended in a deadlock on Thursday as three of the aspirants shunned taking photograph with Governor Lucky Aiyetadiwa.

After the marathon meeting which lasted for about two hours behind closed doors, the three aggrieved aspirants zoomed off from national secretatiat of APC with unfriendly countenance which fuelled speculations about serious disagreement.

The deadlock came as APC Youths from Ondo State protested against the primary and demanded fresh election.

While the APC claimed that the meeting deliberated on how Aiyetadiwa should run an inclusive governance, one of the leading aspirants, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, told Arise News off-camera that himself, Olusola Oke (SAN) and a former Commissioner for Finance, Adewale Akinterinwa refused to take photographs with Aiyedatiwa.

Nothing Serious At The Meeting, Says Jimoh Ibrahim

He said, “Nothing was agreed on in the meeting, I will speak on it next week. We didn’t stage walkout. But we rejected taking group photograph Aiyetadiwa: myself, Olusola Oke and Wale Akintetirinwa. Three of us rejected group photograph with Aiyedatiwa. No more comment, that is the best you can get from me, there is nothing serious in the meeting.”

APC Roots For Inclusive Governance In Ondo State

But the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Durosinmi Meseko, told journalists that the National Working Committee of the APC took the decision on inclusive governance after dialoguing with the Governor and the aggrieved aspirants to create a united front ahead of the November election.

He said, “We are here this evening to brief you about the meeting that was held by the NWC with all the aspirants that participated in last week’s governorship primary in Ondo State. The candidate and the remaining 15 aspirants were invited, and two key resolutions were reached.

“One, it was agreed at the meeting that because of the complaints that trailed the outcome of the primary by some of the aspirants, there is a need for the party to continue dialogue with all the aspirants individually and collectively to have a common ground for the forthcoming elections in the state. Also, it is for them to be able to work together as a united family.

“Secondly, it was also agreed that the State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, should immediately work towards instituting what we call ‘inclusive governance’ in the State by involving all the other aspirants. Of course, we know most of the aspirants won’t be able to participate in his government. But they have people that we can allow to make input. He should work and relate with them to move the state forward. These were the two key ingredients taken out of today’s meeting.”

The resolution of the APC was also re-echoed by its Chairman in Ondo State, Ade Adetimehin.

He said, “As earlier disclosed by the Deputy National Publicity Secretary, the NWC agreed after the two-hour deliberation that we will continue to dialogue with all the aspirants. We will continue to engage both at the national and state level.

“The second resolution was to run an inclusive government in Ondo State. Our governor was there when it was taken and it is mandatory that it must commence immediately. This must include the aspirants and other members of our party in Ondo State. We believe Ondo is a progressive state. We have a large chunk of party supporters in the APC.

“In the last election, we have three senatorial seats won by the APC. In the House of Representatives, we won eight out of nine seats. Out of 26 seats in the State Assembly, we got 22. I believe you will agree with me that Ondo is an APC state.

“What we came here to deliberate is to decide the mode of working together and to have less division within our party. I want to thank all the aspirants. Sixteen contested in the last primary election. Today’s meeting was attended by 15. That shows we have given room for dialogue. That is what we are here to do,” he stated.

Earlier before the meeting started, Ganduje had appealed to the aggrieved aspirants to put their annoyance behind.

The meeting was attended by 15 out of the 16 aspirants that participated in the exercise.

They are Governor Aiyedatiwa, a former member of the House of Assembly, Olusoji Adewale Ehinlanwo; Hon. Olugbenga Omogbemi Edema, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, Funmilayo Waheed-Adekojo, Hon. Akinfolarin Mayo Samuel
and Hon. Adewale Akinterinwa.

Others are Olusola Oke, SAN; Ohunyeye Olamide Felix and Morayo Lebi, Garvey Oladiran Iyanjan; Prof. Francis Adebayo Faduyile, Judith Folakemi Omogoroye, Ifeoluwa Oyedele and Hon. Omo’Oba Okunjimi Odimayo. But the APC National Vice Chairman (South West), Isaac Kekemeke
was absent.

I Waited For 16 Years Before I Became Governor, Ganduje Tells Jimoh Ibrahim, Others

Speaking to Aiyetadiwa and the aspirants before the meeting started, Ganduje appealed to those who are aggrieved to team up with the standard for APC to continue its grip on the Ondo State government machinery.

He said, “The purpose of this dialogue, this meeting is to appeal. The purpose is not to dwell on what has happened, what has not happen, what is correct, what is not correct. If we dwell on that then it will lead to what we call; ‘too much analysis leads to paralysis. If we are to dwell on that, there are professors, amongst us, lawyers, some are engineers, even the gender is being accommodated. We who are less educated, the controversy will not cover us considering the galaxy of politicians who are here.

“So our own is to appeal to you. We in the party here, we are both insiders and outsiders. So when you say something is inside and also outside, you have to think about that oxymoron. You have to think about that controversy. We are insiders because it is our party, that is a ruling party in Ondo state and we are the managers of our party in Nigeria.

“So, we are an interested party even if it is a local government election. We are outsiders because the state belongs to you, this party belongs to you. I am sure your prayer is that our party, your party should be the ruling party in Ondo State. I think this is our common focus, our party should be the ruling party in Ondo state. It is already a ruling party our prayer is that it should continue to be a ruling party in Ondo State.
So you see, we are here to appeal to you so that we succeed in maintaining this state as APC state.

“I appeal to you, we are all practitioners in this game, in this politics, in this agenda. If you recall, I contested for governorship in 1999, I lost I couldn’t become a Governor until after 16 years. I was patient enough. I was praying and I eventually became a Governor after 16 sixteen years. So I can’t call you that you are lost aspirants. You are aspirants that will be successful tomorrow.”

Friday Olokor, Abuja

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