The Ondo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has described the rumour making the rounds that the state governor, Olawarotimi Akeredolu, is planning to dump the party for the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, as a ruse.
Describing the governor as a progressive who will not mingle with any party aside the APC, the party, in a statement issued on Monday, attributed the alleged rumour to the ploy by those the party stated are not comfortable with the achievements of Akeredolu in the state.
Following series of crisis rocking the state APC, particularly the anti-party activities of members of the party spearheaded by the governor during the recently-concluded general elections, with subsequent query, Akeredolu is said to be allegedly considering looking outside the APC’s enclave for his second term ambition.
The statement signed by the party’s State Publicity Secretary, Alex Kalejaye, and made available , read, “The attention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Ondo State has been drawn to a rumour making the rounds that the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, is hobnobbing with the Peoples Democratic Party, with a view to defecting to that party ahead of the next governorship election.
“The party considers this rumour as wicked and a complete lie, and urge the public to disregard it.
“Though we would have preferred to ignore this irresponsible rumour, it is however expedient to dispel the rumour, so it will not pollute the minds of our members, and mislead the public.
“The Governor has never contemplated joining a party of the conservatives, let alone contesting election on its platform. He hails from the bedrock of progressives in the State, and has always been a progressive.
“It is also imperative to inform the rumour-mongers that Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, invested so much into the development of APC in Ondo State. Today, he is well respected and appreciated in the APC, and therefore has no reason whatsoever to flirt with another political party.
“We are not unaware that some opposition parties are feeling intimidated by the sterling performance of the Akeredolu-led administration, and are planning to distract him through whatever means. This is a mission in futility.
“The government is not perturbed about this or any other ploy. The revolution in the infrastructure development will be sustained; massive investment drive won’t slow down; commitment to workers’ welfare remains a top priority.”
Kalejaye stressed that, “for the avoidance of doubt, the good people of Ondo State, who are the ultimate beneficiaries of these initiatives have consistently maintained that they are comfortable with the present administration, and will always support it.
“The Ondo State APC is confident that the party will continue to fortify its strength, and support the government in its development drive, building of the party and its members.
“The party appeals to its supporters to disregard the baseless and misleading publication, and consign it to the dustbin of history, where it rightly belongs,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, the PDP, had in a statement earlier issued, emphasised its resolve to accept Akeredolu into its fold, but maintained that the governor must be prepared to forget preferential treatment to the detriment of those he met in the party.