Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
What appeared as last minute efforts by the Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, to have the governorship candidacy of Hon. Abdul-Kabir Adekunle Akinlade upheld was, on Sunday, suffered a setback as President Muhammadu Buhari was said to have declared that he lacked the power to upturn the decision taken by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the matter.
Governor Amosun had, on Sunday, led the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, the Olu of Ilaro and the Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle and the former Minister of State for Education, Senator Iyabo Anisulowo, to allegedly plead with President Buhari, to intervene in the happenings in Ogun APC.
The details of the meeting could not be immediately ascertained, but according to a reliable source, the president made it clear to the delegate that he could not interfere in the party affairs, especially on the decision that had been decided upon and ratified by the NWC.
The source further informed our correspondent that members of the delegation, which met with the president around mid-day, had flown to Abuja around 8.30a.m from Lagos on a chattered flight, to exert their influence on Buhari to prevail on the national leadership of the party, to allow Amosun’s anointed governorship candidate scale through as APC candidate in the state.
This plea, according to the source, was declined by the president, who declared the delegation that intervening in the issue would negate his principle of non interference in party affairs.
Though, as as the time of filing this report, there was no official statement on the reason for the delegate’s visit to Abuja, but the source insisted that the visit was simply to paint Dapo Abiodun as a wrong APC governorship candidate and make case for Akinlade.
Earlier, the campaign organization of Dapo Abiodun, had raised the alarm over an attempt to upturn the victory of Abiodun as the Ogun State APC governorship candidate.
In a statement by the Director of Media of the organisation, Emmanuel Ojo, the organisation claimed it was aware of concluded plans by the state governor to commission two highly revered Paramount Rulers from Ogun State to go and plead with President Buhari not to accept the candidature Abiodun, who according to it remained the valid candidate of the party.
The statement reads in part: “Having failed with so many attempts geared towards legalising illegality, including a botched attempt to get an ex parte order at the Federal High Court Abeokuta, on Friday, October 19, it is quite unfortunate that Governor Amosun is using his position of authority to unduly influence and mobilize respected traditional leaders for such hatched job.
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“This act is capable of desecrating the symbol of peace and unity which our traditional leaders stand for and must be widely condemned by concerned citizens of Ogun State at home and abroad.
“Our traditional leaders should not be dragged into this kind of murky politics which is heavily laden with ulterior and selfish motive being singlehandedly pursued by the governor, who is frantically and desperately looking for every possible means to upturn the final decision of party members in the state, and duly ratified by the NWC of our great party.
“We all know that our dear president is a peace loving man whose integrity cannot be compromised. He will not upturn the mandate that had been freely given to Prince Dapo Abiodun by all members of Ogun APC, in a bid to satisfy any personal interest.
“The general public is hereby put on notice, as we call on well-meaning citizens of Ogun State to kindly find out the real reason behind Mr. Governor’s desperate moves to install Hon Akinlade at all cost. It appears there is more to this than meet the eyes.