Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
The internal crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State may have taken a new dimension as the two existing factions in the party have renewed their battles.
The faction loyal to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu claimed that Akeredolu remains the leader of the party in the state, while the other faction led by Senator Ajayi Boroffice claimed that Akeredolu can no longer lead the party having been allegedly suspended by the National Working Committee (NWC) for alleged anti-party activities.
This is even as some factional leaders of the party have continued to trade words over the suspension of Akeredolu from the party.
A factional leader of APC and former Commissioner for Regional Integration in Osun State, Mr Bola Ilori had accused Governor Akeredolu of being the wheel behind the crisis in the party.
Ilori said the suspension of Akeredolu was occasioned by his pride, adding that he was the architect of his misfortune, having allegedly contributed to the abysmal performance of the party in the last presidential and National Assembly elections in the state.
Our correspondent gathered that the Akeredolu faction of the party led by Mr Ade Adetimehin meets at the state secretariat of the party along Oyemekun road, while the Boroffice faction meets at the residence of a former Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaji Alli Olanusi.
It was gathered that the two factions meet regularly at their various meeting centres to plan for 2020 governorship election.
But the party’s Director of Media and Strategy, Mr Steve Otaloro said the Adetimehin-led faction of the party was the only recognised faction, saying the Supreme Court had finally ruled on the matter.
Also, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Duties and Strategy, Dr Doyin Odebowale, said the crisis in the party was occasioned by the ambition of some members to succeed Akeredolu.
He blamed those planning to contest 2020 governorship election on the platform of the party for being responsible for the crisis.
Also, Governor Akeredolu, it was gathered has been lobbying the powers that be within the party for the lifting of his suspension.
The governor who recently claimed not to be formally aware of his suspension from the party, our correspondent learnt, had visited some key stakeholders at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja over his plight.