By Kennedy Ikantu Peretei.
The next couple of days will be very interesting. The contraption called All Progressives Congress (APC) would have finally extinguished itself. In Ondo State for example, one does not need the prophetic exactitude of a Jewish prophet to know that, Rotimi Akeredolu led APC will have a tragic outing in the 2023 general elections.
Whereas, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held credible, transparent and peaceful party primaries across Nigeria, for State Houses of Assembly and National Assembly, the APC keeps adjusting and re-adjusting the time-table for screening presidential aspirants and party primaries, all with the intention to foist anointed presidential candidate through arm twisting process called consensus.
If General Mohammadu Buhari(rtd) was able to pull through with this kind of anomally during the heavily compromised APC National Convention in ‘Selecting’ national officers for the party, it may not be a tea party for choosing who becomes the standard bearer for the 2023 elections.
Not many supporters and faithfuls of the APC in Ondo State could come to terms with the audacity and high handedness with which Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN and his man Friday, Engr. Ade Adetimehin, Ondo State APC Chairman, who distributed party tickets to individuals that Akeredolu considers as loyal party members. All 26 House of Assembly candidates were handpicked by Akeredolu. Those who insisted on party primaries were blackmailed and intimidated to withdraw. When members of his party complained, an official statement was issued by his media handlers to muscle up dissenting voices, dismissing them as not appreciating the trouble Akeredolu takes in holding the party together. On the appointed date for the Primaries, Delegates were shocked as designated venues were desolate. Needless to say that, all aggrieved persons are waiting to participate in the final burial rites of the APC. A particular case in point is Ondo East Local Government where one of Akeredolu’s Commissioners was accused of using thugs and guns to kidnap delegates opposed to the choice of the Governor. The drama is still unfolding. Across the State, most persons are awaiting how all these will play out shortly. It is unbelievable that a man who emerged through a party primaries where he never stood any chance of winning can turn around to act god in the affairs of those who have endured him in the last six years. Anyway, what to expect in Akeredolu’s zoo is a child’s play compared to the dinner Buhari and his team of power hungry hawks will serve in Abuja where the APC will be interned after the consensus primaries.
Recall also that, all presidential aspirants have voluntarily signed a document, announcing their withdrawal from the presidential race. About nine of such aspirants, all of whom paid a princely N100m for Nomination Forms have stepped down for Dr. Ahmad Lawan, the incumbent Senate President. Senator Uzor Kalu while announcing his withdrawal from the race took an entire paragraph to congratulate Lawan. Those who are blinded by their presidential ambitions will receive their sight at the APC burial ceremony.
How Rotimi Akeredolu succeeded to silence everybody to perpetrate this level of impunity in a party of men and women some of whom have been in party politics for decades is very surprising. How he subdued all voices of reason will make an interesting reading in future.
What cannot be said with finality is whether or not Akeredolu will be able to prevail on his brother Governor, Supreme Court Governor, Hope Uzodinma of Imo State to handpick Ada Owere Betty Akeredolu for the Imo East Senatorial seat. If he fails to accomplish that, all these efforts will not be worthwhile, because, the day another governor is sworn-in on 24th February, 2025, that is when Akeredolu will realise that, indeed, the people of Ondo State have merely tolerated him. It will be a huge compensation, if by any means lawful, he can make Betty a Senator come 2023.
For now, while all ears are to the ground, we urge Akeredolu to shun actions that will consign internal democracy to the dustbin. It is “unlawyerly” and primitive to think people can be taken for a ride in this crude manner.
Kennedy Ikantu Peretei is Ondo State PDP publicity secretary.
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