As at the time of filing this report, rumours have it that most of the executives of the party in the state are on the verge of either resigning from their positions on the premise of rejecting the Akeredolu result. One of the aspirants who came third with 576 votes, Olusola Oke, had already officially rejected the outcome of the result via a press conference, alleging that there was “injection of fake delegates into the delegates list to positively induce the primary result for Akeredolu”.
Elsewhere, while a pocket of the Akeredolu supporters within the APC are celebrating his shocking victory, the entire body of the opposition party within the state, especially the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), have been sent into a bigger celebratory mode, based on their perception of Akeredolu as a weak candidate easy enough to defeat, as they did back in 2012. The phrase “customer daada ni”, a derogatory slang off a Nigerian hiphop used to describe sheepish patronage, has been on the lips of the PDP supporters since the Akeredolu announcement was made.
Most of the APC delegates, some of whom spoke in confidence to our correspondent, lamented the emergence of Akeredolu, also called “Aketi”, as the party’s candidate, describing him as the aspirant with the least chances prior to the primary exercise, judging by his dismal performance back in 2012 when he polled a distant third as the party’s gubernatorial candidate. Some of them also fingered a gang up against party integrity and structure by some of the aspirants, as to what led to the Akeredolu shock.
One of them said, “I just can’t believe this result. Something must be wrong somewhere and somehow. Aketi can’t be our party’s candidate again. He is not strong enough to represent our party at all. He is too snobbish and lacks the leadership prowess our party and state needs seriously at this moment”.
Another of the delegates, who hails from Ose, the same Senatorial district as Akeredolu, complained tearfully that the party is on the verge of losing again with Akeredolu as the candidate. His words, “This man lost in his own ward and his district during his own election back in 2012, that’s how unpopular and a weak candidate he is. I suspect a gang up, and we will not accept this anomaly”.
Amidst tears and palpable expression of grievance, a host of the delegates who couldn’t leave the International Conference Centre venue of the primary election, were seen to chorus a threat to never vote for the Ibadan-based lawyer.
It would be recalled that Akeredolu was adopted without a primary as the governorship candidate by the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2012, but he lost scandalously to the PDP and Labour party, coming a distant third, despite the huge sum of money alloted to his campaign. This particular fact about Akeredolu’s unpopular tag came up a lot as a big deficit of his aspiration in the buildup to the Saturday election. In fact, his Director-general back in 2012, who also doubles as a co-aspirant this time, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, about two months ago described Akeredolu as “hard-to-sell”, while trying to defend his own role in the dismal 2012 Aketi campaign.
This then explains the displeasure with which a large percentage of the party delegates received this Akeredolu outcome, as they never saw it coming.
In a statement given to press on Sunday, Olusegun Abraham, who came second with 635 votes, seemed defiant and insisted on working with the party leadership to rectify or move forward from this situation.
As it is, especially with Akeredolu’s public diss of the party leadership prior to the primary, the APC in the state seems headed for the rocks with this Akeredolu outcome, and the whatever decisions made in the next few days will determine how successful or otherwise the party will fare come November.
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