The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has denied allegations that he is involved with the group of All Progressives Congress (APC) allegedly seeking to remove the party’s national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
What he said: The governor issued a statement signed by his senior special adviser on special duties and strategy, Doyin Odebowale, debunking accusations that he is moving against Oshiomhole. He said those making the claims are opportunists. “There is no truth in the whole contrivance. The governor has been pre-occupied with matters of governance in Ondo State for which he was elected,” the statement said.
Okay, but…: The governor was very clear about his continuing dissatisfaction with Oshiomhole’s leadership. First he said, the party chairman is a narcissist, which was why he never wanted him to be chairman of the party in the first place.
Akeredolu “did not hide his opposition to Mr. Oshiomole’s aspiration for the simple reason that the leadership of a party, especially the one just emerging from a merger, should distance itself from egregious and inherently destructive narcissism. Recent events seem to justify this position as prescient.”
He also said that the conduct of APC primaries nationwide has exposed Oshiomhole’s incompetence.
Bottom line: The governor is aggrieved but his anger has little to do with Oshiomhole’s competence or lack thereof. Governors always want to be in control of the structure of their political parties and to determine those fielded by the party in elections in their state. Just like his Ogun counterpart, Ibikunle Amosun, the Ondo governor did not have his way in the party’s primaries and is reacting to the loss. However, as governor he wields a lot of power, and so dissatisfaction with his party’s chosen candidates could make him work against them, which would be harmful to the party’s chances, especially because Akeredolu himself is not up for reelection in February.