‘We’re not moved an inch’ – gov. Ajimobi kicks
THE way things are going in the political circuit in Oyo, the Pacesetter State, especially the rate at which some All Progressives Congress stalwarts are decamping to Labour Party (LP) is giving the incumbent governor, Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi sleepless nights. And his chance of ruling the state again is very slim, if all the political permutations on ground are anything to do by.
An impeccable source informed ENCOMIUM Weekly that the present situation informed the gap-toothed politician’s move to be soliciting the support of all the top monarchs in the state, including the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Aderemi III; Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel Odulana and other influential traditional rulers in the state.
The source informed us that the tradition that no one rules the state twice is still the bone of contention among the top Ibadan indigenes, who are also interested in the exalted seat.
According to the source, the plot to unseat Governor Ajimobi come 2015 thickens daily as more of Ibadan indigenes who were hitherto All Progressives Congress’ bigwigs are now defecting to Labour Party, all in the interest of vying for the state’s number one seat in the next general elections.
The source disclosed further that those whose defection worries Ajimobi are the former Commissioner for the Environment, Hon. Lowo Obisesan, former Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government Affairs, Hon. Nurudeen Akinyo. Also, former chairman, Oodua Investment Group of Companies and Secretary to the State Government (SSG) during the administration of former governor, Alhaji Rasheed Adewolu Ladoja, Alhaji Sarafadeen Abiodun Alli, who, we were told, has been tipped by top Ibadan indigenes to succeed Ajimobi but on the platform of Labour Party. He is said to be enjoying the backing and sponsorship of Ondo governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko.
Another power player in APC, who was the SSG under late Lam Adesina as the governor of the state is also rumoured to have moved to LP, alongside other core loyalists of the late politician. He is likely to emerge as Alli’s running mate in the forthcoming governorship election.
The source also told us that the accord of the two former governors and rivals, Rasheed Ladoja and Alao Akala is also seriously working to dislodge Ajimobi in the 2015 guber race.
Although, no official statement has been issued from the camp concerning who will pick the ticket to contest for the governorship seat, all eyes are on Ladoja, who they believe has strong supporters at the moment.
All these and many more are a signal that Ajimobi can’t enjoy a smooth ride to Agodi again if he eventually wins the election in 2015.
“Governor Isiaka Ajimobi is not enjoying the best of times politically at the moment. The rate at which those he is counting on their support for his second term ambition to materialize are leaving APC is alarming. I learnt this has been giving him serious headaches. That’s why he has been moving from one traditional ruler to the other to solicit their support. He doesn’t want to leave any stone unturned.
“Since he was given the ticket as APC flag-bearer in 2015 governorship polls, there have been series of crisis within the party in the state, especially among the aggrieved top members who are mainly in late Lam Adesina’s faction. I learnt almost all of them want to become the governor in 2015. Now, I learnt not less than five commissioners are also resigning soon to run for different political offices on the platform of LP. So, with this situation, Ajimobi has a very tough battle ahead. Left to me, I don’t think the man has any problem with the electorate because he is performing. But we all know that politics is beyond that. He still needs to go the extra mile, if he must rule the state again because the issue of no one can serve twice is still a subject of discourse among the political class in the state. But with the support of the people, Ajimobi may break the jinx in 2015, but that may be difficult to achieve.”
ENCOMIUM Weekly contacted the amiable governor, via his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Festus Adeoye, on Friday, April 18, 2014. He confirmed that some people had defected, but according to him, that does not have anything to do with the ruling APC winning the governorship seat again in 2015.
“There is no cause for alarm at all. APC is still very much on ground. It’s a people oriented party. Despite the fact that some people might have defected, we will still win in 2015. Those that have moved out of the party are in search of greener pastures which is allowed in politics. They think they were not getting what they were supposed to get. So, the best for them was to search for it elsewhere. That’s politics for you. Even those of us journalists, we can move from one medium to the other, that does not mean the medium we left would die. So, whether or not anybody is leaving APC doesn’t bother us because we’re still very much focused. But did they also tell you the number of strong people coming to APC daily? As I speak to you, some are just decamping to APC. As a matter of fact, what is sacrosanct is that people who will vote in 2015 know where their bread is buttered. So, they can’t afford to be misled. Whatever the number of people defecting to Labour Party or whichever party, does not in any way move us. Ajimobi is the people’s choice, and he is going to have a landslide victory at the polls, come 2015.”
Asked if Governor Ajimobi is actually jittery about the development as being bandied, he reacted, “My brother, I have told you, no shaking at all. There is no reason for him to panic. APC remains a party to beat in 2015, irrespective of anybody’s defection to another party.”
– TADE ASIFAT