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Ondo 2024: The Game Plan To Scuttle APC Chances Exposed.

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By Oyèwùmí Adeniyi
Tola Awosope
Additional contributions
Desmond Hanku(Abuja)

During the impeachment saga of Mr Lucky Ayedatiwa, then the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, almost all the Aspirants who vied for the ticket of the APC stood firmly by the process. They understood the game. They knew that the end result would be injurious to their Aspirations if the impeachment process did not succeed and Ayedatiwa survived.

The Process failed. Ayedatiwa became the
Acting -Governor. Few days later, Akeredolu, the then Governor died and he was sworn in as the Executive Governor of Ondo State.

Ayedatiwa’s ascension changed the entire game plan. The top Aspirants who has vowed to take over from Akeredolu needed a hightech strategy to defeat the young vibrant incumbent who wasted no time in warming himself up into the heart of the Ondo State people.

The thinking in some quarter was that these array of Aspirants – 16 in number – will forge a common front to battle and wrestle the ticket from the governor, knowing the enormous powers, influence and resources at his disposal.

But to the surprise of many, the Aspirants having failed to secure the much awaited presidential endorsements, faced the political reality with a divided house and the tone of the result was very loud. They were roundly defeated by the Governor. It was expected. Though.

After the primary, the Aspirants condemned the outcome. Not because the Governor won but because, according to them, the process which produced the winner was questionable.They said the primary election never took place. Although Newsflo.ng could not verify their claim. The only verifiable fact is the report by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. which confirmed that the APC held it’s Gubernatorial primary on 20th April. The Police and the DSS report also validated the conduct of the primary.

Some Aspirants presented their complaints to the Election Appeal Committee. All the complaints were thrown out for being frivolous. Lacking in merit and unsubstantiated.

The National Chairman, Dr Umar Ganduje thereafter summoned the Aspirants to Abuja. He appealed for ceasefire. The G7 Aspirants made their grievances known but in the interest of the party and as concerned stakeholders, sheath their swords. They endorsed the peace path to ensure victory for the party come November 16. The G7 includes; Mayowa Akinfolarin who came second in the Primary election, Soji Ehinlanwo, Diran Iyantan, Jimi Odimayo, Morayo Lebi, Dayo Faduyile and Funmilayo Waheed-Adekojo.

Four of the remaining Aspirants disagreed with the party’s appeal for peace. They started their nocturnal meetings. In the end Senator Ibrahim filed his court processes. He asked the court to declare that the APC has no candidate and should not be on the ballot come 16 November. According to Ibrahim, no Primary election took place and the court should so declare.

An impeccable source had it that, a particular Aspirant from the Governor’s Local Government has made a huge investment on the pending case before the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The game plan is to get the court to declare that no APC Guber primary election held on 20th April. This will unchained this particular Aspirant who has been binded by section of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended from running to contest on another political platform as usual for participating in the APC Guber Primaries.

Already, a surrogate name has been submitted in the Action Alliance, AA. The anticipated judgment will allow for the replacement of this Aspirant’s name before the final nomination window is shut.

Our source also disclosed that, only four of the Aspirants are involved in this plot. Two are already in court; one is to challenge the eligibility of the Governor to contest over the over-flogged WAEC certificate while the other is to litigate against the Governor’s emergence and get the court to declare the APC Governorship Primary null and void.
By implication, the party will be deleted from the ballot, thus giving the head of the political junta a free shuttle into the AA.

Newsflo.ng also gathered that, the Senator who is presently fronting for the group will be given another chance at the National Assembly on the condition that he takes over as Governor after four-year term of the 68years old Ilaje Aspirant.

This plot according to our source has the buy-in of two serving Governors- one from the South East and another from the North West.
The Governors are said to be the brains behind the travails of the National Chairman of the APC, Alhaji Umar Ganduje.

It was also gathered that the surrogates submitted by the AA for the positions of Governorship and Deputy-Governorship candidates respectively have already handed over their resignation letters to a former Senator and former Minister of state from the central Senatorial District of the state, who is a staunch supporter and Director General of the Aseyori movement for necessary disposition at the appropriate time. The plan is to take over power through the AA vehicle and thereafter decamp back to the APC after winning.

The former Senator has pencilled down one of his own, a young, former House of Representatives member from Akure South to deputize the AA would-be candidate.

The inside source also told Newsflo.ng that the purported INEC reports brandished by the Senator before the media and court were procured by the Ìlájé Aspirant who has donated through friends, more than #53m to the cause of litigation. According to him it is the various interest in the plot that is making reconciliation efforts impossible. The source said ” although these are four strange bed fellows, they are united by one cause and that is, to stop Ayedatiwa from continuing as Governor by all means”

The source also revealed that the Governor has tried to reach out to them severally, especially the two Ilajes in the plot and the Senator but the efforts was rebuffed because of the Senato’s commitment to the terms of their agreement. ” The Ìlájé man us that his ambition is non-negotiable because this is about his last chance to be Governor”

According to the source there is also a plan c which is a possible alliance with the PDP candidate in the November 16 poll should their plan A and B failed.

Our source however dismissed insinuations that might have no effect on the party chances in November. ” The Governor, no doubt, has done so well within this little period and that remains his only grace. He is smart. He is loved by the people across the nook and cranny of the state but even Jesus Christ asked the shepherd to leave the thousand sheep and search for one lost sheep.”

Now that the suit has-been transferred to Akure, the Ondo State capital by the Federal High Court Chief Judge based on the application of the 1st Defendant, the APC, the whole proceedings will be heard and determined at Akure.

There seems to be no end in sight to the present hanky-panky game. But head or tail, the APC may still have its head head above the game. The ace might just be within the reach of Mr Lucky Ayedatiwa.

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