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Ondo 2024: Battle For APC Delegates List Takes Centre Stage



• Abuja to play a decisive role

• Contests ‘ll be keen, rancorous, dirty – Sources

Indications have emerged that the contest for the Ondo State governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) billed for next month will be keenly contested, rancorous and dirty.

This is even as the scheming for those who will make the delegates’ list for the April exercise takes centre stage.

Impeccable Sources who confided in Sunday Telegraph over the goings on behind the scenes over who gets the ticket of the party said that President Bola Tinubu as the leader of the party has come under in- tense lobbying by all those who think they have the slightest chance of nicking it.

The four leading contenders are the State governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, former Commissioner of Finance, Wale Akinterinwa, former governorship candidate Olusola Oke (SAN) and current senator representing Ondo South Senatorial District, Jimoh Ibrahim.

A Source who did not want to be mentioned because he is not authorized to do so, said: “There is intensified lobbying of the president by all the sides who think they have the slightest chance of picking the ticket. “The four main contenders are Aiyedatiwa, who is carving a niche for himself, who fought and overcame impeachment plots against him and people are saying underrate him at your peril.

“We have (Wale) Akinterinwa (former commissioner of finance), who keeps tell- ing everybody that Akeredolu endorsed him. “He is flying his kite under the Akeredolu ticket and he believes that all lovers and prodigies of Akeredolu will work with him.

He is also ensuring that his links with the president will work for him. His team accused Aiyedatiwa of blocking their members from playing a key role in the president’s reception. “We also have the man who feels that it is his turn (Olusola Oke)SAN. He is also a key player who believes it is his turn.

“And of course, the man that many people believe is just playing the spoiler’s game and he may be under- rated. But given the money he has thrown into the battle and given his penchant for surprising the opponent. “Jimoh Ibrahim is the man we are talking about.

Most people believe one of the four will pick the ticket. All four are courting the president and reaching out to those close to the president to ensure that they have the edge. We are talking about weeks away.”

Listing the advantages and the strength of each candidate, our Source continued: “Aiyedatiwa’s added advantages are three: Power of incumbency, the fact that he survived what was thrown against him when Akeredolu was ill and he was able to survive it and the fact that he comes from the right side of the state who people believe should produce the governor and his link with brother governors who are teaching him the ropes. As you reported in your stories in the past, the presidency would play a major role.

Aiyedatiwa people believe that through the presidency, he survived the major onslaught against him at that time. He has kept that line up and those who were him and those are people who are very close to the president.” Furthermore, our source said: “They are also making overture to the leadership of the party.

Who makes the delegates’ lists, who prepares them and who is allowed to make the list will invariably lead to who becomes and who gets the ticket. “There are some other fringe candidates who many believe are also running for the sake of it and to remain relevant. “They are going to fight dirty. That is part of what is being thrown into the mix.

In the next four weeks or so, Aiyedatiwa and Akinterinwa groups will fight dirty over the ticket. They are also going to dig their dirt on some of the candidates they believe are the ones going about those allegations.”

Our Source cannot be wrong. Just last week Wednesday, A group by the name Ondo State Redemption Initiative (OSRI), in an open letter to President Bola Tinubu said that they want to bring to the attention of the president the “simmering allegation of certificate forgery against the Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa.

Source : New Telegraph