Governor-elect of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has debased the self-acclaimed leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, following his recent electoral victory.
Akeredolu, while defending his omission of Tibubu’s name and other South West APC leaders in his victory speech, suggested that the former Lagos Governor was of less significance to him and, perhaps, to the Ondo State APC.
The governor-elect, who made his position known, Wednesday, at the State House, further indicated that Tinubu was nothing more than a state level leader of the APC.
He similarly gave hard knocks to South West APC leaders believed to be Tinubu’s loyalists by ignoring them in his victory speech. That is the likes of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State and Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State, whose body languages indicated that they had pledged allegiance to candidate of the Alliance for Democracy, Olusola Oke, in a bid to spite Akeredolu.
“On the names that were mentioned in my speech when expressing gratitude and that I didn’t specifically thank Bola Ahmed Tinubu. I thanked the President and the leader of our party profusely for the leadership which he showed leading to this election,” Akeredolu said.
“I also thanked our indefatigable chairman for standing by the truth and for his position on this matter that led to this election. I have no reason to do otherwise.
“Party structure to the best of my knowledge is very clear. You have the leadership of the party and that is represented by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
“After the election, a chief executive emerges, he becomes a leader of the party, you don’t have to personalise and be looking for leaders all over the place.
“If we have to do that, then I will have to mention 36 or 37 leaders. So I believe the leadership as represented by the President covers all leaders and that tells me it would include Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, it would include even Baba Akande, Onu, and so many leaders.
“But President Buhari is the leader of the party. So, that is my position there.”
While denying any feud with Tinubu, he said: “For me as a person, I believe he is one of the leaders of the party and I don’t see any strain relationship between us. And you would observe that he has sent in his congratulatory message after the election, so what else do you expect?
“I mean all of us see this as victory for the APC, not for Akeredolu, not for us an individual but for the party as a whole. I believe he is a member of the party. Mr. Femi Adesina had issued a release but you journalists just want to put words into our mouths,” he said.