IBADAN – Barely 24hours to the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo state, a former governor and one of the governorship aspirants in the state, Otunba Alao-Akala, has threatened to boycott tomorrow’s direct primary in the state.
Akala alleged that, the outgoing governor, Abiola Ajimobi had chosen to impose Mr. Joseph Olasunkanmi Tegbe in Sunday’s primary.
Eight aspirants are jostling to succeed Ajimobi in the party.
Akala in the statement, alleged that Ajimobi had sent words round to coerce and intimidate delegates into voting for Tegbe today.
He, therefore, called on the national leadership of the party to come to the rescue of the party which he said was heading towards collapse.
The statement read in part: “His Excellency, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, a true party man and committed loyalist to any cause he believes in, wishes to state categorically that he is not a push-over in the game of politics and as a well-grounded and groomed politician who has occupied the number one seat of a politically conscious state as Oyo State will not be part of any move or attempt to subvert the true will and wish of the people by the selfish interest of an Individual.
“The general public should also note that Gov. Abiola Ajimobi has clandestinely offered Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala the ministerial slot of Oyo State in an attempt to pitch him against Barr. Adebayo Shittu, an offer he has rejected in its entirety as he is not one to be tailored or shown the way round in the game of politics.”
But in a swift reaction, governor Abiola Ajimobi, has dismissed the allegation by Chief Akala, describing it as ‘unsubstantiated’.
Ajimobi who spoke through his spokesman, Mr. Bolaji Tunji, described the allegation as unsubstantiated, stressing that the governor has thoroughly demonstrated that he has no preference for any aspirant.
Tunji reminded Alao-Akala, who he described as a respected politicians and who has played a good role in fostering unity in the party, that Ajimobi once met the aspirants and advised them to pick a few among them that will go into the primary.
Tunji, who is the Special Adviser to Governor Ajimobi on Communication and Strategy, explained that the governor has emphasized severally at the meeting that he has not anointed any of them.
He added that the aspirants, who were originally up to 26, did not get back to the governor on those they have chosen to participate in the primary.
Tunji said it is not uncommon for aspirants to come up with excuses and unsubstantiated allegations when it becomes clear to them that they may not win an election.