Intense Lobbying Ensues as Ondo APC Governorship Primary Approaches

As the April governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State draws near, aspirants have intensified their efforts to secure the party’s ticket.

Sources reveal that the dynamics of President Bola Tinubu’s support are continually shifting, adding an air of uncertainty to the race.

Among the prominent contenders vying for the APC ticket are Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, Olusola Oke, Isaac Kekemeke, Mayowa Akinfolarin, Wale Akinterinwa, Jimoh Ibrahim, Gbenga Edema, Dr. Paul Akintelure, and Mr. Jimi Odumayo. These aspirants are actively engaging with influential figures in the Presidency and close associates of President Tinubu.

Efforts have been made to court key figures such as Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the President’s daughter, Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, Afenifere’s Pa Reuben Fasoranti, and the National Working Committee of the APC led by Umar Ganduje.

While some candidates leverage personal relationships, like Jimoh Ibrahim’s ties with President Tinubu, Governor Aiyedatiwa is relying on past support from Ganduje. However, Ganduje has indicated that the final decision rests with the President, leaving Aiyedatiwa in suspense.

There are murmurs within the party about considering a neutral candidate untainted by recent political upheavals in the state.

Backing from influential figures is becoming apparent, with former Deputy Speaker Mr. Mayowa Akinfolarin reportedly supported by Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, and Interior Minister Mr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo. Similarly, the Akeredolu family, led by Betty Akeredolu, is backing former Finance Commissioner Mr. Wale Akinterinwa.

Governor Aiyedatiwa’s chances appear slim due to alleged breaches of the 2023 Abuja Peace Accord and his association with former governor Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, raising concerns among party elites.

In anticipation of the primary election, President Tinubu has scheduled a political meeting with Ondo APC stakeholders in early April. The agenda will focus primarily on selecting the party’s flagbearer for the November governorship election.

Dispelling rumors of endorsements, aspirant Mr. Olugbenga Edema emphasized that neither President Tinubu nor the Presidency has officially backed any candidate. Edema underscored the importance of presidential involvement in the decision-making process, reminiscent of past crises in the state.

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