Those looking forward to a tough political battle ahead of the Ondo State Governorship election might end up being disappointed, no thanks to the preferred choice of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
After a meeting that dragged into the wee hours of Wednesday at the home of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the elders of the ACN settled for former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Rotimi Akeredolu to fly the party’s flag in the Ondo State governorship election. It came as a surprise to many that Akeredolu was preferred over the other candidates some of who have lobbied party elders and ACN Governors all over.
Watchers of political events in some quarters have opined that the choice of the ACN is seen as a lone voice in the wilderness and a very weak opponent for the incumbent Governor who is known to be a master strategist.
A number of factors that could work against the Action Congress and its candidate have been listed by analysts in Ondo State. The famous lawyer comes with home-bred baggage which might outweigh any good he has done politically.
Street Journal’s investigations revealed that one of the things that might make the Governorship race difficult for Akeredolu is that he is not in the good books of His Royal Majesty Oba Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi, the reigning monarch in his hometown, an indication that he might not get much support from his kinsmen.
Not a few Owo indigenes believe it might just be payback time for Akeredolu who filed petitions against the enthronement of their revered monarch back then.
The Ajasin issue might also rear its head now that Akeredolu is seeking to be Governor. An Owo indigene reminded Street Journal that Akeredolu was one of those who teamed up with Navy Commander Anthony Onyarugbulem, who many saw as Abacha’s agent to arrest Pa Adekunle Ajasin during the clampdown on NADECO members in Abacha’s lifetime.
One other factor that might also work against “Aketi” as Akeredolu is fondly called is the Akoko factor. The Akoko region had thought it would produce the next Governor of the state. It is already an open secret that many Akoko elements have become aggrieved that an Owo man was chosen ahead of their own sons like Olu Agunloye and Prof Ajayi Boroffice. Akoko has four local government areas against Owo’s two and. While some of them have vowed not to vote for ACN, others have professed their readiness to join either the PDP or Labour Party, depending on the bargain they can strike.
The Action Congress of Nigeria will however be banking mainly on Akeredolu’s clout as a former Chairman of the NBA to do the trick. It is already being said that the party might be tactically preparing for a legal tussle after the elections.