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Battle begins for slots in Akeredolu’s second term team

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By Osagie Otabor, Akure

An intense lobbying for roles in re-elected Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s executive council has started.

Although the new government will not come into office until February when Akeredolu is expected to take the second oath of office, leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state are pushing their favoured candidates for positions in the executive.’

One of the much-sought after offices is that of the chief of staff, which is currently occupied by Olugbenga Awe.

Sources said the jostle for the position is not unconnected with the 2023 election when Akeredolu would have completed his second and final term.

Some of Akeredolu’s long-time friends, especially from Ibadan, who worked for the success of the administration, are believed to be pushing the candidature of the Chairman of the Ondo State Television and Radio Conglomerate Kunle Adebayo for the CoS role.

Adebayo has been active in Ondo State politics since 1999. He is reputed to be brilliant and hardworking, a trait that he has demonstrated since his days as a lecturer at the Adeyemi College of Education in Ondo.

Sources said the govennor’s friends were worried that he was surrounded by people from his Owo hometown, where the incumbent CoS comes from.

“Those of us backing Adebayo to become CoS have nothing against the current occupier of the office. Our interest is to see the governor succeed and properly perceived,” a source said on Wednesday.

“But, if the governor decides to stick to the current occupier, we cannot question him, there will be no big deal, but we will persuade him, the source added.

However, a member of the governor’s  executive, said: “We know what some people are planning, but we cannot say anything until they voice it out because we don’t think they can even say it before the governor. They will need to tell him the offence committed by the current occupier of the offence that will warrant his replacement.”

An APC support group, the New Dawn Movement, in a statement urged the governor to do away with his entire executive council and run his second term with a new team.

The statement signed by its Interim Coordinator Marcus Oladele Awogbami, said: “Mr Governor should not waste time to appoint a fresh team of young men and women immediately after the inauguration so that the current team will not lobby unnecessarily. They have tried their best; let them give way to fresh minds and agile brains to come on board.”

“And if we want to judge by the contributions of some persons, we know that Lulu Fawehinmi of the Pentagon Movement tried his very best to market the governor and he deserves to run his media office.”

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