Governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress have have resolved to ensure that the loss suffered by the party in last Saturday’s Edo State governorship election, is not repeated in Ondo, Sunday PUNCH has learnt.
It was gathered in Abuja, on Friday, that unlike the scenario which played out in Edo State; where most of them were allegedly non-committal to the party’s campaign efforts, the governors have resolved to ensure that the party doesn’t suffer the same fate in Ondo.
A top ranking member of the party, who pleaded anonymity for fear of retribution, said, “We all know what happened in Edo. Our governors were hurt and justifiably so. They came together to plead with the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and a former National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole for Akinwunmi Ambode, they were ignored and they let it slide but the case of Edo became a case of ‘one snub too many.’
“They left their states and moved from Abuja to Lagos and pleaded that Governor Godwin Obaseki should not be humiliated, but it was all to no avail.
“To make matters worse, Oshiomhole became the face of the campaign despite several appeals. Most of our governors simply stayed back and allowed Oshiomhole and his two friends, Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma and his Kano State counterpart, Abdullahi Ganduje, to enjoy themselves.”
In the run-up to the Edo election, the Director-General of the Progressives Governors Forum, Dr. Salihu Lukeman, had in a series of interventions appealed to the party leadership to avoid a situation where the campaigns would be reduced to “quarrel between Oshiomhole and Obaseki.”
He warned that allowing the ousted national chairman to become the face of the campaign instead of the party’s candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, would spell doom for the APC.
A governor in one of the northern states who also spoke in confidence so as not to “rub salt on a fresh wound,” said “Internal wrangling within our party cost us Edo. We are aware that no two states are the same; as such, we are not taking Ondo for granted.
“Although the margin may not be large, we’ve done a survey and our chances as a party are very bright. We are very confident of victory. We are united and the good news for us is that, all of our aspirants who contested the primary have collapsed their structures to support our candidate.”
Another party source said the APC National Leader, Tinubu, and Oshiomhole, are not expected to play any special role in the Ondo governorship campaigns but expected to attend the grand rally which is scheduled to hold on October 7.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was named head of the 104-member national campaign council for Akerodolu’s re-election after a well-attended successful inauguration of the party’s campaign in Akure, on September 6.
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