Extremely conscious of the imperative of restraint, amidst rapidly growing discontent among members of our great party in Ondo State, consequent upon the intervention of some prominent members at both the state and national levels, I am urged to call on all members of APC in Ondo State, especially co-aspirants in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state, to tread the path of peace. This counsel becomes compelling at this point when every true patriot must subordinate his ambition to the overall interest aimed at the progress of the party in the state.
I note, with great concern that the present bitterness has been generated by the pervasive rumour of external imposition of a preferred candidate. While appreciating the need for apprehension on the part of aspirants and their supporters, I must not fail to caution, at this juncture, that it is necessary for us all to tread the path of peace and understanding. We, as offsprings of the same parent political platform, must avoid all acts which may jeopardise the bright chances of our party in the forthcoming general elections. An Igbo adage, which holds that when children of the same parents fight themselves to the death, strangers will stroll in to inherit their father’s compound, is compellingly apt in this respect. We must not allow this seeming crisis degenerate to the level which may hinder harmonious cooperation among all party members after the primaries.
The party leadership has promised, repeatedly, that the process will be transparent, free and fair. While we hold them to this promise, it is important that we advise, strongly, that officers of the party refrain from conducting themselves in a manner which may exacerbate the already tensed situation. No public official must be seen to be using the party machinery to support any of the aspirants. This is not only inequitable but also diversionary. Asking aspirants to subject themselves to a process commencing from payment for expression of interest and huge financial commitment by obtaining nomination form, participating in the screening exercise, a condition precedent for eligibility to contest, while openly availing an aspirant the structure of the party to the detriment of all others, can only engender disastrous consequences for the party.
We call on the leadership of the party at the national level to intervene, timeously, to prevent the crisis from degenerating. We must be looking beyond the momentary advantage which any intention to manipulate the process in favour of any aspirant may confer at this period. The ultimate aim of our party should be our decisive victory at the general polls in November this year. We must conduct our affairs in such a manner that will be rancour-free as this will enable those who may not emerge as candidate through a transparent exercise to feel obliged to work in the interest of the party. All of us can only win if we cast aside all divisive tendencies.
As for TeamAketi, the progress of our state propels our determination to serve. No interest can be higher than that of Ondo State. This remains our focus and we will remain undeterred in the pursuit of this redemptive agendum in the service of our people.
Let everyone depart the path of discord in the interest of peace and progress.
Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN