The storm raged intensely for too long, threatening the peace, unity and electoral strength of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo state. But the pleasant irony of the storm is that as strong as it was and as long as it raged, it was too weak to spill the water in the party’s coconut.

Today in Ondo APC, reason has trounced emotion. Anger is burning out. Swords are returning to their sheats. Members are forgetting the past in order to concentrate on the future. A glorious future!

It is now a week since Governor Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu emerged as the standard bearer of the party in the October 10 gubernatorial election in the state. To the glory of God, the apocalypse predicted by the enemies of the party before the primaries did not come to past. All negative predictions about the chapter before now have collapsed like a pricked balloon.

Signs that the storm was abating appeared on the eve of the primary election. One of the strong contenders for the party’s ticket, Engr. Ife Oyedele, elevated the interest of the party above his personal interest. He honourably bowed out of the race and declared his support for Governor Akeredolu. Shortly after, another strong and serious aspirant, Jimi Odimayo, followed suit. His action was also errected on the plank of love for the party.

The following day, which was the day of the shadow poll, very early in the morning, yet another leading contestant, Dr. Segun Abraham, withdrew his hat from the ring. He also declared his support for Governor Akeredolu. His action also stemmed from the interest of the party.

As ordained by God, Arakunrin Akeredolu clinched the party’s flag. In his acceptance speech, the governor realized there were wounds to heal, and the need to engender unity of purpose and cohesion among party members. He declared his intention to earnestly commence a process of reconciliation to heal all perceived wounds. “We must find spaces in our hearts to forgive one another,” the governor urged all APC members in the state.

True to his words, Governor Akeredolu began the reconciliation process few hours after the primaries. He visited some of his brother-aspirants, offering an olive branch.

Events after the reconciliation move have shown it is yielding fruits. Members of the Ondo APC are now finding spaces in their hearts to forgive one another. The Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate and senator representing Ondo North, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, has congratulated Governor Akeredolu on his emergence as the candidate of the party. Senator Boroffice, in a statement issued by his media aide, Kayode Fakuyi, said: “It is time for all APC members to come together, work together and win together.”

Against the prediction that Chief Olusola Oke would rock the boat, the quintessential politician has embraced reconciliation and vowed to work for the victory of the party. “Regardless of the outcome of the primary election, we remain in APC. We shall pursue genuine reconciliation and together we shall deliver Ondo for APC,” Chief Oke declared. Other critical stakeholders have also expressed their readiness to allow peace to reign.

It is a good development that aggrieved members of the APC in Ondo state are now sheathing their swords. They must be commended for placing the interest of the party above their individual interests. There is nothing to share in zero. It gladdens the heart that they realized this fact in time.

There is no doubt that unity of purpose will enhance the chances of the party in the forthcoming gubernatorial election. It will combine with the sterling performance of the Oluwarotimi Akeredolu government and ensure that the pendulum swings to the side of the ruling party.

The APC members should be proud of the achievements of Governor Akeredolu. The governor has convingly proved to be a true face of progressive politics. So, the governor has done enough in terms of laying a solid foundation for the development of the state to soften the ground for his victory in the October 10 gubernatorial poll. All he now needs is peace and unity in the Ondo APC. It will be pleasant news if the storm is completely over in the party.

***Ojo Oyewamide is Senior Special Assistant to Governor Akeredolu on Media and Publicity