The executive governor of Oyo State Senator Abiola Ajimobi and his political ally and long time friend Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala may be on a collision cause if the situation at hand within Oyo APC is not well managed. The duo we heard are not favourably disposed to each other presently. This new development is unconnected with Akala’s ambition to stage a come as governor of the pace-setter state come 2019. Akala, who has before now rumoured to be going for Senate, has joined loads of aspirants who want to succeed Ajimobi at the expiration of his second term tenure in 2019. And to show that the Ogbomosho born political gladiator means business, he has since commenced serious consultations across the length and breath of the state. His political machinery is been re-oiled and his posters, banners and other campaign materials are all over the town.
Akala’s decision to join the guber race, we gathered, is based on a strong conviction that none of the aspirants so far could match his political strength and popularity as far as politics is concerned in Oyo State.
This of course is contrary to Ajimobi’s view that a young, vibrant and intelligent man should take over from him in 2019. Though the “Aare Atunluto” as Ajimobi is been addressed by his political admirers has not said anything on his favourite aspirant, what he has done is that he has painted a picture of the qualities the likely candidate must have. But his body language has clearly shown that he is not on the same page with Akala as far APC guber ticket is concerned. When asked who is successor is likely to be last year during an interactive session with journalists as part of activities marking the Democracy Day and his administration’s sixth anniversary, Ajimobi simply urged people to be patient. That he is going to unveil his successor by May this year.
He added that whoever would succeed him must be fearless, intellectually sound, courageous and compassionate, and that the person must be ready to give priority to the welfare of the people. Ajimobi believes his administration has set a high standard that makes the state governorship seat too hot for just anybody to occupy. He added that apart from the fact that his administration’s achievements are very glaring for the people to see, his government has undoubtfully set a standard as far as achievement and governance are concerned in Oyo State.
“Let me tell you that the standard we have set was a reason for 34 aspirants (the number must have increased though) now jostling to succeed me under the platform of APC”, Ajimobi stated. Since he made this statement, many political watchers as well as APC members in the state have been keenly looking forward to see who is his preferred candidate would be, even the opposition parties have since become jittery judging from the kind of enormous political power Ajimobi now has. But despite all these, Akala seems to have believe strongly in a more popular, experienced, sellable and well acceptable candidate to emerge, the qualities he feels most of the aspirants don’t have. The political differences between these two giants is already creating more crack in Oyo APC, apart from LAMIST (loyalists of the late former governor Alhaji Lam Adesina) and SENACO (Ajimobi’s loyalists) crisis.
Their political followers are divided already. Akala’s loyalists believe Ajimobi should have reciprocated the support given to his government by “Oyato” as Akala is mostly addressed by his political admirers, by supporting him to clinch APC guber ticket. While the other group feel Akala should pave way for a younger candidate to emerge. So tense is the situation that there has been a kind of confusion within the hierarchy of APC at the National level. We reliably gathered that while some leaders of the party feel Akala should be given an automatic ticket to fly the party’s flag in Oyo State as gubernatorial candidate come 2019, some have come against such decision. We further gathered that a recent attempt to resolve Akala and Ajimobi political feud over the guber ticket by some National leaders of APC, which has Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in attendance, was met with a brick wall.
A source revealed to us that the meeting ended in a deadlock as Akala was said to have stormed out of the meeting. All these have since introduced new intrigues and all kinds of insinuations into the political happenings within Oyo APC. Would Akala decamp to another party if his interest is not protected in APC? Who is going to emerge the party’s candidate? What becomes of Akala and Ajimobi friendship after 2019 if at the end of the former failed to get APC ticket. All these and many more questions are begging for answers as the 2019 draws near.