As the contest for the number one seat in Ondo State, in the forthcoming November 16 governorship election in the sunshine state is getting hotter, it is becoming more evident that some of the loyalists to the late governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, within the All Progressives Congress, may pent the tent of their supports for a former Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale akinterinwa, against the incumbent governor
According to some findings by Saturday PUNCH, the ruling APC currently with the highest number of governorship aspirants in the state, above all other political parties in the oil-rich state.
The findings further revealed that Governor Aiyedatiwa may also have an edge ahead of other aspirants in the party, by his current position as the incumbent governor of the state.
Findings have shown that some of the aspirants loyal to Akeredolu may not pick nomination of interest forms, indicating that they are stepping down to support Akinterinwa.
According to a source, the popularity of the former Commissioner, who declared interest in the contest, barely a few hours after he was relieved of his duty by Aiyedatiwa who sacked all the state executives who worked for late governor Akeredolu, last week, may pave the way for him, adding that he is popular across the 18 local governments areas of the state, and those who may serve as delegates during the party’s primary.
It was revealed that Akinterinwa who was in Abuja, for the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee when the news of his sack broke out, was received by a huge crowd of party supporters at the Akure Airport on his arrival on Thursday, singing and chanting his name.
However, the Ile-Oluji Oke-Igbo-born politician was reported to have simply said: “Your gesture is a testimonial that when you do well, people will appreciate you. This is a manifestation of better things to come.
“I am ready for the task ahead, I’m ready for the job”
It was gathered that the State Chairman of the party, Mr Ade Adetimehin, was indifferent about the matter, saying all the aspirants remained members of the party, and had the right to contest the governorship position, and added that there would be no anointed candidate by the party, the popularity of the aspirants will determine how far their ambitions come to realities.
The source said, “I can tell you authoritatively that Akinteriwa is the choice of the majority of those working with the late governor, Akeredolu. He had anointed him before he died. Unfortunately, he was not strong enough to make it public before he died.
“The governor will run, but he will meet a formidable opposition in the state, especially among the late governor’s loyalists.”
However, some of the APC aspirants jostling for the position, are: the incumbent Governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa; former Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa; a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Mayowa Akinfolarin; the former Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Oladunni Odu (who is only the female among the aspirants); former Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Prof Francis Faduyile; former aspirant of the APC, Chief Olusola Oke; and Mr Gbenga Edema among others.