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Uneasy calm in Ondo APC, as guber aspirants, lawmakers, ministers shun meeting called by Gov Aiyedatiwa

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Major stakeholders, including governorship aspirants, ministers and federal lawmakers shunned the All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders meeting convened by the Ondo State governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa on Monday.

The meeting, which came barely three weeks after Aiyedatiwa was sworn in as the seventh executive governor of the state following the death of his predecessor and principal, Rotimi Akeredolu, was the first Aiyedatiwa would hold with APC chieftains after he assumed office as governor.

At the Monday meeting, many of the Ondo APC bigwigs eyeing the seat of the governor were absent, only one governorship aspirant, Mrs Oladunni Odu, who is Secretary to the State Government, was present.

Some of the governorship aspirants, who did not attend the meeting, were Chief Olusola Oke, Mr Wake Akinterinwa, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, Mr Mayowa Akinfolarin, Mr Gbenga Edema, Jimi Odimayo and Olamide Ohunyeye.

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Also, only one member of the National Assembly, Abiola Makinde, attended the meeting.

The National Vice Chairman (South-West ) of the party, Mr Isaac Kekemeke, the Minister of Interior, Olubumi Tunji-Ojo, and the Minister of State for Youths Development, Ayodele Olawande, were absent from the meeting.

There are reports that invites were not extended to the absentees as the meeting was called at the instance of Governor Aiyedatiwa ahead of the forthcoming primary of the party in April.

Olusola Oke, one of the frontline aspirants, while stating the reason for his absence, said: “I received the invitation for that meeting at 2:00 a.m. today (Monday). I saw it on my phone and the meeting is 11:00 a.m. and already, I am in Abuja going to attend an important function.

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“I responded to it that the notice came too short and I couldn’t attend, but I had no reason not to attend the meeting. I would have attended if I had been notified earlier. I don’t know if it was sent late deliberately or not.”

Another aspirant and former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Mayowa Akinfolarin, said he was not invited to the meeting and he could not attend such an event.

“I was not invited to the meeting; my close associates were not invited too,” Akinfolarin stated.

However, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Ebenezer Adeniyan, said every stakeholder was invited to the meeting.

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“They were all invited through their local governments,” the CPS stated.

Aiyedatiwa, who is also seeking election in the 2024 Ondo State governorship election, has been ruled out for automatic ticket by the APC.

The party is expected to conduct the governorship primary in April this year

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