One year after the All Progressives Congress, APC won the governorship election in Ondo state, the party is yet to recover from the crisis that rocked it before, during and after the primary that produced its gubernatorial candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu SAN who is now the governor of the state.
Rising from a meeting in Akure, some leaders of the APC in the state on Tuesday passed a vote of confidence on Isaacs Kekemeke who had earlier been suspended by the State Executive Committee of the party, as the authentic chairman of the party.
The group also at its meeting expressed support for the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government and the Akeredolu-led state government, while further granting amnesty yo individuals that worked against the interest of the party during the 2016 governorship election.
Present at the meeting which was held at the residence of Kekemeke were the Senator representing Ondo north senatorial district, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, member representing Idanre/Ifedore federal constituency in the national assembly, Hon. Bamidele Baderinwa and the Commissioner for Regional Integration in Osun state, Bola Ilori.
Speaking at the meeting, Kekemeke called on all aggrieved party members owing to the September 3 governorship primaries in the state, making specific mention to Chief Olusola Oke who was the flagbearer of the Alliance for Democracy, AD, and Dr. Segun Abraham, who is still challenging Akeredolu'e emergence in court to come back home.
He said, "Although we thank God that we still won the 2016 governorship election, the huge reduction in the votes scored by APC in the election has taught us the need to bring everybody on board for the good of APC in Ondo State.
"Therefore, all members that left the party in annoyance or became less active in the party because of the fallout of the last gubernatorial election are hereby invited to return home to their party and are hereby granted unconditional amnesty with full rights and privileges as obtained before their brief departure.
"We are specifically calling on Senator Borroffice, Dr. Segun Abraham and Chief Olusola Oke to come out strong for APC henceforth; our disagreements are now in the past and it is our collective duty to build a vibrant party."
Boroffice and Ilori who also spoke at the meeting also enjoined all party members to put all past issues behind them, while also collectively working for the interest of the party.
They also maintained that Kekemeke remains the only chairman of the party in the state.
"We also repose confidence in Kekemeke-led executive committee and I'm not aware of any other chairman," Boroffice said.
However, in a swift reaction, the acting chairman of the party in the state, Engr Ade Adetimehin described the meeting as illegal, calling the conveners of the meeting "sinners who cannot forgive sinners."
"Any meeting held outside the party secretariat is illegal and I want to say that they have no power to give amnesty to anybody.
"Can sinners forgive sinners? It is not possible. Ilori is not a member of Ondo APC and the party is unaware of what they have done," Adetimehin said.
In the same vein, a letter from the National Secretariat of the APC appointing Adetimehin as the acting chairman of the party in the state was seen by SUNSHINE HERALD yesterday.
The letter which was signed by the National Secretary of the party, Hon Mai Mala Buni said Adetimehin will remain in office as state chairman "pending the determination by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party on the report of the fact-finding committee set up by the State Executive Committee (SEC) on the allegation of anti-Party activity and other charged leveled against the state chairman."