Thinking Anew

Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN

Our attention has just been drawn to the laughable press release, credited to one Kola Ademujimi, who claimed to have written on behalf of a nebulous group christened Ondo Collectives(sic) for Change, whose real sponsors are thinly disguised, on Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, a gubernatorial aspirant in the forthcoming primaries in Ondo State. We consider it imperative to join issues with these elements, foot soldiers for cowardly adventurers in power.

This character claimed, laughably, in the afore-mentioned release, that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu “single-handedly” imposed Aketi on the rest of the aspirants in 2012. According to him, others were left to sacrifice their political ambitions for a “political feather weight and neophyte” after the imposition or endorsement. No other statement can be taken as deficient in logic and patently shorn of verity than this brazen lie. The man also went ahead to stand logic on its head by asserting that Akeredolu lost his unit “woefully” but won three local governments because of the efforts of those who “sacrificed their ambitions” for him to contest. This alone depicts the mediocre mindset of these shadowy characters.

The names of two aspirants were mentioned, specifically, in the release, making it easy for any discerning mind to unmask these kalokalo hirelings in this whole game of casino politics in the country. Akeredolu will never venture into a superiority contest with anyone. He has remained a lawyer since he was called to Bar at the age of twenty one years till date. He has law offices in Ibadan and Abuja. He offers himself for altruistic service in the interest of the people of Ondo State, the state of his parents and nothing more. He is not a contractor. He believes that service must be well defined. He offers himself for selection by the representatives of the people through his party.

To realise his ambition to serve, he will be submitting himself to the process as defined by the APC Constitution, just as he did in the defunct ACN, under whose constitution he was selected in 2012. We make bold to assert that the facts available to the party leadership, which made them settle for this man of uncommon courage, remain the same, significantly. We also assert, without any fear of contradiction, that none of those who participated in the process, culminating in his selection as the preferred candidate, especially Mr Segun Abrahams and Prof Ajayi Borrofice, could stand against an Akeredolu, whose sterling pedigree as a quintessential gentleman of the Bar and an unrelenting advocate of the oppressed, readily commended him to any decent group. While we consider it puerile to join the low debate characterized by name-calling and outright concoction of lies, we hasten to remind those suffering from deliberate amnesia that their candidates had serious issues of probity hanging on their heads like the mythological sword of Damocles. The party leadership could not have taken the risk and be considered wise. The position remains the same.

We refuse to reduce important issues of state ownership of institutions and processes to unproductive arguments on reliance of powerful individuals to win an election in Ondo State. While we acknowledge the importance of influence in politics, we consider it extremely insulting to the collective pride of the people of our dear state that they have always been excluded in the choice of those who preside over their affairs. Akeredolu continues to reiterate the fact that he has never participated in any clandestine scheme or has any ulterior understanding with anyone, either internal or external to Ondo State, to mortgage the people’s interest. The allusion to Dr Olusegun Mimiko’s campaign strategy in 2012 is most unfortunate. Are these people now saying that he was correct to have stated that Akeredolu, as a “political featherweight”, was going to be used to fleece the state as other states under ACN? What manner of thinking readily subscribes to a suggestion that a public party exists for the parochial interests of powerful individuals? Is uncritical espousal of prebendalism synonymous with ability to serve? Where were these people when Aketi served as the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Ondo State and President of the Nigerian Bar Association, the only potent and vocal opposition to misrule in the country during the sickness of Yar Adua?

How much politics did Babatunde Fashola, SAN, know before he became the governor of Lagos State? Would Akinwunmi Ambode, an Ilaje man and former civil servant in Lagos but the current Governor of Lagos State after serving that state for 32years, have been considered for any office in his state of origin, Ondo, considering this low level of thinking among hustlers? Why should service to the people involve hustling?

Oluwarotimi Akeredolu presents the possibility of a fresh breath from the stultifying odour of uncouth verbiage, aggressive, parochial and retrogressive predilections of rapacious groups of political prowlers. Our campaign does not consider politics as business but service. Akeredolu will not add to the misery of the people. This is the time to think anew. Aketi is the choice of those who desire real progress in Ondo State.

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