A supposed formidable group in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, the Unity Forum, bent on stopping the re-election of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has been enmeshed in a crisis over where to zone the governorship seat.
Over 12 governorship aspirants in the forum are either from Ondo North or Ondo South senatorial districts.
Some members of forum had in a communiqué on Monday after a virtual meeting; said aspirants in the forum had resolved to cede the governorship mandate to Ondo North.
The communiqué said they agreed to jointly present a credible consensus candidate, who would tackle Governor Akeredolu, who also hails from Ondo North.
The Chairman of the governorship aspirants of the Unity Forum, Dr. Olusegun Abraham, who presided over the meeting, confirmed the decision to present a consensus candidate from Ondo North.
The communiqué said: “We agreed to present one aspirant that will contest the party’s governorship primaries later this year.”
But some governorship aspirants in another statement said the communiqué was issued without authorisation.
The aspirants, who confirmed the virtual meeting, said they discussed possible options of consensus aspirant for the Unity Forum and the need for smooth relationship among aspirants.
The statement, signed by nine aspirants, said they did not discuss or resolve any of the grave allegations contained in the communiqué.
According to the statement, “the aspirants’ forum did not mandate any of its members to publish or make public the mutual dialogue that took place during the discussion, which focused majorly on issues highlighted above and therefore could not have authorised the tissues of lies contained in the report, which was deliberately published to misinform the public.
“We the undersigned aspirants wish to dissociate ourselves from the content and intent of the publication. In the aspirants’ forum, we discuss issues, principles and ideas, not frivolities as represented in the publication. It is not in our character to disparage our leaders.
“Our colleague, Pastor Segun Abraham, who unilaterally issued and sponsored the publication, should take full responsibility for his idea and actions without dragging other aspirants into public opprobrium.
“We remain committed to Ondo State that is prosperous, developed and peaceful, which is the focus of the revered Unity Forum.”