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Ajimobi has no anointed candidate, Aide hints.

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Aspirants eyeing the Agodi Government House in Oyo state, particularly those contesting under the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, are already claiming to have secured Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s endorsement.

Mega Icon Magazine checks, however revealed that this did not signaled any positivity, as the governor’s aide, Dr. Morohunkola Thomas dismissed such claims describing them as political illiterates.

The Executive Assistant to the Governor on Political Matters, Thomas stressed, “does it make sense to be anointing somebody that will take over in May 2019? Those who says Governor Ajimobi has endorsed or thrown his weight behind a particular candidate are political illiterates, and I say that with all sense of  responsibilities that they don’t know what they are saying.

“Ajimobi has no anointed candidate. He has not told me, I have not seen it in his body language, it’s a level playing ground for everybody, many people will still join the race”, he added.

He emphasized that the governor has shown the qualities for the kind of candidate that will succeed him, saying that such aspirant must be intelligent, morally disciplined, well exposed, grounded in politics, among others.

Contrary to insinuations that the governor is not a politician, but an opportunist, Dr. Thomas explained that the governor was born into a political family, stressing that he just didn’t became a Senator in 2003, but from the inception of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), then in 1999, he has been in the political system.

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“I was in the apex committee of Lam Adesina Campaign Organization and Ajimobi was one of the people who financed that election. If the man has been in the system since 1999 till now and within that period he has been  Senator and he has been Governor twice that means he is grounded politically, his successor must also be grounded politically, he must be as intelligent, if not more than Ajimobi, he must try to surpass the bar.

“You can’t take away his intellect, which he has demonstrated severally, he has mixed with the poor and the rich, the aristocrat and the masses, we need somebody like that. We are not looking for someone who is coming from his high horse. So, he must be an all round person, its not that I have been a billionaire for x number of years or I have been a politician, no exposure, nothing.

“We want a well grounded person and an all rounder, intelligent, suave , exposed, professional, political grounded that knows how many poling wards, units we have, where people are voting and not that I have money and I am coming to contest. People of Oyo state are expecting that the legacies of Ajimobi should be sustained and anybody who is coming after him should have a capacity and capability to sustain these legacies and surpass it”, the governor’s aide submitted.

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Politics

Exclusive: Ex-Oyo SSG, Alli may lose more loyalists

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The 2019 governorship candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and former Secretary to the Oyo State Government, Chief Sharafadeen Alli may lose more  followers to other parties before 2023 elections, Mega Icon Magazine exclusively gathered.

Mega Icon Magazine also confirmed that some members of the ZLP, including Alli’s close supporters are now comfortable in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while others are now weighing the options of joining the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

It will be recalled that the former Secretary to Oyo  State Government, Alli was the gubernatorial nominee of the ZLP, one of the political parties that formed alliance with Governor Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC), candidate, Oloye Adebayo Adelabu during the March 9 , 2019 gubernatorial election.

Justifying their decisions, the followers informed that they left the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) because it was becoming directionless.

“As at now, the group is still believing a third force will emerge and clinch the day, and that force will be ZLP. Honestly, ZLP doesn’t have the financial and political muscle to do that”, they said.

The demoralized loyalists wondered why Barrister Sharafadeen Alli (BSA) can not stand on his own feet and make decisions instead of waiting for directives from former Governor Rasidi Ladoja who they believed is double faced in the circumstances and getting patronage from Governor Makinde.

“We don’t seem to understand why BSA has to tie himself down to the whims and caprices of Baba Ladoja”.

They averred that though, the coalition was a good idea, but lamented that the parties involved, particularly the ZLP guber candidate, Alli failed to document and made legal the agreement, describing it as a mere ‘gentleman agreement’ which was not  binding.

One of his close loyalists who confided in our reporter further explained, “Before the March 9 governorship elections, I was of the opinion that while the coalition was a good idea, whatever was going to be agreed on must be documented, if possible signed and made legal. But Alli went on to do a ‘gentleman agreement’ which was not binding just because Baba Ladoja said so.

“After  the governorship elections, Chief Alli wanted to be SSG but instead of talking to Governor Makinde directly, he was counting on former Governor Ladoja to fix things. Unfortunately, Baba Ladoja never discussed it with the governor.

“Later, he (Alli) was offered membership of Advisory Committee and Ladoja told him to decline, yet the former governor accepted the Commissioner slot given by Governor Makinde.

“At that point we had two options. Go to APC or PDP. Instead of taking a stand, we were waiting for a directive from Baba Ladoja who is getting patronage from the present administration.

“My brother, ZLP is directionless; remaining in that party meant a bleak future for some of us. We are now in PDP, while others are already discussing with the APC”, he added.

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Politics

Viral Video: Detractors want to damage the exercise, I was not injured – Akeredolu’s wife

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Wife of the Ondo state governor, Mrs. Betty Akeredolu, on Saturday dismissed a viral video stating she was injured at the polling centre after thugs invaded the place. She said the video was meant to damage the voting exercise, distort information and put it in a bad light.

Mrs Akeredolu stressed that the sponsors of the video were insane.

“That is insane, that is absurd. That tells you how desperate people can be in politics or our political landscape.

“I am here in the ambience of my country home and somebody is there doctoring video that I was injured.

“Were you the one that injured me? Such desperation will not do any good to them.

The governor’s wife who spoke at their Owo residence expressed optimism that her husband would emerge victorious.

According to her, “People are exercising their franchise. The good thing is that people are voting in a peaceful manner. If we continue like that in all other polling unit we dont have anything to fear about violence

“We encourage people to vote and not fight. I urged people to vote in a peaceful manner so that our voices will be held.

“The detractors want to damage the exercise, to distort information and put one on a bad light. It is all false. We will emerge victorious”, she submitted

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Ondo Guber Race: PDP rejects OAU VC as Chief Returning Officer, says don is Akeredolu’s crony

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The National Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),  for the October 10, 2020, governorship election in Ondo State, on Thursday rejected the appointment of Professor Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede, the Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, as the Chief Returning Officer for the election.

Chairman of the Campaign Council, who is also the Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, who addressed newsmen in Akure raised the alarm, declaring that the people of Ondo State could be shortchanged if Ogunbodede is allowed to serve as the Returning Officer.

He said that the VC is a crony of the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Areredolu (SAN), adding that such a situation cannot guarantee a free and fair election.

According to him, there appears a high plot to sabotage the will of the voters in the state by ensuring that they do not get a free and fair election.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that the appointment of Ogunbodede, a crony of the incumbent Ondo State Governor, who is also the standard-bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), will compromise the election.

Besides being a crony of the Ondo State governor, Ogunbodede equally hails from Owo town, the governor added.

Makinde called on INEC to replace Prof. Ogunbodede as Chief Returning Officer with a neutral individual, adding that such a sensitive position must be held by someone who has no affiliation with any of the parties in the election.

The PDP National Campaign Council also declared that Professor A.S. Bamire, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, who conducted the training for returning officers, is not a neutral party for the purpose of the election.

The statement also indicated that the governor called on all lovers of democracy around the world to be alert to the machinations of the APC-led Federal Government to rig the Ondo State governorship election.

The campaign council urged the United Nations, the European Union, the United States of America and the United Kingdom and all lovers of democracy to call INEC to order, stating that it is already compiling names of all actors and would not hesitate to recommend the same for visa ban based on their actions and inactions in Saturday’s election.

Makinde said: “All the hard work and support that we have provided for our candidate, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), who will help us reclaim Ondo, comes down to one date, the 10th of October, 2020.

“However, it has come to our notice that the people of Ondo State will not be getting a free and fair election if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as presently composed, will be overseeing the election in Ondo State.

“We are speaking in particular about the appointment of Professor Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede, the Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife as the Chief Returning Officer of the Ondo State governorship election.

“The PDP totally rejects Prof. Ogunbodede, who is acting as the Chief Returning Officer. The reasons are very clear. He is a known crony of the current governor of Ondo State, who is also the candidate of APC, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN). He hails from Owo, the same hometown as the candidate of the APC. He cannot be a fair party in the proceeding by the virtue of their association.

“We also want to state that Professor A.S Bamire, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, who conducted the training of returning officers, is not a neutral party for the purpose of this election.

“We, therefore, call on INEC to stay true to their names and replace Professor Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede with a disinterested party. The Chief Returning Officer should have no affiliations with any of the participating parties in the election.”

Governor Makinde, who called on the international community to be alert to what the APC-led administration in the centre is trying to do in Ondo, said: “We also take this opportunity to call on all lovers of democracy around the world to pay attention to what the APC-led administration in the centre is trying to do in Ondo State.

“We call on the United Nations, European Union, United State, and the United Kingdom and, indeed, and indeed, all allies of democracy, to call INEC to order.

“We are compiling the names of the people involved in there and I believe those people will be good candidates for the visa ban, because if they try to rig this election and they stay here with us, then we will reach out to them after the election to either say thank you or show them what it is if they allow themselves to be used to deny the people of Ondo State the free will to choose their leader.”

The governor commended security agencies in Ondo State for doing well so far, warning, however, that they should not allow themselves to be used as tools to subvert the will of the people.

He further said: “We call on all security agencies in Ondo State not to allow themselves to be used as a tool against the will of the people.

“So far, they have done very well. So, we take this opportunity to commend them for what they have done so far. But we still have a long way to go. Until we see to the end of this process and a governor-elect is declared, it is going to be eternal vigilance for us. So, we urge the security agencies to still do more.

“Please, don’t forget that history and posterity have never been kind to people who allow themselves to be used as a tool for injustice. We urge our security agencies to read the mood of the people and act accordingly.

“Well, politicians, I am one, will come and go, but the people will always remain; and our state and our country will remain. And everyone should remember the world is watching us.”

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