• Urges party’s elders to extend olive branch to aggrieved members

Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has said he has no preferred candidate among the All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirants jostling to succeed him.

He said this when he received the APC Elders’ Forum from different political divisions of the state, who visited him in his office at Agodi, Ibadan, yesterday.

Speaking with the party’s elders, Ajimobi said: “I have no preferred candidate for governorship seat of this state among those who want to succeed me. Many of them are coming to me, but, they are all my people. The party will decide who will be the governorship candidate. The person who emerges as APC candidate is also my candidate.”

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The elders, who congratulated the governor on the peaceful and successful conduct of ward and local government congresses of the party, as well as the council election held last weekend, urged Ajimobi to forgive the splinter group, also known as APC Unity Forum.

In his response, Ajimobi said he has forgiven the Unity Forum and urged them to come back to the fold.
He noted that there could be disagreement, but, there should be reconciliation and forgiveness.
The governor said the active players in the splinter group had benefitted from his administration, through appointments in the past, adding that many of them occupied public offices for more than five years.
He alleged that they fell out with him when he asked them to allow other people within the party to, also, benefit, through holding of public offices in his administration.

Regardless, Ajimobi, urged the elders to extend hands of fellowship to aggrieved members in their political divisions and said he had set the pace by bringing a former governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, former Senate leader, Teslim Folarin and former deputy governor, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, from the opposition parties into the APC.

The elders, who visited the governor, included Solomon Akindele from Oyo zone; Alhaji Kamarudeen Ajisafe from Ibadan Less City; Alhaji Femi Yusuf from Ogbomoso zone; Alhaji Mufu Adisa from Ibadan; Alhaji Olayide Abas from Ibarapa zone; Mr. Samuel Laoye from Ibadan Less City; and Chief Samuel Adekola, representing Oke-Ogun zone, while those jostling to succeed the governor include Alhaji Adebayo Shittu; Chief Adeniyi Akintola; Chief Bayo Adelabu; Prof. Adeolu Akande; and Dr. Azeez Adeduntan.