Despite the protestations of Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), about a SaharaReporters exclusive on the banning of Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi from the party’s governorship campaign rallies in the state, SaharaReporters can confirm that Ajimobi has been missing in the party’s campaign activities since the story was first reported.
On Monday, SaharaReporters had reported how APC’s woeful outing in Ajimobi’s senatorial district prompted protests from party leaders, with Tinubu now personally overseeing the campaigns in a desperate bid to prevent a potential surrendering of the governorship to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“The belief of Tinubu and other APC leaders is that it is Ajimobi that the people are angry with — not APC — therefore he should stay away from campaign activities,” an APC source very familiar with the development had told SaharaReporters.
“The fear is that Ajimobi’s appearance at Bayo Adelabu’s campaign rallies will be damaging for the party. In fact, there is a jingle of the party begging the people, explaining that Ajimobi, not the party, is the fall guy. Since the presidential and national assembly elections, Adelabu has been campaigning on his own — without the Governor’s involvement.”
Incensed by the report, Tinubu — according to a statement by Tunde Rahman from his media office — described it as “beyond a lie… a vindictive attempt to sow discord because the writer is angered by the APC’s success in the presidential election”.
“At no time did the issue of banning anybody, talk less of Governor Ajimobi, enter into the discussions,” he said. “We want and need Governor Ajimobi to be a visible figure at the forefront of this campaign during these final decisive days. He will prove pivotal to our hope for victory in the state.”
Surprisingly, for two straight days after issuing the statement, Ajimobi has not been “in the forefront” of the governorship campaign in Oke-Ogun, comprising 10 local governments.
SaharaReporters confirmed that on Tuesday, Adelabu was in Oke-Ogun to campaign, and he successfully touched places like Iseyin and Kajola without Ajimobi.
Today, he will be in Ogbomosho, with Ajimobi also missing. In fact, as of 11am, SaharaReporters confirmed that Ajimobi was at the Oyo State Government House, Agodi, Ibadan. Meanwhile, Adelabu was campaigning in Oke-Ogun.
“Right now, he is on the sixth or seventh local government,” said a source monitoring the campaign for SaharaReporters. Throughout yesterday, Ajimobi was absent. They slept over in Iseyin. And one of the houses they slept in is that of Shina Peller."
Those in attendance at the campaign were council chairmen, Adelabu’s friends, Commissioner for Works Wasiu Dauda and Adelabu's running mate Samuel Egunjobi.