The heavy loss recorded by the All Progressives Congress, APC, at the last governorship election in Ekiti State has thrown the progressives camp in the north in disarray. The northern progressives in the APC had aligned with the South- West progressives entirely to upstage the Peoples Democratic Party in the coming 2015 general election but with the development in Ekiti State, the camp is now jittery.
According to a source, the role played by the Yoruba traditional rulers in the last election was worrisome as it was a signal that the South-West may have rejected the APC over a comment associated with one of the leaders of the party which denigrated the traditional institution.
An APC chieftain, at a breakfast meeting with select journalists in Abuja yesterday, said, “We are shocked at what happened in Ekiti State where the party lost in almost all the wards, not to talk of local governments; it is very strange and we are confounded by this development.
“We are not resting and we intend to get to the root of what actually transpired in Ekiti State. We got information that some serving commissioners also sabotaged the governor under whom they are serving to the extent that more than 50 per cent of them lost in their units.
But above all, there are also reports that prominent traditional rulers played crucial roles in their respective domains a few days to the election; their grouse is that our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, insulted them when he visited the Awujale of Ijebuland to rejoice with him on his birthday.
“For God’s sake, if this is true, then we have to move swiftly and the needed contacts have been made for us as a party to quickly reconcile our leader with the traditional rulers because misrepresentation of facts could be very dangerous in most cases. We have decided to set up a committee to visit our revered rulers so that they can halt the planned onslaught against our party.
“The most disturbing aspect is that our allies in the north are even getting more worried that the APC’s first major election since the merger is a loss, not in anyother place but in Ekiti State in South-West; this is understandable because the permutation before now was to garner bulk votes in the South-West and North-West for us to ease out PDP in 2015, but all that appears to be changing in the face of the current circumstances,” he said.
Recall that APC leaders, Senator Tinubu, had disclosed that only three monarchs in Yorubaland are upright, describing others as “useless”.
The former governor of Lagos State made this declaration two months ago in Ijebu-Ode during a special prayer session held at the Central Mosque in the city to mark the 80th birthday of the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, the Ogbagba II. Tinubu extolled the doggedness of the paramount ruler.
Speaking at the event, Tinubu, who returned to the country to attend the function, urged the monarch not to allow some politicians to hijack his birthday celebration and turn it into a political platform for campaign. But the former governor’s comment elicited angry reactions from a wide-range of Yoruba leaders and politicians even as the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, condemned Tinubu over the comment.