Governor-elect of Ondo State, Mr. Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, yesterday met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja, where he threw light on why he did not recognise former Lagos State Governor and National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu in his victory speech.
Akeredolu declared that he had no strained relationship with the party’s national leader as he would continue to operate with him at the level of one of the party’s leaders.
Tinubu had attempted to replace Akeredolu with his preferred candidate before the governorship election in the state, a development that widened the rift within the party and allegedly pitched Tinubu against the Presidency.
Speaking to State House correspondents having been led to meet President Buhari by the Plateau State governor and chairman of APC Ondo governorship national campaign committee, Simon Lalong, Akeredolu explained that with President Muhammadu Buhari recognised as the APC national leader in his victory speech, he didn’t need to specifically mention Tinubu.
The governor-elect was also on the visit to the presidential villa with his deputy, Agboola Ajayi to thank President Buhari for his support which gave the party victory at the election.
Akeredolu said his victory at the poll was not for him alone but for the entire APC and recalled that even Tinubu had buried the hatchet Nand congratulated him on the electoral success.
Akeredolu said: “That I didn’t specifically thank Bola Ahmed Tinubu? I thanked the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the leader of our party profusely for the leadership which he showed leading to this election.
“I also thanked our indefatigable chairman for standing by the truth and for his position on this matter that led to this election. I have no reason to do otherwise. “The party structure, to the best of my knowledge, is very clear.
You have the leadership of the party and that is represented by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun. “After the election, a chief executive emerges, he becomes a leader of the party; you don’t have to personalize and be looking for leaders all over the place. If we have to do that then I will have to mention 36 or 37 leaders.