Why I did not ackwnowledge Tinubu in my victory speech – Akeredolu

Ebun Francis

Chief Rotimi Akeredolu, the Ondo State Governor-elect on Wednesday said he failed to acknowledge Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in his victory speech because it was not convenient for him to do so.According to him having acknowledged President Muhammadu Buhari  and the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, it safe to assume that  all the party leaders were covered.

The Ondo State governor – elect made this known to newsmen in Abuja shortly after he and his deputy, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, met Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He however maintained that the relationship between him and Tinubu was cordial.

According to Chief Akeredolu, “On the names that were mentioned in my speech when expressing gratitude and that I didn’t specifically thank Bola Ahmed Tinubu. I thanked the President and the leader of our party profusely for the leadership which he showed leading to this election.

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“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.

“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 personalise 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. So I believe the leadership as represented by the President covers all leaders and that tells me it would include Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, it would include even Baba Akande, Onu, and so many leaders.

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“But President Buhari is the leader of the party. So, that is my position there.”

“For me as a person, I believe he is one of the leaders of the party and I don’t see any strain relationship between us. And you would observe that he has sent in his congratulatory message after the election, so what else do you expect?

” I mean all of us see this as victory for the APC, not for Akeredolu, not for us an individual but for the party as a whole. I believe he is a member of the party. Mr. Femi Adesina had issued a release but you journalists just want to put words into our mouths,” he said.