Ondo State Governor-elect, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu,SAN, has explained why he did not specifically mention national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC , Ahmed Bola Tinubu in his election victory speech .
Akeredolu while speaking to reporters after he and his deputy, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, met President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday, said having thanked President Muhammadu Buhari the national leader of the party and the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, every other national leader of the party was indirectly included.
Akeredolu said, “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.
“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.
“But President Buhari is the leader of the party. So, that is my position there.”
Akeredolu said there was no rift between him and Tinubu, adding that he had sent congratulatory message to him.The Governor-elect said he still recognised him as one of the leaders of the party.
“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?”, he said.