Tinubu has handed his party the cold shoulder just before Ondo settles for its next Governor. There'll be no prizes for guessing why
Tinubu and his loyalists failed to show up at the campaign rally of APC governorship candidate in Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Saturday, November 19, 2016.
There'll be no prizes for guessing why the Jagaban of Borgu (as Tinubu is fondly called) shunned the last campaign rally of his party just before Ondo voters choose their next Governor on November 26:
Tinubu's candidate during the Ondo APC primary contest was Olusegun Abraham.
However, Abraham lost out and Tinubu was none the happier.
The Jagaban penned a furious open letter in the wake of the primary contest.
The letter was addressed to APC Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun.
Tinubu accused the Chairman of rigging the primary election to benefit Akeredolu.
Tinubu also called on Oyegun to resign for "conspiring with others to sabotage justice and democracy in Ondo".
The APC leader alleged that "as party chairman, Oyegun was supposed to protect our internal processes and be an impartial arbiter, a person in whom all had confidence. Instead, he donned the garment of a confident man, duping the NWC (National Working Committee), the party, and INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) in one fell blow.
"He has robbed APC members in Ondo State of the chance to pick in a fair manner , who they believe is the best candidate.
"As such, he has broken faith with the party and probably has broken a few laws. The consequences of what he has done are more expansive than a man of his scope can fathom. There is a powerful and sinister arm at work to compel a man of Oyegun’s age to steal the decision of the party in a manner so crude that it would embarrass even the commonest thief".
"To rescue the party", Tinubu wrote, "Oyegun must go. He has shown that he and democratic fair play cannot exist in the same party at the same time. If Tinubu is to choose between John Oyegun and progress toward a better Nigeria, the choice has already been made".
Oyegun paid scant attention to Tinubu's tirade.
The party Chairman stuck with his choice of Akerodolu even as other aggrieved contestants like Olusola Oke, Abraham and Ajayi Boroffice, kicked and railed.
Other disgruntled candidates made a beeline for the party's exit doors.
After Tinubu's first absence from Akeredolu's campaign rally, sources close to Jagaban confided in Pulse that the former Governor of Lagos State will be backing Oke for the governorship election instead of the candidate chosen by his party.
Oke left the APC for the AD in a bid to realise his governorship ambition. By some accounts, his campaign has done so well, he stands as good a chance as any to run with the election.
Tinubu has kept mum as events have unfolded; preferring to keeps his cards to his chest.
But shunning this weekend's campaign rally in Akure has left no one in doubt about where Tinubu's loyalty lies, a few more days before Ondo decides.
President Muhammadu Buhari was however in Akure to lend support to Akeredolu.
In showing up at the rally, Buhari sought to draw a contrast with Tinubu; and described the primary contest which threw up Akeredolu as "transparent".
"We thank the party for conducting a transparent primary election which produced the candidate,” the President said, while holding aloft Akeredolu's hand.
“I can assure you, on Saturday we are going to win...God willing".
Also notable in their absences from the stump in Akure, were Governors of Lagos, Osun and Oyo States-- Akinwunmi Ambode, Rauf Aregbesola and Abiola Ajimobi, respectively.
All three South West Governors are Tinubu surrogates and disciples.
Abayomi Adesanya, who is the Publicity Secretary of the APC in Ondo State, said there was no need to draw any conclusions from the absences of party chieftains at the rally.
“If we have the President here, we have all the party leaders already,” said Adesanya.
“If we have the President, the Vice President, the national leader and all the 23 Governors in Akure at once, then we will ground the entire country.
“Nothing will work and the country will be at a standstill if we have everybody here.”
However, Tinubu disciples in the social media space, have been making a strong case for Oke instead of Akeredolu.
It is yet another indication that The Jagaban has been showing his hand--and without regard for subtlety.
Tinubu and his camp have left Akeredolu out there in the cold.