AKINJO: The Race To Stop An Aberration ,By Femi Odere

Perhaps as one of those people who see me, some of whom have described me, to my face, as an “activist” or a “one-man riot squad” (rightly or wrongly) in the media and information dissemination environment, Dr. Paul Akintelure, a long-standing and loyal member of APC from Ondo South Senatorial District called me.

After exchanging the normal pleasantries and asking whether or not I was within the Nigerian shores, to which I answered in the affirmative, he asked if I had seen the names of people who would constitute the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), most specifically the nominees from Ondo state.
“I have not,” I replied.
“What happened,” I inquired.
“Well, Abena (Ifedayo Abegunde) and Victor Akinjo, the immediate past PDP member of the House of Representatives who was beaten in the last election by Ojogo, our candidate, will be representing our state,” he informed me.
“Akinjo Bawo. What nonsense?” I shot back.
“That’s why I called you, sir. Please help us create the necessary awareness in the media about this. Our members are very upset,” he pleaded.
“Doc, you know I’m an advocate for not only rewarding the loyalty of party members but that they should also have the right of first refusal when it comes to appointments if they demonstrated that they worked for the party’s victory at various levels. Something definitely have to be done. But do me a favor, send me a paragraph about this guy. And I will take it from there,” I instructed.
In less than 10 minutes, Dr. Akintelure sent a video clip of the Akinjo guy where he was vehemently campaigning for Atiku Abubakar in the last presidential campaign and abusing Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to boot.
The video rankled so much that I couldn’t wait to finish watching it before I started sharing it with the legislators and high-end influential personalities whose contact with the president is just a phone call away as well as members of the Editorial Boards of newspapers among my contacts.
Sen. Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central) and the Senate Majority Leader was among the first set of people I sent the video to.
“This is totally unacceptable. It must not happen,” the Senate Leader responded in less than 5 minutes after sharing the video with him.
With this response from the Distinguished Senator, I knew instinctively that Akinjo’s fate had been sealed.
Surfing the various WhatsApp platforms to find out what else might be going on about this Akinjo debacle, I discovered that the APC in the state had also issued a Press Statement, rejecting his nomination.
I was also reliably informed that a protest letter had been sent to Baba Akande about this Akinjo aberration.
A columnist called me after watching the video to condemn Akinjo’s nomination. “I think we may have to do an editorial on this. It’s reprehensible,” he declared.
On the evening of Friday, September 1st, someone sent me a State House Press Release. The president had replaced Victor Akinjo with Otito Atikase. “Good riddance to bad rubbish,” I told myself.
I forwarded the Press Release to some of the political and media personalities with whom I shared Akinjo’s unfortunate video.
My columnist friend joked that “ariwo eyin aiye” had put paid to the proposed editorial. The Senate Leader sent me a “chop knuckle” emoji after reading the State House Press Release.
The committed party members changed the course of this anomaly in less than 48 hours.
Thanks, Distinguished Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele for standing at the barricades on this issue. You are, without a shadow of a doubt, positioned to right the wrongs in our party.
Thanks, Mr. President for listening to the voice of the people. Thanks for listening to the Voice of Reason.

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