Ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Ogun State today, Governor Ibikunle Amosun may have ordered the removal of campaign materials of the Allied People’s Movement (APM) in the state.
Various billboards and signposts bearing the pictures of the APM governorship candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, have been removed in some major routes and replaced with those of President Muhammadu Buhari and the governor.
In other instances, the removed campaign materials gave way for those bearing pictures of both the president and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as well as logo of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Virtually all the APM campaign billboards and lampposts along the Abeokuta-Sagamu Expressway had been replaced as at weekend.
The development, which came amidst alleged directive from the Presidency to Amosun to desist from his support for APM, has generated apprehension within the party.
The governor has repeatedly vowed to support the APM after his anointed gubernatorial candidate, Akinlade, lost the APC ticket to Prince Dapo Abiodun in disputed primaries.
It was gathered that Amosun has come under pressure to dump his APM pet project and support APC candidates all the way in the general elections.
The hurried removal of APM campaign materials was said to be a follow-up to the presidential instruction that the governor should back down.
However, an official of the state government yesterday dismissed the claim that Amosun had abandoned his preferred governorship candidate.
The official, who pleaded anonymity when contacted, said the removal of the APM campaign billboards, flexes and signposts along some routes was to make the state wear new look ahead of Buhari’s scheduled visit.
Also yesterday, Akinlade’s media aide, Azeez Alao, debunked claims that the governor had abandoned the APM governorship candidate.
Alao described the claim as mere rumour orchestrated by mischief makers who are jittery about Akinlade’s impending victory.
He said, “That it not true in any way. Governor Amosun is the mentor of Hon. Adekunle Akinlade who knows him very well before giving him total support and there’s no way he will ordered such especially when there’s no problem between them.
“That is a rumour that I will urge the good people of Ogun State to kindly disregard. This is another tactics from the mischief makers who are jittery over the electoral strength and success of Hon Akinlade.”
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