Abiola Ajimobi, governor of Oyo state, did not attend the inauguration of the south-west zonal office of the Muhammadu Buhari Osinbajo (MBO) Dynamic Support Group in Ibadan on Saturday.
While ministers, former senate president and an ex-governor were at the programme, Ajimobi opted for a rally at the APC secretariat in the Oke-Ado area of Ibadan.
His absence could be as a result of the rift with Adebayo Shittu, minister of communications, who is the chairman of the Muhammadu Buhari Osinbajo (MBO) Dynamic Support Group.
Shittu and Ajimobi are not on the same page probably because of the minister’s governorship ambition in 2019.
Earlier in the week, Shittu wrote a petition to Buhari over what he described as the “unbecoming behaviour” of Ajimobi.
He accused the governor of “nepotism, arrogance, creating division within the party in Oyo and disenfranchising members”.
Speaking at the inauguration of the support group, Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia, said the governor and minister were supposed to be the best of friends.
He added that if not addressed, the rift could affect the chances of the party in the state in the 2019 general election.
“Everybody in this hall will agree with us that there is a break in communication between our governor and the minister. We don’t want that to continue,” he said.
“If anybody inside this house today says it is good for these two elephants to continue quarrelling, I and my senior brother, (Ken) Nnamani, would disagree on that.”
He called for the intervention of the president and the leadership of the party.
Meanwhile, at the Oke-Ado rally, Ajimobi urged party members to be more concerned about forging a united front and ensuring that the APC remains the ruling party in the state.
“We want you to shun all differences and accommodate the new entrants into the party. What should be paramount is that APC continues to rule in Oyo state,” he said.
“When the local government election holds, anyone who emerges as the candidate of the party will win the election. With the strength of our party, I do not see how any other party will win any post in the local government election.
“We realize that we have some new members joining the party, so let us embrace them as one. This will ensure that the party continues to forge ahead and remain the party to beat.”