According to reports, the governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has ordered the withdrawal of all the branded vehicles he donated for the re-election bid and campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the 2019 general election.
The vehicles donated by Akeredolu before the election were presented to some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state in order to increase the victory chances of Buhari and the party’s candidates, mostly those contesting for the House of Assembly seats in the state.
SaharaReporters learnt that buses were “given” to party chairmen while the Sienna cars were handed out to elected members of the Ondo State House of Assembly, in December.
Some of the branded vehicles were also given to all candidates of the party and party chairmen across the 18 local government areas of the state at an elaborate event held at the open field beside Nigeria Prison Service, GRA, Owo.
As of press time, the motives behind the withdrawal of the branded campaign vehicles were not known to the party leaders/members, who have been grumbling underground since the decision was effected.
To further confirm withdrawal of the branded vehicles, an online news and media company exclusively obtained a terse memo calling on leaders and members of the party in possession of the branded vehicles to return them.
The memo, signed by Isiaka Yusuf, the Senior Special Adviser on Political Matters to the Governor, was sent to both the elected lawmakers and the 18 LGA chairmen.
“I have been directed by Mr. Governor to withdraw the branded Sienna in your possession,” read the memo. “You are required to submit the vehicle to the office of the SSA (Political Matters) on or before Friday 12th April 2019. Please, kindly comply. SSA (Political Matters).”
Multiple sources in the ruling party in the state, who spoke with SaharaReporters, expressed great dissatisfaction with the order for return of the vehicles.
These sources wondered why Akeredolu would abruptly call for the return of vehicles that were given to them as gifts with so much fanfare.