Immediate past governor of Oyo State, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi, has denied reports that he had rejected an offer to serve on President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet as a minister.
Reports went round earlier in the day that he had rejected the ministerial appointment offered him by President Buhari, saying the appointment should rather go to a younger member of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
But in a chat on Thursday, the former governor denied rejecting any offer saying no ministerial appointment was offered him in the first place.
He said his remarks were misconstrued as he only only expressed preference for the Senate since he had been focused on his petition challenging his loss of the senatorial election to Senator Kola Balogun of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the tribunal.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Balogun winner of the Oyo South Senatorial District election held in February.
Explaining his position, Ajimobi said: “I am in court for my senatorial election. I only expressed my preference, that I am in court because I prefer the Senate. How can I be pursuing the Senate and ministerial appointment at the same time? I prefer the Senate. I hold President Muhammadu Buhari in high esteem. I will actually prefer a younger person to be considered for the ministerial slot since I am pursuing my senatorial ambition.”
He accused sponsors of the misleading report of attempting to cause disaffection between him and President Buhari for whom he has a lot of respect.
“I don’t know the source of their report. They just want to set me against Mr President and it won’t work.” he said.
Another report has however said that the Federal Executive Council, FEC presided by President Mohammed Buhari has overruled the nomination of Sen. Ajimobi as Oyo State representative.
According to the report, the development reportedly became sealed last night when all the appeals made to the Presidency through a highly powerful entreat from a leader of the party in South West failed.
Ajimobi is said to be spiritedly eyeing a ministerial job since he lost his Senate return election bid in the last general elections as a way of perpetuating in the power in order to remain relevant in the political scheming.
It was scooped from a reliable source that the immediate former Governor immediately after his last electoral defeat became desperate with his frequent visits to Abuja for lobbying to get appointed as a Minister from the state.
The source further claimed that former Governor Ajimobi immediately after the inauguration of President Buhari’s second term has been on the neck of former Lagos State Governor, Sen. Bola Tinubu to influence his choice as Oyo State Minister.
And it was learnt late last night that the much criticized delay in the announcement of the prospective Ministers was as a result pruning of some unwanted elements from the State Chapters of the APC across the 36 states of the federation.
The grapevine further claimed that President Buhari was uncomfortable with the nomination of Sen. Ajimobi owing to the deluge of petitions written to the Presidency by aggrieved members of the party over the repulsive personality of the latter but Asiwaju Tinubu was believed to be the one insisting his nomination be favoured.
It will be recalled that President Buhari recently vowed to appoint only set of people whom he knows intimately to work with him in his second term administration when he lamented that majority of his appointees in the first term were aliens as Barr. Bayo Shittu, the immediate former Minister for Communication is believed to be a loyalist of Mr. President back then in the days of the defunct CPC.
Meanwhile, a press release alleged to emanate from the media office of former Governor Isiaka Ajimobi on his disinterest in the ministerial job has hit the media space.
Ajimobi was quoted as he declined the ministerial nomination offered him by President Mohammed Buhari administration.
He said he rejected the offer to enable the younger people in the party to fill the role.
“As a statesman, leader of the APC having seen the younger people do remarkable things, he said he was privileged to nominate others to fill the role” the statement reads.