By DAUD OLATUNJI
ABEOKUTA — National leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, the three senators and eight House of Representatives members from the state as well as 10 members from the state House of Assembly, were among prominent party stalwarts that shunned the official lunch of the newly registered party, in the state.
The launch, held at Ake palace ground in Ake, Abeokuta, yesterday, was mostly attended by members of the party believed to be loyalists of governor Ibikunle Amosun.
There had been internal wrangling within the defunct ACN which led to its factionalisation into Osoba and Amosun groups.
The crisis was pronounced yesterday as Osoba and his followers, including 21 lawmakers, both at the federal and state Assemblies, were conspicuously absent at the official launch of the party in the state.
But, in a swift reaction, the state commissioner for Information and strategy, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, denied any crisis in the party, saying Osoba is a national leader who was not expected at the event.
Olaniyonu, who spoke with our correspondent on phone, said that the members of the National Assembly could not attend the launch because they were in Brazil.
Against the expectation that the stalwarts of the merging parties would address the crowd one after the other, only three leaders, including the governor, addressed the people.
Addressing the crowd, former Chairman of defunct Congress for Progressive Change in the state, Mr. Kunle Mudashiru, vowed that the merger of the defunct parties would defeat the Peoples Democratic Party in the coming elections.
Also speaking, one of the national officers of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, Wasiu Olalekan pledged that the new party would give the people of the country good dividends of democracy, compared to the dark 14 years of the PDP at the national level.
However, the Interim Chairman of the party in the state, Mr. Tajudeen Bello, did not make any comment but, rather sang two songs.
Thereafter, governor Ibikunle Amosun took the centre stage assuring the people of the state of better governance both at the state and the national level if the party is voted into office in the coming general elections.
He described the party as the only party that has presence in all the six geopolitical zones in the country.