Breaking News
Translate

Oyo’s February council polls: Ajimobi, Lam Adesina loyalists at war again

By Ola Ajayi

Ibadan – Some chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Oyo State are in a tango dance with the state Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi over his alleged attempt to impose councillorship and chairmanship aspirants on the party for the forthcoming local government election which is fixed for February, 2017.

Gov Ajimobi
Gov Ajimobi

Though, Governor Ajimobi had severally dismissed the existence of two groups within the party, SENACO meaning Senator Abiola Ajimobi Campaign Organisation and LAMISTS who are supporters of the former Governor of the state, late Lamidi Adesina, there are indeed indications that two groups do exist and tell tale signs that the loyalists of the former governor have always been treated like orphans with little or no recognition by the governor in the distribution of political offices.

Few months after the assumption of office of the governor, hundreds of party members who were in the camp of Lam Adesina staged a protest that they had been sidelined by the governor.

The group has been living like a lone ranger since the death of the former governor about three years ago.

According to an impeccable source, what the supporters of Lam have been waiting for is this local government election believing that they would win elections during the council polls.

He said, “The primary for the councillorship aspirants in the 251 wards across the state was supposed to be held last Saturday but it did not hold. We don’t know what is happening now in the party. It is a pity we found ourselves in this situation. The governor seems not to be interested in the primaries. This is not the change we asked for.”

When asked why the governor wanted to disallow primary election, the source said the governor is afraid that his own loyalists may lose out because the second group who are loyalists of late Alhaji Lamidi Adesina, a former governor are more popular in the party.

The source said, “the governor wants to kill the party completely. There are several loyalists of late Adesina who have been sidelined since the assumption of office of Governor Ajimobi but are only waiting for the local government election and if candidates are imposed, what do you think will happen”.

“If the governor does not rescind his decision, it will be evident  that there will be massive exodus of members from the party. No one can face the governor to challenge him because he has cowed everybody to submission now.”

“Though, we expected it but we never thought it could be as bad as this.

If care is not taken, all efforts and energy we have dissipated in building the party would be wasted.”.

“It is our joy that many defectors joined our party. But, now all people who defected to the party are on their own now. What hope do they have in getting any political appointment when hundreds of party members don’t have anything. It is a serious problem”.

The group, under the aegis of Oyo State Grassroots Progressives Coalition, in a statement signed by Adebisi Adeoye, Sheriff Ajani and Joshua Olaseni who are the coordinator, secretary and the Director of Publicity and Strategy respectively said, “Governor Abiola Ajimobi had made it clear that the short notice given by Oyo APC for the purchase and submission of intent forms should be extended”.

According to them, “all pleas by the governor that aspiring party members should not rock the boat but should resolve all differences before the conduct of the party primary did not go down well with the executives.

“Contrary to do things according to party constitution, the state executive council of the party is more interested in making money by selling the forms to a few people who had rubbed their palms with cash in order to shut out other eligible members of the party even when the date for the primaries is yet to be announced.”

On the alleged marginalisation of the loyalists of late Alhaji Lamidi Adesina, the pro-Ajimobi group clarified that “ the party, as a matter of principle and policy, decided before the demise of our great leader, Alhaji Adesina that those that were appointed as caretaker chairmen would not be allowed to contest whenever the local government elections take place,” they explained.

They asked why the state leadership of the party was pretending as if it had forgotten this agreement.

Continuing, the group stressed that the state Chairman of the party, Chief Akin Oke, Caretaker chairmen and members aspiring to participate in the party primaries ought to have vacated their seats.

“But to our surprise, those concerned have never done the needful. As a result, we, Oyo State Grassroots Progressives Coalition, are not particularly happy with the Chief Akin Oke led state exco in respect of the way and manner it is handling the issue at hand.”

 

Ajimobi’s group reacts

The group, under the aegis of Oyo State Grassroots Progressives Coalition, in a statement signed by Adebisi Adeoye, Sheriff Ajani and Joshua Olaseni who are the coordinator, secretary and the Director of Publicity and Strategy respectively said, “Governor Abiola Ajimobi had made it clear that the short notice given by Oyo APC for the purchase and submission of intent forms should be extended.”

According to them, “all pleas by the governor that aspiring party members should not rock the boat but should resolve all differences before the conduct of the party primary did not go down well with the executives.

“Contrary to do things according to party constitution, the state executive council of the party is more interested in making money by selling the forms to a few people who had rubbed their palms with cash in order to shut out other eligible members of the party even when the date for the primary is yet to be announced”.

On the alleged marginalisation of the loyalists of late Alhaji Lamidi Adesina, the pro-Ajimobi group clarified that “ the party, as a matter of principle and policy, decided before the demise of our great leader, Alhaji Adesina that those that were appointed as caretaker chairmen would not be allowed to contest whenever the local government elections take place,” they explained.

They asked why the state leadership of the party was pretending as if it had forgotten this agreement.

Continuing, the group stressed that the state Chairman of the party, Chief Akin Oke, Caretaker chairmen and members aspiring to participate in the party primaries ought to have vacated their seats.

“But to our surprise, those concerned have never done the needful. As a result, we, Oyo State Grassroots Progressives Coalition, are not particularly happy with Chief Akin Oke led state exco in respect of the way and manner it is handling the issue at hand,” they added.

APC reacts

Reacting to the allegation, the Publicity Director of the party in the state, Mr. Wale Shadare described it as unfounded.

“In APC, we have no problem. The governor has been saying the party is one big indivisible party. There is nothing like SENACO or LAMISTS.

“As for the botched primary election for councillor aspirants, he said the party never envisaged large population of aspirants.

“The rumoured imposition is unknown to the governor and tradition of the party and we know that our amiable governor will never compromise the laid down rules of the party. We have over 1,000 aspirants across the state for the election. We regarded late Lam Adesina as our leader though he is no more. His son had contested the governorship election and now one of his sons is in the National Assembly. The governor has never appointed any of his biological children,” he said.

 


Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.