February 4, 2020

Ekiti APC members protest alleged plot to zone NDC to Oyo at South-West zonal meeting

Ekiti APC members protest alleged plot to zone NDC to Oyo at South-West zonal meeting

Shina Abubakar – Osogbo

Ekiti state caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday stormed the Osun state Secretariat of the party, venue of its South-West leadership meeting to protest alleged plot to zone the National Deputy Chairmanship of the party to Oyo state, asking to retain the slot.

The party members invaded the meeting protesting the alleged decision of the party to replace Otunba Niyi Adebayo, who was the Deputy National Chairman South with a chieftain from another state other Ekiti.

The protesters, led by a member of the House Assembly, Adeoye Aribasoye, representing Ikole Constituency I were carrying different placards at the venue with different inscriptions such as “No imposition”, Ekiti is not an appendage of any state” Don’t take us for fool”, Fair is fair, don’t cheat us”, Ekiti APC is not second class”, etc.

The closed-door meeting was attended by Southwest chairmen of the party, national officers from the region and other party stakeholders.

While the meeting was going on inside the Secretariat, the protesters were singing different protest songs forcing the meeting to an abrupt end.

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Addressing the southwest leadership, Aribasoye said Ekiti APC demanded that the state retained the slot vacated by Otunba Adeniyi, now a Minister of Trade and Investment.

He added that it would be wrong for the leadership of the party to attempt to allocate the slot given to Ekiti to another state, simply because Adeniyi had been made a Minister.

He said, “The reason for our protest is for equity and justice. The position of the national deputy chairman APC south became vacant upon the appointment of Niyi Adebayo who is now a minister. By the precedent convention and constitution of our party, the state which produces the seat that is vacant is to select another person to replace.

“In Lagos state, when Muiz Banire was made the Chairman of Assets Management Company of Nigeria, he was replaced by Babatunde Ogala who is also from Lagos. Also in Kwara State, Lai Mohammed was appointed minister Professor Bolaji Abdullahi replaced him. We have the same in River State, in the case of Oji Ngofa”.

“There is a zoning arrangement within our party, whereby the national chairman was zone to Edo State in South-south, the deputy national chairman, was zoned to the southwest and Ekiti state.”

“Now that the position is vacant it beckons on the southwest caucus to ask for nomination from Ekiti state, not any other place. But what we heard is that they wanted to choose a replacement from Oyo State.”

“Ekiti State is not an appendage of any other state. We are against cheating. What belongs to us must not be taken away. The position of the National Deputy Chairman (South) of the APC should be zone back to Ekiti. We believe in a course and we are resolute. We are resisting modern-day Ajele.”

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Addressing the aggrieved party members, the National Vice Chairman (Southwest) Pastor Bankole Oluwajana urged them to remain calm, saying their grievances had been registered by the Ekiti State Deputy Governor at the gathering.

He added that their position would be reported to the national leadership of the party.

He said, “We have heard what you have said, and We will make it known the leadership of the party.  Before your arrival, the deputy governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, was here to submit a four-page letter to us. God will help us sort it.