By Adeola Badru
A former Minister of Communication and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State, Barrister Adebayo Shittu has chided the reconciliation committee set up by the immediate-past governor of the state, late Senator Abiola Ajimobi to reconcile the aggrieved members of the party in the state.
It would be recalled that Ajimobi after his appointment as the National Deputy Chairman South, appointed another former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala to head the reconciliation committee to reconcile different warring factions within the party.
While speaking on a radio programme, in Ibadan, at the weekend, Barr. Shittu, who affirmed he could speak on behalf of the Unity Forum in the APC declared Alao Akala as the least qualified leader to head the reconciliation committee in the circumstances of the state.
He said: “The Akala led committee has not spoken with me directly, I am expecting one of their emissaries later today, it’s a very clear case, you see, I have all the respect for Governor Akala but I don’t think that the way and manner that committee was set up was made in good fate, it was certainly not made in good fate, why do I say this.”
“Before the setting up of that committee, the national working committee had set up a national reconciliation committee led by Chief Bisi Akande, our respected leader.”
“The national working committee did not say Oyo State is not part of your mandate as a national reconciliation committee, you are to cover all the states of the federation, if that has happened and then you find perhaps one of the people who were active in creating the problems that we had now set up another committee to usurp the functions and responsibilities of the national working committee, then a big question mark arises.”
“When Alao Akala took up that job, I actually challenged him, that I thought it was not good enough for him to have taken up such responsibility because he himself had been frustrated out of APC. As frustrated as I was, I never left APC, he was so frustrated that he had to leave APC for ADP, when was he reconciled for him to now qualify as the chairman of the reconciliation committee.”
“Out of about the twelve members that made up the committee, at least ten of them are known active acolytes of the late governor, if you have two main factions in the party, and you seriously and in good faith want to set up a reconciliation committee, the wisest thing would have been to take perhaps from both factions, that was not done.”
“So with that, I don’t see how we members of Unity Forum would have confidence in that, we will prefer that neutral persons have put together by the national working committee of our party be allowed to do so so that everybody would feel free that they would get justice in the reconciliation processes.”
“Buni’s committee is not about reconciliation, let me tell you straight away, that Bisi Akande led committee has not yet been outlawed or invalidated, earlier this week, Ekiti members who are aggrieved also met with the Akande led the committee which showed hey are still active, I am talking about trust now, it is like parties have a case and supposed to go to a judge who is impartial, who is not interested in the matter, if a party in a case has to go before a judge who perhaps belongs to one of the two groups, there won’t be a sense of freedom, fairness, trust.”
“So with due respect to Chief Alao Akala, I believe that he is least qualified to lead in the circumstances of Oyo state. My suggestion is the Bisi Akande led committee which is neutral, they are not from Oyo State, should be allowed to call both sides, listen to both sides as an uninterested party by themselves, listen to us and then, we give recommendations and then we will be able to make progress,” he said.