By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Hon Femi Adeleye, a member of ‘Ekiti APC Stakeholders’ against Governor Kayode Fayemi’s rumored presidential ambition, speaks on the rationale behind his group’s position.
Why are you ‘stakeholders’ not in the same boat with your party?
My first answer to your question is what party is Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in? Is it not the same family? So the man who spoke, saying they want Governor Fayemi to join the presidential race and that the party in Ekiti would force him if necessary, at what point, at which meeting was that decision taken? Where was the venue of the meeting? Where did he derive the authority to speak on behalf of the party? We are members of the party in Ekiti.
If anything happens in a family, are you saying members of the family would not know about it? In Yoruba land, if you want to be a king in your family, you must be a prince, and I’m also a prince, we are all entitled to kingship. You cannot bring somebody from another lineage to come and head our family. So, there must be a family meeting where a decision would be made and position made known. The man who spoke, spoke for himself and not the party, he only expressed his personal opinion which is not the position of the party in the state.
He said all of you that went to the South-West Agenda meeting in Ibadan were all suspended members of the party.
You can ask him that is making that claim, was he not suspended? Are you aware that there was a time they were all suspended and the national body came out and said the suspension from both sides have been nullified?
So, if he’s saying we are suspended, it applies to him too. The national body came out and said the suspension from both sides is cancelled. They said we should reconcile and they set up a national body headed by the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam el-Rufai. Unfortunately, the meeting could not hold before the NEC dissolved all the excos from the ward to local government and state level. So, what right does he have and at what point is he saying we were suspended?
Are you not seeing a divided house here?
If there is a divided house, the head would have to reconcile all the parties. What was our grouse? It was that things were not done well in the party, and we said things should be done properly and as stated in the party’s Constitution and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. You can’t be a Christian and bring a Quran to be read in the church. No matter how good you are in the church, your members will revolt.
On what basis are you asking Tinubu to join the presidential race?
When you look at Tinubu’s antecedents, when then-President Olusegun Obasanjo withheld Lagos State allocations, was Lagos not paying salaries, were things not going well in Lagos? And look at everybody in Yoruba land in APC, mention one that Asiwaju did not mentor, including Governor Kayode Fayemi. Asiwaju has invested massively in human development and has demonstrated over and again the capacity to manage human resources.
In Yoruba land, their numbers are numerous. In Ekiti alone, I can mention Dr Kayode Fayemi, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, Mr Dele Alake, who was then Commissioner under Tinubu in Lagos, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and so on. So if you see somebody who has produced people who are great men today in their various fields, that person should be given the opportunity to lead this country.
The party in Ekiti said they are not aware of Tinubu’s presidential ambition
You don’t ascribe it to Ekiti APC but to the person who told you. Ekiti APC is not for somebody, it is for all of us. The PRO has said it was his personal opinion and whoever that sent him, it is their personal opinion. I said asked them, was there any meeting that was held where the position of the party was made known?
Was the former party Chairman, Chief Jide Awe, in that meeting? Because for you to take a critical decision that has to do with sending somebody to represent us at the federal level, it has to be jointly taken. If there were to be a presidential primary today, I’m among the people that would vote. The PRO cannot vote because he’s a caretaker exco, those expected to vote are elected members of exco. What position has the PRO held? Has he been elected before? He never contested for the position in the dissolved exco, he was appointed. We came out to contest, we did election.
How does your party intend to reconcile the different positions to avoid crisis?
The fact is that very society that runs away from fairness, justice and equity, there can never be any progress there. The only way is that whoever wants to lead must be fair and just. What we are asking for is that the party be run with openness and sincerity. There must be justice so that everybody would be carried along.