•Says their demands baseless, self-serving
By Dapo Akinrefon & Shina Abubakar, OSOGBO
THE crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Osun State, yesterday, deepened, as leaders and members of the party urged the National Reconciliation Committee to disregard the petitions forwarded to it by members of the group known as The Osun Progressives, TOP.
The party, which described TOP’s requests as self-serving, misleading, sarcastic, spurious and baseless, called on the committee to dismiss it in its entirety, as it was meant to clandestinely destroy the corporate image of the party in the State.
The party’s position was made known when the Reconciliation Committee met with stakeholders of the party at Government House, Osogbo.
Defence against TOP
Responding to some of the issues raised and prayers made by TOP members to the Reconciliation Committee, the Secretary, State Congress Committee, Mr. Sunday Akere, said the allegation of alienation of party leaders was false and way off from the truth.
On the allegation that the present Governor hinged most of its policies implementation and execution on the platform that ushered his emergence, Ilerioluwa, Akere noted that the emergence of Ilerioluwa was more or less like the emergence of Oranmiyan created by the immediate past Governor Rauf Aregbesola that ushered him to power.
He added that since Oyetola was elected Governor, the party has taken the front burner in all decision making and implementation.
He said: “For TOP members to say they participated in the Ward, Local and State Congresses is laughable and it amounts to building something on nothing because they know there was no basis for such, and the allegation of nepotism levelled against the Governor is not only baseless but spurious.
“He who alleges must prove. All they wanted is juicy appointments.
“Their prayer asking the Reconciliation Committee to recognise their Congresses is misplaced and distractive because the Committee is to appeal to frayed nerves to give peace a chance and not deciding on the long-concluded Congress.
“The Committee should take note that these so-called TOP members have constituted themselves into a team more vicious than the opposition.
“They don’t have respect for the Governor or the leadership of the party headed by Gboyega Famodun.
“How they deride the programmes and achievements of the Governor shows clearly that some of them have made up their minds on leaving the party if they cannot get what they want.
“They are already holding meetings with the opposition and a faction of the said opposition in the State now takes the responsibility of protecting and defending them as a matter of life and death.
“The TOP members have no right whatsoever to dwell on issues that do not concern them as their demand for resignation of Mr. Governor from the APC National Caretaker Committee connotes.
“The Governor as the leader and father to all is always ready to embrace and welcome back those willing to retrace their steps.
“This Committee in the spirit of the minority having their say while the majority have their way should appeal to TOP members to join hands with Mr Governor in sustaining the progressive legacy in Osun State.
“And finally, this Committee should implore the immediate past Governor and current Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, to rein in TOP members because he publicly declared that he is their patron and that he supports whatever they do.”
Speaking in turns, the Chairman, Osun APC Elders’ Caucus, called Sola Akinwumi, Senate Spokesman and Senator representing Osun Central Senatorial District, Bashiru Ajibola; former Osun Deputies Governor, Senator Christopher Iyiola Omisore; Mrs Titilayo Ponle; Prince Adeleke Adewoyin; Deputy Speaker, Osun House of Assembly, Mr Simeon Popoola; the Party Chairman-elect, Prince Gboyega Famodun; reaffirmed the commitment of the party’s leadership to ensure unity and oneness.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Abdulahi Adamu, noted that their presence at the Government House was part of efforts to ensure a fair hearing, equity and justice as it would serve as a forum for the party leadership to respond to and defend some of the allegations raised and petitions filed before it.
Oyetola can’t be judge in own case — TOP Chairman
But in a swift reaction, the chairman of the TOP, Mr Lowo Adebiyi said the governor cannot be a judge in his case.
Adebiyi, who spoke with Vanguard, said: “The law of natural justice demands that you can’t be a judge in your case. Our call for his resignation from the committee is predicated on the fact that he has indicated his intention to seek re-election.
“As a member of the APC CECPC, it cannot be a guarantee that we will have a free and fair primary election, that is why we demanded that he should resign.
“Before now, he has the right to be a member, but the moment he decided to seek re-election, he should excuse himself and allow somebody else to replace him.
“I do not even believe they could be describing our demand as baseless, it is in the interest of the party.
“We insisted that with him as a member of the committee, we cannot have a free and fair primary.
“We are already putting a petition to be sent to Mr President on the matter.”