Ogun APC

By Dapo Akinrefon

An All Progressives Congress, APC, Governorship aspirant in Ogun State, Modele Sarafa-Yusuf, on Friday, alleged that she was being muzzled out of the race.

She also raised concerns over her alleged exclusion from an APC stakeholders’ meeting held on Friday.

Babatunde Olaotan, a Special Adviser, Government House had issued a statement inviting all APC stakeholders in the state to a meeting.

The invitation reads: “Governor Dapo Abiodun cordially request the honour of your presence at the stakeholders meeting which is scheduled to hold on Friday 6th May, 2022.

Please kindly come with your APC membership card.

But Sarafa-Yusuf, in a statement, expressed worry over violence ahead of the primary, saying “it is one of the reasons why there are so few women in politics.”

The statement reads: “I received an invitation to an APC Stakeholders Meeting called by Governor Dapo Abiodun.

“According to the message which was widely circulated among party members, the only criterion for admission to the meeting is being an APC member – proof of which was required.

“As a governorship aspirant, and with the primary imminent, I considered myself a stakeholder and so, armed with my APC card, I went for the meeting which was also attended by scores of people.

“As I made to take a seat in the fully packed hall, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Biyi Adeleye accosted me and enquired what I was doing at the Governor’s Meeting.

“Seeing as he was spoiling for a fight, I took the closest seat available and he followed me shouting at the top of his voice and saying unprintable words to the consternation of shell-shocked members.

“But for the Secretary to the State Government who literally held him back, I wonder what might have happened to me!

My security team thereafter, advised me to leave immediately.

“Only last week, our campaign billboards that were properly paid for through a registered agency were torn down ostensibly on the orders of the government. Efforts to put them back up by the Outdoor advertising company were resisted, so much so that the bullied and harassed company has since offered us a refund.

“My concerns: Who are the ‘stakeholders’ in Ogun APC and why is the governor calling them to a meeting so close to the primary elections and at the exclusion of other aspirants?

“If the elections and proper electioneering have barely started and an aspirant is already being threatened verbally and physically, what are the chances for peaceful elections in the state?

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Its early days yet and we’re seeing this level of political intolerance!

“I hasten to mention that it is common knowledge that the fear of violence is one of the reasons why there are so few women in politics.

That said, I move forward in the full armour of God.”

Sarafa-Yusuf is dishonest – Ogun APC

But in a swift reaction, the Ogun APC faulted Sarafa-Yusuf’s claims noting that she was not invited to the meeting.

In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Tunde Oladunjoye said: “Our attention has been drawn to a statement making rounds in the media moments ago and credited to sportscaster Modele Sarafa that she was harassed at a meeting of Stakeholders convened by our party the All Progressives Party, APC, in Abeokuta on Friday and she “had to leave on the advice of her security people.”

“I say with all honesty and authority at my disposal that Modele-Sarafa is a rabble- rousing gate crasher to a meeting of party elders and leaders, a State Caucus meeting, where she was not qualified to attend and was not invited.

“How will she be taken serious if her invitation to such a high level meeting was based on, according to her, “information shared on the social media” and for which an invite was not addressed to her directly?

“Being an aspirant does not and cannot confer leadership on any party member to no matter how bloated such aspirant’s ego is, but o the extent of attending a State Caucus meeting. For such leaders’ meeting, proper accreditation always come before commencement of proceedings. “Many other people were excused from today’s meeting, including former House of Assembly members and serving Special Advisers. Some of Ven left voluntarily the moment it was openly announced that there would be accreditation.

This is not the first time we were having stakeholders meeting, which is usually attended by present and former governors, present and former deputy governors, current house of assembly members, past and present National Assembly members, current council chairmen, members of State Working Committee of the party (which means not even all members of state exco are allowed to attend), Local Government Party Chairmen, members of the Governor’s Elders Advisory Council, who are seventy years old and above and State Commissioners.

Where does Modele Sarafa falls into in the categories stated above? “No where. She was a former Special Adviser to the governor, an absentee one for that matter; she never attended such meetings, even serving special advisers are not admitted into such meetings. When does an aspiration for an office, even the one that is not moribund, confers leadership and serves as ticket to all meetings?

It is as bad as saying all presidential aspirants are automatically qualified to attend the National Caucus meeting of a political party. “Of course aspirant Modele banked on layman/woman literary meaning of “stakeholder” due to her political nativity and arrogant disposition that she couldn’t decipher it was a State Caucus meeting of our great party.

“Her allegation of destruction of her signages was not only baseless, but also a cheap sympathy-seeking method of a destined loser. As, I write this, her poorly produced midget bill boards and other amateur signages are displayed in different parts of the state capital (your correspondent can confirm it).

“If the increasing blackmail, desperation and false allegations were what Modele meant when she said her campaign will be unusual, as we have since discovered, then, it is very unfortunate, to say the least.”

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