The crisis rocking the Oyo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) may have taken a turn for the worse as virtually all the groups in the party in the state have rejected the zoning committee set up by the Elders’ Advisory Committee.
The zoning committee was set up by the Oyo APC Elders’ Advisory Committee, led by former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, to zone party offices ahead of the state congress of the party, slated for October 16.
However, five groups in the main opposition party in the state have been vehement in their rejection of the zoning arrangement, alleging that it was skewed in favour a governorship aspirant, Senator Teslim Folarin.
The groups are the Unity Forum, the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), the Bayo Adelabu Group, Joseph Tegbe Group, forming the bulk of the Ajimobi Legacy Forum and the Niyi Akintola Group.
The groups held a four-hour meeting in Ibadan, mid-week, to deliberate on the issues generated by constitution of the zoning committee by the Alao-Akala-led elders’ committee.
Rising from the meeting, the five groups, in a communique, declared that the constitution of a zoning committee is alien to the Constitution and practice of the APC.
The representatives of the groups, in the communique released by Alhaji Abu Gbadamosi, who presided over the meeting, further resolved that:
“The so-called Elders Advisory Committee is itself illegal because it is unknown to the constitution of the party. Moreso, the attempt by stakeholders of the party to establish one on 20 September, 2020 ended in a stalemate;
“The constitution of the zoning committee was undertaken without due consultation with critical stakeholders in the party and;
“The path to a rancour-free state congress in the state is the truthful, honest and sincere engagement of critical stakeholders without a clandestine design to foist any group or candidate on the party.”
The groups implored party leaders to live up to the expectations of the exalted positions they are holding in the party and government restated their loyalty and commitment to the party under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Signatories to the communique included Senator Ayoade Adeseun; Senator Olufemi Lanlehin; Senator Adesoji Akanbi; former Minister of Communications, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu; APC governorship candidate in the 2019 elections, Chief Adebayo Adelabu; a former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Honourable Gunju Ojo and Chief Adeniyi Akintola SAN, a former deputy Speaker of the state legislature.
Others were two former Secretaries to the State Government (SSGs), Chief Sharafadeen Alli and Alhaji Waheed Olajide; a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Michael Lana; chairman, APC Elders’ Council, Oke Ogun Zone, Chief Gbadamosi Adejare and 2019 governorship aspirant, Dr. Joseph Tegbe and Chief Akinade Fijabi.
Also included were secretary, Oyo State Elders’ Council, Alhaji Basiru Ajibade; chairman, Nigerian Lotteries Commission, Alhaji Fatai Ibikunle; Post-Master General of the Federation, Dr Ismail Adewusi; chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Adeolu Akande; and former chairman, Oyo State Hospital Management Board, Bimbo Adepoju.
Also among the signatories were former chairman, Oyo State Youth Development Agency, Gbenga Olayemi; former chairmen of Oyo ALGON, Yekini Popoola, Chief Bosun Ajuwon and Abass Aleshinloye; deputy state chairman of APC, Alhaji Isiaka Alimi; and a former state vice chairman of the party, Chief Goke Oyetunji.