The underground crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC), Oyo state chapter came to bear on Friday as leaders and members numbering over 5,000 from the five geopolitical zones in the state unanimously asked the party leadership at the National level to wade into the crisis in order to be victorious during 2019 elections.
They specifically tasked President Muhammadu Buhari, National Chairman of APC, Chief John Oyegun and national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a matter of urgency find lasting solution to lingering crises to avoid imminent defeat in 2019 elections.
They tasked the party leadership during the APC Unity Forum meeting with the themed “Making 2018 APC Congress work for peace, unity and victory in 2019 elections” held in Ibadan, the state capital.
They declared that it is high time to intimate the national leadership that they way and manner the party is being run in the pacesetter state if not checked would cause a major set back for the party in 2019.
Speaking at the meeting, a member of House of Representatives, Hon. Dapo Lam Adesina declared that there is serious crisis within the APC in Oyo state and if not checked it may hinder the victory of the party in 2019 elections.
According to him, “I will report to leadership at the National level that there is serious crisis in Oyo APC. We are appealing to President Buhari, National Chairman, Chief Odigie Oyegun and our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to wade into the crisis or else the party would have itself to blame in 2019.
“The height of this crisis was the way and manner the candidates for Chairmanship and Councillorship were selected for May 12th local government election”.
Also speaking, the former TESCOM chairman in the state and Chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Abu Gbadamosi also toll the way of the Rep member, Dapo Lam Adesina by admitting that there is a serous crisis in the party.
He also described the forthcoming local government election as a time bomb waiting to expose because the recent primary conducted has factionalise the party.
He however declared that the purpose of the meeting was to find ways to ensure that the interest of the people who are the owners of the party is protected.
According to him, “We must tell ourselves the truth, the party has been factionalise into groups, what we want to do is to arrange the party to move forward so that God will crown our efforts. There is a serous crisis, when there is crisis, we need to find solutions.
“But I believe God will bail us out. There is a time bomb waiting to explode. The local government election, the party must not go down. Are you saying there is no crisis, aspirants are here, Minister is represented, Senators are represented, you should do what you can do to bind the party together”.
Deputy Chairman of the party, Alhaji Isiaka Alimi who also advised the national leaders of the party to wade in, lamented that most of the candidates picked for the forthcoming local government election in the state were not members of the party, saying that the party has been polarised due to the staged-managed congress held in an hotel where some unknown members were picked as candidates.
According to him, “This has polarised the party, even myself as Deputy Chairman, I don’t have a single candidate. I am using my local government, Akinyele as a case study, the people who did not vote for the party, who worked for another party in 2015, who decamped and vote for another party in 2015 were the ones picked as candidates. Is that person fit to contest? Don’t you see that failure has started? That is why we must avoid mistakes”.
Other stalwarts of the party who spoke include representatives of Minister of Communications Barrister Adebayo Shittu, Deputy Governor of the state, Hon. Moses Adeyemo.
Others who spoke are former Commissioner for Commerce and Cooperatives and a governorship aspirant Dr. Kola Balogun; former Chief of Staff in the state, Professor Adeolu Akande; former Secretary to the state Government, Dr. Busari Adebisi and former Chairman, Ibadan North West Local Government, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun.
Others in attendance are former Minority leader, Hon. Rafiu Adekunle, Ex-Chairman Parliamentary caucus, Hon. Fatai Salam, former Chairmen, former members of House of Assembly, former members of House of Representatives and party stalwarts.
At the end of the meeting, the stakeholders in a communiqué issued urged the aggrieved members not to leave the party, however urged INEC and security agencies not to be used or bought but allow votes of the members of the party to count in the forthcoming congresses of the party.
The communique which was signed by Alhaji Abu Gbadamosi (Chairman) and Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun (Secretary) states that, “The forthcoming congresses must be transparent, devoid of any imposition and in accordance with the constitution of the party. Therefore all party members must be allowed to choose their preferred executive members at all viz ward, local, state and national delegates to the national convention of the party.
“It therefore calls on the the national leadership, President Muhammadu Buhari to enforce internal democracy in the forthcoming congresses. We are constrained to make this intervention to avert a repeat of the disquiet, disharmony and crisis which the failure to hold free and fair primaries in accordance with the constitution to elect party candidates for the proposed local government election has caused the APC in Oyo state.
“It thereafter pleads with the leadership of the party to beam beam its special searchlight on Oyo state if truly it cares for free and fair congresses, failure to which we believe will spell doom for the fortune of the party in the 2019 elections.
“It enjoins party members in the state to remain steadfast, resolute and committed to the ideas of the party despite several provocations from the anti democratic agents who are hell-bent on frustrating President Buhari’s second term bid. Aggrieved members of the party are advised not to leave the party as better days in APC, Oyo state is almost here.
“The forum therefore calls on the States congress committee, INEC, Police and other security officers to forestall any act capable of undermining the constitution of the party and by extension the constitution of Nigeria which guarantees the freedom of association and choice, by allowing party members’ votes to count”.