The National Working Committee,NWC, of the All Progressives Congress, APC, rose from its meeting in Abuja this evening appointing its Deputy National Chairman (North), Sen. Lawan Shiaibu to reconcile the two factions of the party in Oyo State and share party positions between the two factions.
The APC had been divided between the Unity Forum and SENACO. The Unity Forum comprises members of the late Alhaji Lam Adesina political family, the CPC, former PDP stalwarts and some politicians not aligned with any group. SENACO comprises supporters of Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
The Unity Forum had argued that Governor Ajimobi’s supporters did not pay for nomination forms in the ward congress which formed the foundation of the congresses at the local government and state levels. The SENACO had countered that their congresses were the ones conducted by the congress committees from the national secretariat of the party.
Sources at the NWC told Insight Oyo that the committee established from the party’s bank documents that the governor’s supporters did not purchase forms for the ward congress. It was however of the opinion that it would be “awkward” for the governor’s supporters to be totally shut out of the party.
“If the party is to apply the rules strictly, the governor’s supporters will be disqualified for not complying with the party’s guidelines and this will invalidate the local and state congresses involving the delegates from the invalidated ward congress”, said the source.
He added that this would mean the governor will not have any of his men in the party executive committees at all levels. This will be awkward.”?, he concluded.
A source said 10 members of the 15 member NWC proposed that a Caretaker committee be set up for the state with a chairman from outside the state because of the deep division within the party in the state but the National Chairman pleaded that the members be given an oppurtunity to sort things out themselves.
The NWC thereafter appointed its Deputy Chairman (North) Sen. Lawan Shuaibu to head a Reconciliation and Harmonisation Committee to Oyo State. The committee is scheduled to be in Oyo State next week.
“What we concluded was to have a political solution to the problem in Oyo State. While it would be awkward to shut the governor out of the party structure, we also couldn’t hand over the party to the governor which is the preference for states where APC is in control. The problem with Oyo State is that if we don’t tread carefully, we will end up with court cases that will jeopardise our chances in 2019. Besides, there is overwelming evidence that those fighting the governor are in the majority in the party. Handing the party over to the governor will kill the party in Oyo State”, the source concluded.”