A group within the Oyo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Concerned Oyo APC Youth, has written President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the party over why the party performed woefully in the just concluded elections.
According to the group, in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mr Kayode Akanmu, the party needs to act fast if it wants to reclaim the state in 2023
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL WORKING COMMITTEE AND NATIONAL LEADERS OF THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC)
We seize this medium to congratulate you on the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections. Without mincing words, the massive victory recorded by Mr President was well-deserved, and also amplifies the continuous acceptance cum support the President enjoys in every nook and cranny of our great nation. We state, without equivocation, that we are proud of Mr President, and his numerous achievements in the past four years. In the same vein, we congratulate the national leadership of the party for the enormous efforts which culminated into great results recorded by APC candidates in the just concluded elections across the federation.
However, while we continue to bask in the euphoria of Mr President’s successful re-election bid, as well as well-deserved victories recorded by candidates of the party at different levels across the federation, it is incumbent on us, as concerned youths of the All Progressives Congress in Oyo State, to assay, and bring to your notice several anomalies, and brazen acts of arrogance, and high-handedness of the outgoing governor of Oyo State, His Excellency, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, that laid the foundation for the woeful outing recorded by the party, especially during the March 9 Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections, with profound hope that expedited actions would be taken to halt the ongoing slide of the party into political oblivion in the Pace Setter State. Without a shadow of doubt, our highly-cherished party in Oyo State is on the verge of precipice- a dangerous situation which requires concerted efforts of the national leaders of the party to salvage.
While we note that Governor Abiola Ajimobi is, unarguably the best governor ever elected in the state since the country’s return to democracy in 1999 because of his visible achievements in the areas of infrastructural development, Peace and security of lives and property, environmental sanitation and modernized governance; we wish to bring to your notice many actions- such as incessant transfer of aggression to workers and the people, flagrant disregard for traditional institutions and the people, imposition of candidates, Executive arrogance, as well his uncouth and garrulous nature- which contributed to the growing unpopularity of Governor Abiola Ajimobi among the Oyo populace.
It is also imperative to admit that Chief Bayo Adelabu erred greatly because of his inability to unite and work with his major opponents (for example Engineer Olasunkanmi Tegbe who eventually stepped down for him), who jostled with him for the party’s governorship ticket. However, we are deeply pained and saddened by the fact that the gubernatorial candidate of our dear party- Chief Adebayo Adelabu- who was by far the most competent, experienced and most credible Governorship aspirant in the state- paid dearly for the sins he did not commit. It is also immensely pitiable that Chief Adelabu had to suffer defeat because of the erroneous belief, and the series of propaganda unleashed by the major opposition parties in the state that his emergence would represent a continuation of the outgoing governor’s reign characterized by condescending behavior to both the old and the young.
While education is incontrovertibly an important bedrock of development that must be given serious attention by every state and government, it is an indubitable fact that Governor Abiola Ajimobi has a forgettable record, and awful achievement in educational development. His reign, especially his second term in office, was characterized by severe neglect of the education sector, state-owned institutions, dilapidated school structures, as well as atrocious welfare of teachers and students. The memory of the needless outburst of the capricious Governor to the students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) to the protracted closure of their school, and perceived insouciant attitude of government to their plight, still lingers in our memory. While the students were understandably distraught by the continuous closure of their school, the statements of the Governor- who was expected to act as a father and utter soothing words to placate irate and frustrated students- when he addressed the protesting youth generated widespread public opprobrium. This ignominious episode earned his Excellency the needless sobriquet “Constituted Authority”.
Also, preparatory to the 2019 general elections, Governor Abiola Ajimobi engaged in activities that destroyed the party, and put its then bright future in the 2019 general elections in jeopardy. By 2016, the All Progressives Congress under the leadership of the incumbent Governor transformed to “Ajimobi Private Company” as the governor called the shots unilaterally. He singlehandedly determined who got what in the party, without recourse to democratic principles upon which the party was founded. Governor Ajimobi’s disregard for party leaders and elected officials in the running of the party in the state also became conspicuous when the governor single-handedly picked candidates who contested under the platform of the party during the local government elections without consulting with other party leaders in the state, especially elected APC lawmakers both at the state and federal level.
It is pertinent to add that, sequel to the foregoing acts of dictatorship by a democratically elected Governor of the state, aggrieved party members and leaders visited the governor to urge him to retrace his steps, right the wrongs committed, galvanize members, and position the party well for electoral victory in the 2019 general elections. Regrettably, all pleas fell on deaf ears, while all efforts by party leaders and members to talk the governor into bringing sanity back to the party by respecting the tenets of democracy proved abortive. Instead, the governor took his acts of tyranny and flagrant disrespect for democratic values to an unenviable level by unilaterally picking his loyalists and cronies for party executive positions from the ward to state levels. The draconian acts of the governor generated serious controversy in the build up to the just concluded general elections, while many aggrieved leaders, and foot soldiers in the party- who would have contributed, in no small measure, to a better outing by the party- defected from the party angrily.
For example, party faithful and bigwigs such as Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, Senator Soji Akanbi,, Honourable Dapo Lam-Adeshina, Sunday Adepoju, Honourable Awoleye Dada and other party stalwarts- too numerous to mention- left the party to form a political group named “Unity Forum”, and subsequently dumped the party. It goes without saying that the crises that rocked the party because of the actions of the governor prepared the ground for the shameful outing which the party had during the Bye election conducted to fill the void created by the painful demise of the then Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon Adeyemo from Ibarapa constituency, as the party shockingly lost an election that was widely regarded as the easiest in recent times.
After the loss suffered by the party in Ibarapa, Governor Abiola Ajimobi refused to halt the conspicuous slide of the party into mediocrity and one-man party as he also went ahead with his plan to step party members down, and singlehandedly handpicked candidates who would contest under the platform of the party for different offices in the 2019 elections. It is worth noting that the governor carried out his despicable act of imposition and disregard for party structure unchallenged, as he had successfully victimized and forced party leaders and elders, who could challenge his actions and speak the truth to his power out of the party.
We state, unequivocally, that the result recorded in the last gubernatorial election in Oyo state serves as a great reality check, and mirrors the rot currently inherent in the State chapter of the party due to the actions and inactions of the outgoing Governor.
We also state, emphatically, that we are all victims of war, as the election, at some point represented a war between Governor Ajimobi and the people of Oyo State; expectedly, the people will always emerge victorious as the popular saying “the will of the people is the will of God” connotes. The last gubernatorial election in Oyo State represented a protest against the solipsistic leadership style, and petty arrogance of the outgoing governor who has a well-documented history of badmouthing the people of the state through several shameful utterances unbefitting of a Governor of a highly-revered state.
The people of Oyo state, through their votes, revolted against the Governor who can be likened to a General who led a needless war. Unfortunately, Chief Adebayo Adelabu was a victim of circumstance, who paid dearly for the sins he never committed. We reiterate that out of all the governorship aspirants in the state during the last elections, Chief Bayo Adelabu had the best credentials, experience and expertise needed to move Oyo State to the next level; unfortunately, the outgoing governor ruined his chances and pitted him against the people because of his (Ajimobi’s) uncouth mouth, egomaniac and autocratic nature.
Finally, while we continue to rue the failure of the party in the state in March 9 gubernatorial election, we call on the national leadership of the party to take actions that would arrest the gloomy atmosphere in the party, reposition it for future victory, and treat as a matter of urgency our call to restore sanity to the party in Oyo State, and instigate a total overhaul of the party leadership structure in the state. We also urge party leaders and stakeholders at the national level to launch a probe into the voting process, as there were reports of electoral fraud, such as over-voting, fraudulent counting process perpetrated by PDP elements with tacit support from INEC officials and security personnel attached to the affected poling units.
We remain committed to the next level agenda of our dear party and we strongly believe that we have vibrant youths who can change the present narratives of the party in the state, and work assiduously to take the state to the next level. We hope that our concerns and issues raised would be given a pride of place.
Yours in the Progressives’ Family,
On behalf of:
Concerned Oyo State APC Youths;