APC as the ruling party at the national level of Nigeria’s political landscape is making efforts to stabilise the party structures across the nation within the polity especially among states where there are perceived challenges.
Oyo State like many of the States also has a few issues to resolve in the repositioning agenda and the earlier the Party is well positioned to take bold steps to confront those issues with a resolve towards regaining control of government in Oyo State, the better for both the Party and the good people of Oyo State.
Fortunately, Oyo APC has at hand a reconciliatory environment requiring the commitment of all members and all stakeholders of the Party in readiness for lasting solutions while resolving critical issues by considering the following:
1. While I commiserate with the entire members of our great Party at both the National and State levels on the sudden demise of Senator Abiola Ajimobi the former Governor of Oyo State who until his death was also the Deputy National Chairman South of APC, I sincerely believe that his painful passage should be utilized to commemorate him by bringing all factions together including all those that had left the party in his memory.
2. The various factions of the Party need to sheath their sword and embrace true reconciliation to reflect the last wishes and desire of the departed leader. Late Senator Ajimobi’s pre-emptive prompting of intuition of his demise had put in place a reconciliation committee headed by Otunba Adebayo Alao Akala, also a former Governor with long standing exposure and experience in politics.
3. It is believed that the Akala committee will compliment that of the national committee equally headed by Chief Bisi Akande who is also an experienced and respected former governor and former national Chairman of the party. While the Chief Bisi Akande national reconciliation committee will be concerned with the broad based reconciliation issues in the overall national interest and state realities, the Otunba Akala Oyo State reconciliation committee has the advantaged opportunity to provide the necessary template for local and specific recommendations for party stakeholders at the grassroots levels .The Akala committee should therefore be commended for breaking into geopolitical zones with a view to reaching out not only to aggrieved members but to all stakeholders of the party at the grassroots levels . By implication therefore, both the Chief Bisi Akande national reconcilation committee and the Alao Akala Oyo state reconcilation committee are complementary, both requiring the support and cooperation of well meaning members of the party.
4. For any meaningful reconciliation and repositioning of the Oyo APC to take place, the Executive in whatever form will be sustained has to engage in a synergistic approach with all Stakeholders irrespective of ideological differences, past misgivings or affiliations. This will bring to bear the essence of collective political participation in overwhelming number, strength, and spheres of influence largely enjoyed by the Progressive fold. This is a needed antidote to achieve the collective desire of the party towards regaining control of governance.
5. The leadership envisioned by Oyo State APC should be able to lead by setting a clear vision, develop a sustainable efficient and effective succes oriented strategic positioning and action plan for the party henceforth. This will only be possible through the engagement and deployment of several quality minds and party faithfuls to be saddled with the responsibility of quality leadership in the Party hierarchy.
6. Party Management in recent contemporary times should attract brilliant and intelligent sound managers at all levels, directly or indirectly, subtly and overtly, otherwise nothing worthwhile will be expected from the end result of governance if the system will continue to sustain mediocrity and ineptitude situation in Party leadership.
7. The post Senator Abiola Ajimobi era in Oyo State APC leadership must exhibit participatory leadership devoid of dictatorial tendencies. Decisions to be made must be by collective effort and inclusiveness with very wide consultation among all the affected stakeholders. The truth of the matter under the present realities in Oyo State APC is that any dictatorial tendencies will be resisted by members.
8.Trust, confidence, commitment and fairness must be the harbingers of coordination among the critical stakeholders to persuade everyone in the new dispensation that participatory and collective collaboration will prevail in the management and control of the Party at all levels henceforth.
9.The National leadership of APC recognises the relevance of Oyo State in the strategic political game plans and manoeuvres towards 2023 agenda when the late former Governor and leader of the Party Senator Abiola Ajimobi approached the reconciliation programme with speed and commitment shortly before his demise. The departed leader must be honoured in death and this is a collective responsibility by all well meaning party members ,leaders and followers.
10. It will be expedient that all the members holding elective positions and political appointments be in commited collaboration with the Executive of the Party, the Otunba Adebayo Alao Akala led reconciliation committee and the major stakeholders from the various political zones of Oyo State to achieve the much desired repositioning of the Oyo APC ahead of the 2023 general elections.
11. It is with hope and high expectations that many party faithfuls and strongly commited members of the Party are anticipating the commitment of the leadership towards resolving the critical issues affecting the fortunes of the party as experienced in the last general elections.
12. Other critical groups to be approached and included in the process of party rebuilding should include the Aspirants who were affected by the decision to adopt indirect nomination during the Local government elections and the general elections in 2017 and 2019 respectively. Very significant are the several candidates so affected and especially the gubernatorial aspirants who had to withdraw from the nomination process. The then flag bearer and the other aspirants must henceforth embrace each other and take a sober reflection on the past experiences to channel a new course for the party, irrespective of their individual ambition and future expectations.
13. There is no better time than now for all the aggrieved party members and the various factional groups to bury the hatchet of personal interests and aspirations, imbibe the spirit of collective political participation and collaboration, eschew bitterness and blame game while approaching the repositioning agenda with total resolve, uncommon determination and sustained commitment. Victory is certain for Oyo APC in the 2023 general elections.
14. Going by happenings and objective assessment of the style of governance in the ruling party PDP in Oyo state, the party in power is on its way out for several clear reasons which will be a subject for another time. We must take the advantage of the situation and plan towards taking over governance in 2023.
Conclusively, there is no better time than now for Oyo state APC to utilize the number and quality of its highly experienced members across all wards of the state to prepare for governance come 2023 considering the 14 point agenda presented in this write up for the evolution of a repositioned and vibrant party, where inclusiveness, total reconciliation, jettisoning of tendencies towards autocratic leadership, regard for party supremacy and upholding of the party’s constitution, discipline effective and efficient management of resources (human, financial et al) will be the order of the day.
Kunle Olatunji is a Professional Media and Management Consultant and Leading Member of APC Oyo State. He was also a former Special Assistant on Media and Publicity during the first tenure of Senator Abiola Ajimobi. He writes from Ibadan Oyo State.