It will be difficult for the All Progressives Congress, APC, to win any election in Oyo State in 2019 unless the two warring factions come together.
Hon. Temitope Olatoye, who represents Lagelu-Akinyele federal constituency in the House of Representatives gave the warning in Ibadan, while featuring on Political Circuit, an interview programme on a privately owned radio station, Fresh F.M.
Insight Oyo had reported how the APC in the state has been divided along two factions of those loyal to Governor Abiola Ajimobi called the SENACO group and those in the Unity Forum in the battle for the control of the structure of the party.
According to Olatoye, who is popularly called Sugar, the party’s national leaders, including Senator Bola Tinubu, need to wade into the crisis before it is too late, adding that even if the two groups come together, there was no 100 per cent certainty that the party would win an election.
“Even if the two groups come together, it is not automatic that we will win an election. This same applies to all parties and not to us alone. Who would have believed that PDP would lose in 2015? The party had what it takes to win the election, but Nigerians showed preference for an alternative party.
“I belong to the two factions. All those in the two groups are my friends. A good arbiter will not pitch tent with either of the groups so as to enjoy credibility and believability. The SENACO faction cannot do it alone and those in the Unity Forum cannot do it alone either. I am preaching unity for us to be able to win election.
“I have been speaking with leaders of the party even beyond Oyo State to intervene and get the crisis resolved in time. Senator Bola Tinubu should wade in in time otherwise things will be further destabilised.
“Party membership is free entry and free exit. Nobody brings anybody into the party and nobody can order anyone to stay. No politician will continue to be in a party where there is no future. The only way there can be a future in APC in Oyo is when both factions come together. That is how we can say we can win elections.
“Governor Ajimobi will not label members of the Unity Forum as rebels or renegades because they are no pushovers. There are some bad elements among us who are trying to push the right and the left wings to collide so that they can have their own way and realise their selfish aim. These bad elements know that when there is peace, they can’t reign because they have no pedigree or integrity,” he said.