Home News Unity Forum: Ajimobi Will Know We’re Not Politically Inconsequential In 2019

Unity Forum: Ajimobi Will Know We’re Not Politically Inconsequential In 2019

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Members of the breakaway faction of the Oyo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, The Unity Forum, has reiterated their bid to prove to Governor Abiola Ajimobi that they are not political inconsequential.

 

In a chat with its Secretary, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun, he said that “if the governor has the judiciary in his pocket and believes that everyone has a price, he cannot control who we associate with. We have a plan B.”


 

 

Asked if the ‘Plan B’ would accommodate those who hold positions in the present government, he submitted that “I am a board member of a federal parastatal. We are aware that some people will stay back in the party because they hold one position or the other. What matters is for us to go for a credible platform where we can prove that we are not inconsequential. We proved to him that we are relevant during the by-election in Ibarapa East last week.

 

“The government spent almost N100m on that by-election but the party candidate lost by a wide margin. There is an election pattern that was jettisoned and that was the reason for the failure.

 

“We have started doing something that will be announced soon,” adding that “What we are doing will ensure that whatever decision we take will be accepted by all so that we don’t go in different directions. Consultations have begun. We will get a party that will be ready to accommodate our structure.”

 

Explaining that Consultations have begun on their planned defection, he corrected the impression that the group is being sponsored by communications minister, Adebayo Shittu.

 

According to him, “Unity Forum does not belong to Shittu. He is a member of the group but we don’t know where he will belong because he is a federal minister. The late governor Lam Adesina loyalists, who are in the majority in the party, remained the pillar of the APC in Oyo State. We also have the Shittu group (formerly of the Congress for Progressive Change), some aggrieved SENACO members, people who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Accord Party and some former aides of the govenor. These people worked hard to ensure victory for Ajimobi in the 2015 governorship election.”

 

On how the group was formed, Olatunbosun said: “The birth of the forum was as a result of the long-term impunity and oppression on the part of the Ajimobi. Culturally and not constitutionally, he is the leader of the APC in the state. But consistently, over the years, he has been flouting the party’s constitution. He did not do this in 2015 when he was seeking re-election. If the governor had done that in 2015, the APC would have lost that election.

 

“He allowed people to choose their candidates in 2015 and those who lost in the primaries decided, out of their own volition, to work for the party. But immediately after winning the election, he began the political elimination agenda of many party members.

 

“He sidelined all other groups within the party except the group that came with him to the party from the All Nigeria Peoples Party. As a party executive, I was the one who officially received him and his people into the party in 2010. The group is called Senator Abiola Ajimobi Campaign Organisation. When he became governor, I appealed that the SENACO group should be renamed Governor Ajimobi Campaign Organisation to make sure we gave everybody a sense of belonging.

 

“Because of the love our people had for the party, they endured his tyranny until when we had the local government election primary. About 1,200 aspirants bought forms for the election. Each aspirants for council chairmanship position paid N350,000 for a form while those aspiring to become councillors paid N150,000 for each form. Many of them took loans from micro-finance firms. The APC chairman in the state, Chief Akin Oke, assured the members that equal opportunity would be given to all aspirants. But Oke and the governor later twisted the process. He dumped the open primary and Electoral College as stipulated in the party constitution.

 

“When he was aspiring to be re-elected, we had a governorship primary. Lam Adesina’s first son, Wasiu, and Adebayo Shittu, who is now a minister, contested with Ajimobi in the primary and it was free and fair. No, primary was conducted for the genuine aspirants. The governor, with the help of the Head of Service, hand-picked his own people who even did not obtain forms. That was the climax of the problem.

 

“Many party leaders whose only interest was to have their own person in the council executives for quick grass-roots development were disappointed that the governor ignored them in preference for his own people, who are in the minority.

 

“The governor picked his own people to form the executives in over 600 wards and 68 councils and Local Council Development Areas of the state. Even the deputy governor, senators and House of Representatives’ members, deputy state chairman and other principal officers had no representatives in those councils. They were all alienated. That ignited crisis in the party because they felt slighted.”

 

Revealing how the party leaders watch for so long knowing that party congresses were approaching, he noted that “They held meetings where they analysed the implication of the governor’s actions. We resolved that for the congresses, we shall vehemently resist any attempt to subvert party constitution in the conduct of the congresses.

 

“The congress committee came to Ibadan on a Friday, a day before the congress was to be held, and insisted that anyone who did not pay for the form would not be part of it. The governor’s group did not buy the forms before it closed on that Friday but went behind to pay on Monday and backdated them. We have supporting documents to buttress our claims. The guideline said individual aspirant, must pay for his or her form.

 

“They gave us our forms when we presented our tellers according to the set guidelines. But we are surprised that they changed their tone presumably when they were (allegedly) offered money, according to findings.

 

“We challenge the congress committee members to come out and defend themselves. They insisted on tellers obtained before the forms closed but they suddenly soft-pedalled their stance. They should come out and tell the world what happened and why they did not tell the truth when they got to Abuja. If it is true that they love this party, they should tell the truth.”

 

On what the group would do if its current court action fails, Olatubosun explained that “We are aware that the governor and his people have been saying the judiciary is an annex of the executive and that we cannot defeat him there. He has done it before to conduct the illegal council poll.

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