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Published On: Mon, Nov 13th, 2017

Ajimobi moves to save Oyo APC from disintegration

By OLUSESAN LAOYE

The seeming crisis in Oyo APC has now forced the Governor of the state, Abiola Ajimobi, to begin consultations with stakeholders to convinced members on why they must come together as a body to face the 2019 general elections,

Although the internal crisis is yet to break open as the aggrieved party is waiting for the right time, observers are aware of the cold war which was gradually snowballing to the collapse of the party.  It has even gotten to a stage that members no longer have confidence in the governor and the state executive as well.

There were  speculations too, that the executive of the party believed that  Governor Ajimobi was not carrying them along in the affairs of the state and he  was also being accused of sidelining them on matters which the party supposed to handle.  The cold war in the party it was learnt has been going on for a year now and it has been causing sharp divisions in the party as well

To save the situation from getting out of control GovernorAjimobi had to move fast because the oppositions in the state are coming together. Ajimobi believes that if he failed to move very fast, the coming together of about five political parties under the leadership of former governor Rashidi Ladoja could cause them in the coming general elections.

Since the last governorship election which the APC won and which gave Governor Ajimobi a second term,   which has never been recorded in the history of the state, things have not been going  on well among members and it was believed that the cold war was caused by the governor whom they accused of introducing a divide and rule tactic.

The governor was also accused of favouringthose regarded as his loyalists in terms of appointments and this led to series of protests by members of the party after the last appointments of board members and local government Caretaker chairmen and councilors. This sparked protests by the aggrieved members and party leaders who accused the governor of sidelining them in the appointments.

The protests were state wide because the party leaders in virtually all the Local governments of the State claimed that they were not happy with what the governor did. They claimed that Governor Ajimobi failed to recognize the efforts of some of them who worked for his second term, and that he deceived them in respect of the new appointments made by asking the party leaders in their respective local governments to submit the names of those endorsed by the party in their areas for appointments but eventually ignored their list to appoint those they claimed never worked for him and the party. Some of the people they further claimed were not even members of the party.

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The situationwas heading towards a serious crisis and there were threats by some of the strong members of the party to leave for the PDP and other political parties. It also got to a stage that the situation polarized the state executive of the party and Governor Ajimobi sensing a great danger ahead of the 2019, general elections, had to move in to douse the tension

Although his swift action to save the party from disintegration was regarded by some party stalwarts as medicine after death others believed that, what he did was timely, at the time when the political tension is high. It was argued that since Ajimobi was no longer contesting, and for him to still remain relevant in the state after his tenure, he had no choice but to ensure that the members who are drifting away and disgruntled, come together, so that they would be able to retain the governorship of the state and still control majority in the State Assembly.

It was also argued that since there was no other person to take up the leadership role in the party, after the death of late former governor, Alhaji Lamidi Adesina and the exit of Chief Koleoso, the leadership of the party automatically fell on Ajimobi and that anything done to cement the unity of the party should not be regarded as being out of place, becauseas the governor of the state, he is the one financing the party.

Ajimobi who is worried by this development had to start going round to explain why the party must wax stronger than before ahead of the coming election in 2019 and to consolidate the party and prove to those who care to know that the APC is still intact despite the perceived crisis which to him was a mere family affairs.

As the leader of the party, he was moving round to show both within and outside the party, that he is fully in charge of the party in Oyo State and this was the reason why he met the members of the executive of the party in the state recently to brief them about the plan of the government to conduct the local government election which has been one of the key issues that seems to be tearing members apart. The Local government matter was also one of the issues which some leaders of the party had with him and which led to their protest early this year.

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Since the last pronouncement that the election would take place, party members have been skeptical that the governor may impose the candidates on them and are in doubt about free and fair primary for the Local government election. But the governor has assured them that there would be transparency and everybody would be accorded a level playing ground in the conduct of the primaries in the party for the LG election. He assured that elections would be held in all the 33local governments and the newly created Local Development Authorities ((LCDAs.

The governor at the meeting with members of the executive, leaders and stake holders of the party pointed out that  the local government election could have been held long time ago but for the litigation on it. According to him the election would hold as soon the legal issue on it is over.

He further said that he was ready togalvanize a united APC, saying that those who have been peddling rumours about the disintegration of the party would be surprised, that soonmany big wigs from the opposition would join APC. Their movement to the APC would be done in a grand style. He further said that he was not planning to dissolve the APC Exco in the state, saying that people are just carrying unfounded rumours to destabilize the good relationship that exist in the APC.

According to him, ‘’I am not planning to dissolve the state EXCO, up to ward level and put my own loyalist there’’

The Chairman of the party in Oyo State Chief Akin Oke, believed that the present steps of the Ajimobi would go a long way to bring unity into the party.He pointed out that the party has begun a great job to ensure that it wins the Local government election whenever it is held.

”We are not going to take chances and allow our enemies to disintegrate the APC in Oyo state, saying that the steps of Governor Ajimobi was in the right direction and has proved to those who believed that the is in crisis that the party is still very strong and would still win all the elections in the state,

 

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