By Sunday Oguntuyi, Osogbo
The crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State, on Tuesday took another twist as a group of leaders of the party suspended the former Chairman of the party in the State, Adelowo Adebiyi, for forming a new group.
The group, called “Igbimo Agba” accused Adebiyi of causing disunity within the party.
The decision to suspend Adebiyi, who now chairs a splinter group of the party, The Osun Progressives (TOP), was reached at the monthly meeting of the group held on Tuesday.
In a statement signed by the Chairman of the group, Sola Akinwumi, the group also passed “a vote of confidence” on the administration of Governor Gboyega Oyetola and the leadership of the caretaker Chairman of the party, Gboyega Famoodun.
But, Adebiyi while reacting to his suspension from the group expressed disappointment saying members of the group should have given him a fair hearing.
The former Chairman of APC while featuring on a popular radio programme in Osun said members of Igbimo Agba only based their decision to suspend him on just a radio interview, saying he deserved to be given a fair hearing.
“They should have given me a fair hearing before suspending me. They should not have relied on the radio interview to make the decision. I am appealing to them to give me a fair hearing.
“We have not been meeting regularly for me to brief the elders on the state of things. After the ENDSARS protest, the house of our chairman was attacked and we have not been meeting regularly, our last meeting was held at Osun State Government House. I briefed the Chairman of Elders caucus that the congress of the party is next month, June. I told him that there is a need for us to mobilise people,” he said.
However, the acting Secretary of APC Igbimo Agba, Hon. Omolaoye Oluremi Akintola, said TOP was formed with a view to weakening the party. He added that the formation of the TOP or any other group within the party is an aberration and inordinate arrangement to scuttle or weaken the party which he said would not be allowed.
Omolaoye said though Elder Adebiyi only suspended as a member of Igbimo Agba but not as a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Debunking the allegations of causing the disunity among the members of the party, Adebiyi said: “We, The Osun Progressives (TOP) are not here to divide the party but to sensitise members of the party, TOP is a caucus or group within the party that is recognized by the Constitution in the Article 9 and 12 of APC constitution where we have the former chairman of the party, the current secretary of the party, ex-commissioners, ex-vice chairman and Honourables. Our objective is to promote internal democracy in the party.
“According to Article 20, 1(A) that all post shall be filled with the elected member. This is our goal, to promote equity, fairness and justice within the party. To ensure transparency, accountability in party management. Where is a course of division in this?
“After the election of 2018, I met Governor Oyetola because it is embarrassing that we won the election with just 500 votes despite that we are controlling the centre and the state. When I was the chairman of the party it was not like that, we won by over 100,000 votes despite we are not at the centre. I expressed my concern to the governor and I even gave him a proposal of the way forward. 2022 election is right in the corner and we must be prepared.
“It is a misconception that we are using the group to work against the current governor. We want a formidable and capable hand to take over the affairs of the party. In Oyo State, despite the good works of Senator Ibikunle Ajimonbi we lost to PDP in the state. We want to ensure that we have democratic elected capable and effective hands in charge of our party.
“The party secretariat is like a ghost, with no activities to engage members, there is no life in the party again. This is a concern to us. I am comfortable with the leadership of the party. We want a level playing ground for those who become the executives of the party.
“We are not interested in fighting Governor Oyetola. I urge our leaders to sit down and talk about the plan of the party. I had a meeting with the Chairman of the party, Prince Adegboyega Famodun and the governor and I presented nine points to them.
“That we must understudy our poor performance during the 2018 election, have good relations with the party, members and electorates, monitor government policies, promote synergy with the party structures, make input in policy formation, implementation, evaluation and good service delivery, to improve the relationship of the party with private sectors and individuals. With the current evaluation, oppositions are not coming into the party. I submitted the proposal over one year ago, only one of the agenda was attended to.
“We are the one that initiated the process of wooing Oyinlola and late Isiaka Adeleke to our party. Politic is dynamic.
“Oyetola and Aregbesola are two different personalities, their perspectives on issues differs. If there are issues between them they are from the same source, they know how to reconcile their differences. The major aim is how we can ensure that the party is strong ahead of elections.
“About 6 months ago, Chief Akande call the party leaders into a meeting in Ila Orangun and we complained of these issues and we urge him to look into the matters. Baba set up a committee to look into these issues but till now they are still working on it. On this issue of TOP posterity will bless. Baba Akande agreed that there is inefficiency within Osun APC that needs to be worked upon. He set up a committee one per each federal constituency in the state to work on the efficiency of the party.
“We have groups within the APC, we have Ilerioluwa, the governor’s campaign group, Oromiyan group within the same party, I am surprised that TOP is now giving some people concern.
“If people support Oyetola second term ambition we will support him. He is performing. If the governor reach out to us we will support him base on agreements which is conditional”
Meanwhile , the leaders and members of APC in Ijesa North Federal Constituency, made up of Obokun and Oriade Local Government areas in Osun State, have distanced themselves from the splinter group which has the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, as the Chairman of its Board of Trustees.
Speaking on behalf of the party leaders and members in the zone, Otunba Jumoke Ogunkeyede, the overall leader of Obokun LG APC, said the decision of TOP to oppose the party being led by Governor Oyetola and team up with Aregbesola, who was believed to be in rift with the governor, was “tantamount to evil, egregious and unscrupulous act which should be discountenanced in its entirety.”
“It is unfortunate that with all the giant strides of Mr. Governor in the state, some elements under the guise of the Osun Progressive (TOP) have made themselves willing tools in the hand of the devil, all with the aims of distracting Mr. Governor from properly managing the Osun economy which has once crippled. We will use all our arsenals to stand by Mr. Governor to continue his good work in Osun beyond 2022.
“We will also resist these disgruntled ones until they retrace their steps and team up with the people’s governor whose hard work has been earning him accolades and awards from within the state and all over Nigeria.”
“Under no circumstance will the leadership and members of this Federal Constituency abandon truly progressive efforts of our amiable and goal getting governor for a group whose only cause of action is cruel hatred towards a perfectly responsible, responsive and a performing governor whose level of attentiveness is second to none,” the constituency said.