By Sunday Oguntuyi, Osogbo
Thousands of members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State, loyal to the minister of interior, Rauf Aregbesola, on Tuesday held a protest rally to call for the restructuring of the party, sequel to its defeat in the the July 16 governorship election.
The APC members also called for the removal of the APC Chairman, Prince Gboyega Famodun, accusing him of mismanagement of the party and culpability in its electoral defeats.
According to the APC members who converged in Osogbo from across the 30 local governments of the state, the party under Famodun as a ‘vehicle with flat tyres’, saying it could not deliver victory in the 2023 general elections.
The APC members were armed with placards with inscription like: “Osun APC Needs Restructuring,” “Famodun Must Go,” “Save Osun APC From Total Collapse,” Sack Famodun,” “Aregbesola Is The Soul Of APC/Progressive Politics In Osun,” There Is No Life In Osun APC Again!,” 2023: Asiwaju May Lose Osun With Famodun As APC Chairman,” among others.
Chanting various political songs, the APC members walked through Odi-Olowo, Olaiya, Ogo-Oluwa, amid heavily armed security operatives, to deliver a letter to the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye.
It was observed that some armed political hoodlums were stationed inside the APC state secretariat, Ogo-Oluwa, Osogbo, whose gate was under lock, a situation that prevented the protesting party members from going into the place to meet available party officials.
Addressing newsmen and members of the public at different locations, a prominent member of the APC, Comrade Abosede Oluwaseun, said the party needs to be restructured from unit, ward, local government and state level for it to be united and formidable ahead of the coming general elections.
Oluwaseun said: “With conscious, sincere and objective analysis of the outcome of the governorship election, we discovered that the electoral loss is not only self-induced by the party’s administrators, it also reflects party issues which had been raised by concerned minds in the recent past.
“The party issues, which are unattended to till the present moment, regrettably cost our party the electoral victory and as concerned progressives, we felt the necessity to inform you that it is not safe to approach the 2023 general elections with same paper-tiger party under the leadership of Prince Gboyega Famodun, the State Chairman of the APC in Osun State.
“The issues, to summarise them, boil down on glaring mismanagement of the party by Governor Gboyega Oyetola and the Party Chairman, Gboyega Famodun. The Chairman has totally demonstrated lack of capacity to manage the party and this reflects in the result of the July16 governorship election.
“Under the leadership of both Governor Oyetola and Famodun, the APC degenerated and assumed the dangerous trend of having factions which later caused catastrophe and grief. Governor Oyetola, right at inception, embarked on a divisive move which transmuted the party into two parts.
“As a Chairman of a ruling party going for election, Famodun didn’t consider it essential to resolve disputes and crises that dotted all the local governments in the state. Before the governorship election and till now, there is no understanding, cooperation, unity and cohesion in the party.”
Speaking further, Oluwaseun said: “In order to address this emergent clear and present danger, we unequivocally make the following demands: The dissolution of all party structures from the unit to the state level.
“The setting up of an independent caretaker committee to oversee the restructuring of the party and turn it into an election winning machine again.
“Composition of an all-inclusive party executive structures from wards to state level within 90 days; and
“The redistribution of the state and federal legislative tickets in an all-inclusive manner to reflect true membership structure and tendencies.
“This in our humble opinion is the way forward from the logjam we found ourselves in the APC and unless we urgently take these steps, we stand the grave risk of suffering worse consequences in the coming elections.”
Addressing the protesters, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye, assured the party members of necessary steps to make the party united and formidable.
Owoeye said: “I want to assure you of a fact that every necessary step to be taken for our party to be united and formidable to continue to rule and win future elections would be taken.”