Crisis in Oyo APC as Omodewu emerges chairman

FORMER Oyo Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Mr Isaac Omodewu has emerged chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state. 

Omodewu’s emergence came through affirmation cum voice vote of his consensus candidature at a congress held at Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Liberty Road, Ibadan, on Saturday. 

Secretary of the state congress committee, Abdullahi Bello, announced Omodewu and 26 other party members as members of new state executive committee of the Oyo APC. 

Emergence of the 27 Excos was sequel to a motion of affirmation moved by a member of the House of Representatives, Dokun Odebunmi and seconded by a former majority leader of the state House of Assembly, Honourable Kehinde Subair. 

Other executive members of the party that emerged at the congress included Alhaji Laide Abass, deputy chairman; Mojeed Olaoya, Oyo South Senatorial Chairman; Joshua Oyebamiji, Oyo Central senatorial chairman; and Tunde Oloyede who emerged as Oyo North Senatorial chairman. Among those present when Abdullahi Bello made the announcement were Senator Teslim Folarin, Honourable Asimiyu Alarape, Honourable Isiaka Kazeem, Honourable Segun Ajanaku, Alhaji Yunus Akintunde and Chief Lowo Obisesan, among others. 

Earlier, Omodewu had made what looked like triumphant entry to the congress venue brandishing a broom in an open roof car, waving at his supporters. 

Speaking after being affirmed chairman, Omodewu appealed to APC members to put their grievances aside and unite to move the party to greater heights. 

He also urged members of the party to allow peace reign and focus on how to win elections in the state in 2023. 

He thanked the leaders of the party for their support, promising to do his best to reconcile aggrieved members and reposition the party. 

However, Omodewu emerged despite some members of the party, at a press conference, held before the congress, faulting the delegates’ list and calling for suspension of the congress till the delegates’ list is verified. 

Among those who faulted the entire process, describing the delegates’ list as jaundiced are Senator Ayo Adeseun, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, Dr Joseph Tegbe, Mr Sunday Dare, Professor Adeolu Akande, HonourableTolu Akande-Sadipe, Dr Azeez Adeduntan, Mr Abass Aleshinloye. Adeseun, who spoke on their behalf, said their grouse was bastardisation of the result of the ward and local government congresses brought by the LawanGambo led state congress committee. 

He said members scrutiny of the list received on Friday should it was at complete variance to the harmonised list sent from Ibadan to Abuja for the ward and local government congresses. Specifically, they fingered a serving Senator and a former governor as having surreptitiously gone behind to Abuja to substitute names with a view to pocketing the party ahead of the 2023 polls. 

Arguing on need for sincerity, honesty and transparency, Adeseun asked national secretariat of the party for more time to verify results of ward and local government congresses. 

Adeseun said: “You cannot contest positions except you have good delegates’ list. 

“The panel from Abuja came in yesterday (Friday). We had a meeting with them. 

“They brought a list that was supposed to cover both the ward and local government congresses. 

“Unfortunately, when we opened the document, the state chairman discovered, to his dismay, that the content of that package was at complete variance with what was sent to Abuja for the ward and local government congresses. 

“The list had been bastardised. It wasn’t a question of some errors here and there. It was a complete jettisoning of what occurred in the field and fake delegates list was what was brought to us. 

“For instance, I come from Surulere Local Government Area and I am leader of the party in that local government. 

“When we saw the list, all my wards have been cleared out and given to others. Out of 27 executives for local government, I was given one slot, that is, youth leader. 

“Yet, we actually had congresses. That goes to show that the names of all who were voted at congress, their names were jettisoned for some no-name characters. Those who lost supplanted those who won the congresses. 

“Contest is won and lost. If you lose, you wait for another four years. But for someone to go to Abuja and connive to substitute names of legitimate delegates with fake delegates and expect us to go to Congress with such is asking for trouble. 

“Also, our governorship candidate in the 2019 election was not given a single ward in his local government. 

“Similarly, Dr Joseph Tegbe, Honourable Tolu Sadipe did not get a single one allotted to her. 

“Out of 27 slots in Ogbomoso North, the serving Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare was given one slot, that is, that of youth leader. In Ibadan South West, Dr Azeez. 

“Adeduntan did not get a single delegate in what we called a consensus arrangement and we affirmed. 

“But someone went behind the scene, and the two people who are responsible for this nonsense are a serving Senator and a former governor of this state. 

“What they are doing is to pocket the party and hope to use that as a platform to go to the polls. 

“If members of the party who worked very hard, believing in the system, discover that someone has done some abracadabra, how do you get them to commit to the cause of the party? 

“The chairman of the party was dumbfounded because the state also has a copy of what was sent to Abuja for each of the congresses. 

“The so-called congress that was supposed to be today (Saturday) has been cancelled. There is no way anyone can go to congress with the kind of jaundiced list that they presented to us. 

“We appeal to our national leadership to take this matter very seriously. We have complained bitterly, made trips to Abuja because we got wind of this ahead of time. 

“The only way APC can return to Agodi Government House is if we don’t allow people who don’t mean well corner the party to think they can outsmart everyone,” he pleaded. 

How four presiding officers escaped to Abuja

THE crisis in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State took a dramatic turn this afternoon as four of the seven members in the committee opted out of the assignment and hurriedly returned to Abuja even as protesters locked up the Chairman, Lawan Gambo in his Jericho Apartment and prevent him from attending the congress. 

Impeccable sources disclosed that the members sneaked out one after the other from the Jericho Apartment, Jericho where they were lodged to head for Abuja en route Lagos. 

The four members are Mr Lanre Edun, Mallam Abdullai Kontagora, Mr Diran Iyantan and Chief Ralph Igbokwe. 

It was gathered that the four members had argued at a meeting of the committee last night that the protest against the delegates list presented at the Stakeholders meeting should not be dismissed if the party would be reconciled for the 2023 elections. 

“A member of the committee who spoke with party officials in Abuja explained that the number of gladiators and groups who have protested the controversial list is too numerous to be ignored. But the chairman and secretary are adamant that the congress must hold with the disputed list.” 

The four members who reportedly explained their worries over the adamance of the chairman and secretary walked out of the apartment and organised to be taken to Lagos from where they headed for Abuja.

 

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