Debo Adeoye, Ibadan
A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State, Asiwaju Rotimi Ajanaku has condemned the recent statement made by the chairman of APC in the state, Chief Akin Oke.
While addressing journalists, Ajanaku described the statement of internal crisis denial by Akin Oke in the party as height of insincerity and insensitivity to the problems bedeviling the stability of the party in the state to form a formidable force against 2023.
Otunba Rotimi said: “The chairman’s statement is unnecessary, insincerity, a distraction and insensitivity to the plights of the aggrieved party members. It is unfair to the feelings and emotions of those who have contributed immensely to the survival and stability of the party in the state from its formative years.
“Can we afford to lose all the party members and loyalists who are currently not with the party and still win 2023 elections? Can future elections be won for the party by the few individuals or opportunists who have benefited and still benefitting from the party? Is it that those that were marginalized and unjustly skimmed out at the party’s various primaries that preceded 2019 general elections do not have rights to express grievances and displeasure? Ajanaku questioned.
“Perhaps I should remind the chairman that shortly after 2019 general elections when the party first made a move to reconcile its members, the leadership of the party under the authority of the late Senator Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi promised to ensure that those affected by the irregularities that characterized 2019 primaries would be compensated with various appointments. Can the chairman mention or list the names of those who have so been compensated? He queried.
“Should we forget in a hurry how the party was built and formed? Wasn’t it through collective contributions of everyone, especially some of the people we see today as enemies of the party? I think progressivism is a political philosophy in support of social reform, so shouldn’t there be internal social reform? If progressive is said to be “a social or political movement that aims to represent the interests of ordinary people through political change and the support of government actions”, so why would some people turn the party to secret cult that is established to serve only their selfish interest? That’s why they continue to recycle themselves by fencing out others? Asiwaju questioned further.
“In fact, every progressive policy promotes greater freedom, opportunity, or security for everyone. That’s the distinction between progressive and others. While progressive seeks to extend freedom, opportunity, and security to all, others work to limit freedom, opportunity, and security; they redistribute wealth toward the wealthy, power toward the powerful, and privilege toward the privileged, unfortunately that’s the ideology of the type of progressive we inculcate into our party today,” Ajanaku lamented.
“Whereas, the dreams of the founding fathers of our great party, All Progressives Congress (APC) were great, both for us as members and citizens of Nigeria. It’s about a poor child delivering newspapers and one day ending up as the publisher. It’s about an unskilled worker attending night school and becoming a successful manager. It is getting ahead through hard work, and being able to retire in security and comfort,” Asiwaju Rotimi Ajanaku pinpointed.
“Some minute group, who continually flatly opposing opportunity, that is, the right wingers, keep fighting against ending discrimination within the party, even though equal treatment is a precondition for equal opportunity. They don’t even pretend to support equal opportunity in position sharing; instead, they hijacked the control of the party, lobby for government favours, no fair nomination of candidates for appointment, no fair opportunity to members who are not in their caucus to contest in the party primaries for elective positions. They failed to reward hard work, efficiency, commitment and innovation,” Ajanaku alleged.
“To me, as a progressive party, our mission is clear. It is to guarantee that all members are able to realize their goals through hard work, commitment and fair play. The party must provide every person; not just the privileged, with an equal opportunity to pursue a better life—equal access to the individuals dreams.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all members are equal, we all are endowed by the party constitution with certain unalienable Rights, among these are Liberty to contest for any position under free and fair election process, Contribute to the development and progress of the party and the pursuit of Happiness, which could come in form of political appointment.
“It’s quite unfortunate that we have misplaced the principles that inspired those who came together to establish this great party. And worse, we’ve allowed right-wing extremists to hijack our ideals and wave them like a flag, rallying party loyalists to their distinctly unprogressive cause. It is time to right that wrong.
“We need to raise the banner of our progressive philosophy by guaranting freedom, opportunity, and security for all within the party and country as a nation. In my own view the party should step into an unfair competition, balancing the scale to help the weaker interest get a fair deal. It means the party should fight for those who have no godfathers but are making great contributions to the party. But we can switch this mighty party onto the right track and open up the throttle to increase its speed,” Ajanaku advised
“So speak loudly and proudly. Our progressive values, philosophy were the principles that fueled the flame of the Nigerian Political Revolution in 2015. But now, the same torch of progressive ideals that Obafemi Awolowo passed on to our great leaders has been switched off by today’s so called progressive leaders because of greediness. Charity they say begin at home, if we are desirous to conquer the state and southwest in the next general elections our internal party policy must be restructured to allow fairness, equity and justice. We must be ready to show what makes us the true progressive patriots, how we are the ones who see the best direction for our country and its residents, and how we will fight for our ideals—and ultimately win,” Ajanaku charged.