By Oluwakemi Ishola
The crisis rocking Oyo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is not far from over as the Unity Forum elements and the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare opposed Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala led Oyo APC Elders Advisory Council.
Recall, Governor Kayode Fayemi’s expanded reconciliation meeting decided on the formation of Elders Advisory Council headed by the ex Governor of Oyo State. Meanwhile, the Oyo State APC in a communique released after its enlarged executive council meeting, ratified the recommendations of Governor Buni-led National Reconciliation Committee and the resolutions reached at Governor Fayemi’s house..
However, the Unity Forum and Minister Sunday Dare, in separate statements, opposed the Elders Advisory Council. They described that the arrangement at the meeting was in a deliberate move to outpower them.
Dismissing claims that the warring forces in the party had reconciled, Sunday Dare in a statement on Twitter described the reconciliation process as one that is still in murky waters.
“The reconciliation process is still stuck in murky waters even as the APC National advances efforts to unite the party. A Normalization committee is urgently needed with clear TOR that will address contentious issues, not seek to just plaster them over,” the Minister tweeted.
This newspaper understands that before the tweet, the Minister had in an earlier statement explained that the idea of handing the party over to a few individuals to the detriment of others will spell doom.
“The notion of entitlement or personal ownership of the Oyo APC will keep the party stuck as if caught in wet cement. No one of us owns the party. We all do. The party is an institution of collective membership but also collective ownership.
“The only banner we should raise is the APC banner. Any idea that some informal and nebulous sub-faction should rule and is more important than the party itself must be tossed out the window. To exalt some small group over the larger is against the democratic spirit of the party and it will fate us all to a troublesome and adverse future.
“Either you are an APC member or you or not. There are no conditions or caveats that govern us. The different political tendencies in the party must now discard their adversarial colorations so that we may coalesce and strengthen the party. Currently, Oyo APC is less than the sum of its individual parts. We must reform how we interact so that the party becomes greater than the sum of those individual parts.
“We know what the organizational hierarchy should be within the party. Attempts to usurp or ignore the democratic spirit and letter of our party constitution and established norms will fail.
“APC Oyo is beyond the Ibadan crowd or Ogbomoso crowd or Oke Ogun crowd or any crowd for that matter. Together we win. Separate and tendentious we lose.
“The APC State Executive must embrace a new more inclusive and collegial mentality else they drive the party aground. The fragmentation of the party and the unfair treatment of members associated with a rival faction must stop. A party does not become strong by crushing internal opposition, it becomes strong be reconciling it. And only a strong unified party will win the majority of elections it faces. The idea of handing the party over to a few individuals to the detriment of others will spell doom. You might win the battle for supremacy in the party but may well lose the greater war which is the general elections.
“Unless we bind our wounds and rebuild, we will lose respect and focus as a party. This will allow a lesser party to take the victories and the chance to govern this beloved state that should rightfully be with us,” the Minister wrote.
Similarly, on Thursday, the Unity Forum of the party dismissed the statement by the Akin Oke led State Executive Council ratifying the Akala Council of Elders.
In a response jointly signed by its Chairman, Alhaji Abu Gbadamosi, former Deputy Governor Moses Alake Adeyemo, former Senators Olufemi Lanlehin, Ayo Adeseun and Soji Akanbi and former minister of communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, the Unity Forum stated that the Akala council of elders is a contraption of PDP elements in the party who saw the meeting at Governor Fayemi’s Ibadan residence as an oppurtunity to foist a PDP leadership on our progressive party.
“We stated clearly in our initial response to the charade in Governor Fayemi’s house that the meeting deviated from the mandate of the National Reconciliation Committee directing it to choose three members from each of the two contending groups in the party to superintend the forthcoming registration of members in the party.
“The flooding of the Fayemi meeting with over 60 representatives by the Gov Akala/SENACO group against the agreement of 15 representatives each was an ungentlemanly approach to politics symptomatic of the PDP elements who now found themselves in the APC.The present attempt to foist a PDP leadership on the party is a grand design to deny the people of the state a choice between the conservative PDP and the progressive APC.
“We have made it clear that the so-called Akala Council of Elders is an exercise in futility and cannot solve the lingering crisis in the APC in Oyo State.The past week has clearly demonstrated that the so-calleedz Akala Council of Elders,like the meeting at Governor Fayemi’s house, has worsened the criisis in the party.
“What the APC needs is a genuine, sincere, all embracing and collective effort at reconciling the contending groups in the party. We regret to state that the present charade is a road to no where.
“We therefore restate our call on the National Reconciliation Committee to return to the Abuja Agreement of September 10, 2020 requiring each of the two contending groups to nominate three representatives that will work with the state executive of the party for the forthcoming registration of party members and other party activities until the dissolution of the state executive council alongside the councils in the other 35 states of the federation”, the statement concluded.