From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The South West Agenda for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu 2023 presidential ambition (SWAGA), a group within the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ekiti State, has expressed vehement opposition to the consensus arrangements being proposed by the National Caretaker Committee of the party in the state.
In a statement signed by the Ekiti State Chairman of SWAGA, Senator Tony Adeniyi, on Thursday, said the consensus arrangements won’t work on the strength that Governor Kayode Fayemi and his caucus, have allegedly imposed and handpicked the delegates for the congresses without the inputs of other party stakeholders.
Adeniyi alleged that the APC in Ekiti got its body fractured with the taking over of the party affairs by a group within the state chapter under the name ‘Tokan-Tokan, populated by loyalists of Governor Kayode Fayemi.
He noted that the splinter group, had allegedly dominated state affairs and had held down other party members by retaining its grip on their jugular.
Senator Adeniyi who commended the resolution of the national caretaker committee to ensure a swerve in the constituted State Congresses Electoral Committees, advised that there should be a level playing ground for party members to carry out their aspirations without fair or favour.
“We hereby state categorically that the APC in Ekiti State are fully prepared to go for Direct Congresses immediately after the registration/revalidation exercise. We are not, and shall not be part of any unilateral ‘consensus’ arrangement whatsoever.
“The beauty of democracy is in allowing everybody to have their say, even when the majority would have their way. The only civilized way to prove our numerical values is through congresses, not by any proxy,” Adeniyi said.
He added: “We should also be mindful of the fact that this sidelining of party members with its implosive tendencies have continued unabated, causing many prospective members to be shut out and the existing family members deliberately blackened out of party activities. This necessitated a formal complaint lodged by the Integrity Group to the national leadership of the party in 2018.
“Much as we appreciate the good work done by the National Caretaker Committee, and its positive disposition towards midwifing a credible congress, across board, we hereby appeal to their conscience that justice must not only be done but must be seen to have been done, otherwise, the corporate existence of our party might be in jeopardy”.
Dispelling the diatribes thrown by Senator Adeniyi against the party, the APC State Publicity Secretary, Hon. Ade Ajayi, submitted that the aspersion cast on APC and its leadership confirmed that the so called SWAGA members were outsiders in the party.
Ajayi clarified that the fair composition of the congress committee and directive issued to the party to conduct free and credible congresses at its recent stakeholders’ meeting, substantiated the fact that the party had been fair and just to all tendencies.
The APC spokesman also condemned Adeniyi’s attempt to drag Governor Fayemi into the fray, by accusing him of undue interferences, adding that the leadership has not been under any pressure to subvert the will of the people as being painted.
“To the best of our knowledge, Senator Adeniyi and his ilk are strangers and outsiders in Ekiti APC. They don’t know what is going on and rather than ask, they were throwing tantrums. Everybody shall be allowed to participate in the Congress, including Adeniyi that has been dividing the party. That has been our stand.
“There is no group called Tokan Tokan , all we know is Ekiti APC. The Hon. Paul Omotoso-led leadership of APC is firmly on ground and in charge and it is ready to conduct free, fair credible congresses that will be acceptable to all stakeholders.
“In our last stakeholders’ meeting, leaders agreed that nobody must be sidelined in the congresses and we can’t afford to disappoint them. But Senator Adeniyi and his people didn’t attend and how would they have known our action plan.
“We appeal to him to come back to the party and make atonement like the biblical prodigal son, rather than playing divisive politics that won’t take him anywhere”.