Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Ondo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is currently enmeshed in a fresh crisis over the circumstances surrounding the violence that erupted between the factions of party members in Owo town.
The clash between the supporters of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and a governorship aspirant, Adelami Lamilaka, has pitched the members of the ruling party against each other ahead of the forthcoming Ondo State governorship election.
Responding to what resulted in the violence, Barr Segun Ogodo, in a statement signed and issued in Abuja on behalf of Adelami Lamilaka Campaign Organisation, blamed the clash on doubts over Adelami’s membership status, dismissing the contrary claim by the factional chairman of APC in Owo, Sydney Ogunleye.
The campaign organisation, while insisting that the plots were geared towards discrediting him, claimed that Adelami served as the Coordinator of the Presidential Support Committee for the Buhari/Osibanjo 2019 project, insisting that he worked with party structures and leaders.
‘The Olayide Adelami campaign organization strongly condemns a spurious claim by the purported chairman of APC in Owo, Sydney Ogunleye, that our Principal, Adelami is not a registered member of our great party. This is a great balderdash! Adelami is a financial and card-carrying member of our great party APC.
‘We duly acknowledge the place of party structures right from the ward to the national level and of the belief that they should be used to promote cohesion rather than bringing members down and unnecessarily overheating the polity.
‘While we would have loved to get to the field before we disprove Ogunleye and his paymasters’ claims that Adelami is not known in the APC, we will advise him to be less economical with the truth on our principal’s membership status. He also knows that Adelami as Coordinator of the Presidential Support Committee worked with party structures and leaders.
‘While we would have expected Ogunleye to have provided a level playing field for all aspirants, especially from Owo, the present sing-song brings many questions to the mind. It is unfortunate that Ogunleye who on different occasions has told ward chairmen in Owo Local Government to warmly welcome all aspirants, especially Adelami who he sees as the next governor of the state, would be willing to be a tool in the hands of desperate and drowning politicians for personal benefits and enhancement
‘For now, our concern remains engaging party members across the 18 council areas and stakeholders outside the state on why Adelami is the perfect replacement for the present wasteful and deceitful government that has continued to give our dear party a bad name.
‘We also categorically state that Ondo state government is the sponsor of violence in Owo town, apparently jolted by his waning acceptance in contrast to the overwhelming popularity of Adelami. The unprovoked attacks on Adelami’s supporters and campaign vehicles in different parts of Owo local government are well documented and have been reported to security agencies.
‘We reiterate that we are not unaware of the streaks of falsehoods and evil machination they have lined up against us in the days ahead, but ours is a campaign based on people-driven issues, devoid of violence and rumour mongering and falsehood. We will not be distracted even in the face of intimidation.
‘Our focus is to rescue our dear sunshine state from the present personalized government of the father, the wife and the children in Ondo State. We shall never stoop so low to the level of physical attacks or sponsoring lies against any aspirant as our principal is a decent and honest man who sees every other aspirant as members of the same APC family,’ the statement read.