From: Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Following the controversies trailing his nomination as Deputy National Chairman (South) of All Progressives Congress (APC), the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, on Thursday said he would never lobby for any political position.
Ajimobi was said to have been nominated for the position by party leaders during a meeting held in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, this week. But the Ekiti State chapter of APC has rejected the nomination, saying the state must complete its term.
The ex-governor of Oyo State disclosed this a statement by his spokesman, Mr Bolaji Tunji, a copy which was made available to reporters in Ibadan on Thursday.
The nomination, he stated, came based on the fact that the party at the highest level believes he has something to offer the party, the South-West and the country at large, adding that the former governor has distinguished himself as a technocrat, whose distinguished career took him to the highest level of his professional career in an international organisation.
The statement stated further that Ajimobi has also distinguished himself as a noteworthy politician “who was governor of Oyo State on two consecutive, unprecedented terms. And as Governor, the people of Oyo State are agreed that his records of achievements are unassailable and also unprecedented. In fact, he is dubbed the father of modern Oyo State. So, if his party finds him worthy of that position, so be it. As a statesman and the Deputy Chairman (South) of his party, APC, he has no quarrel with anyone.
“People are bound to raise one concern or the other, but we should always disagree to agree. However, we should always set the records straight on matters like this. The position of Deputy National Chairman (South) is a party position zoned to the South made up of the South-West, South-East and the South-South. The South then gave the slot to the South-West.
“At the time, all the South-West states were under the control of the APC except Ekiti State, hence the party elders and caucus gave it to Ekiti at the time in order to strengthen the party and ensure that the state had a coordinator and presence at the party’s highest level of decision making.
“Recall that a similar thing happened in the North – the position of Secretary was zoned to the North-East and Yobe State had the slot. Fortuitously, the Secretary of the party emerged the governor of the state. If we go by Ekiti State’s argument, one would then say the replacement should come from Ekiti, but the party elders in their wisdom still retained it in the North-East…
“In any case, Ekiti has a right to agitate to retain the seat; we should, however, see ourselves as a broom that achieves when it is together. We are all one.”