From Oluseye Ojo Ibadan
Amid intense controversy, former Commissioner for Land and Housing during the administration of a former governor of Oyo State, the late Abiola Ajimobi, Isaac Omodewu, has emerged as the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
He emerged through consensus arrangement, which was affirmed at the state congress held at Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, (formerly known as Liberty Stadium) yesterday. Representatives of the Independent National Electoral Committee (INEC) witnessed the exercise.
The congress was presided over by Secretary of the State Congress Committee, Abdullahi Bello, in the absence of the committee chairman, Gambo Lawan. The congress had been postponed for four times over sharing formula for the state executive council and delegates’ list.
But the congress, which was supposed to commence by 10a.m, did not start until about 4:30pm as aggrieved members of the party stormed the hotel, where Lawan was lodged at Jericho, Ibadan and prevented him from leaving the hotel for the venue of the congress. Lawan supervised the congress with the committee’s secretary.
When the congress committee did not show up at the venue of the exercise on time, more than 70 per cent of the delegates who came from the 33 local government areas of the state had to leave the venue. Some of them, however, later came back when they heard that Gambo along with the Chairman of the Elders’ Advisory Committee (EAC), and Senator Teslim Folarin had shown up at the stadium.
Earlier yesterday morning, party leaders had addressed a press conference at the Syndicate Room of Premier Hotel, Ibadan, where they told journalists that the state congress would not hold based on alleged falsified delegates’ list. They alleged that a serving senator and a former governor were responsible for the purported fake delegates list, insisting that if anything happened at the stadium, it must be a birthday party.
They vowed that the state congress would not hold until authentic and verifiable delegates’ list was provided.
Senator Adeseun, who addressed journalists at the Premier Hotel on behalf of the APC leaders, stated: “Some dubious people have inserted fake delegates into the list brought from Abuja. Normally, when you have written an examination, you need to get results to know if you pass or fail. We did the first congress, we did not get the results. We held the second one, no result. They kept them all. They brought them altogether to us yesterday (Friday) for us to hold the state congress.
“There is no way we will use falsified delegates’ list for the state congress. If they use the falsified delegates list to hijack party structure, can they use the same approach to win in the general elections?
The APC leaders present at the press conference included Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare; Senator Ayoade Adeseun from Oyo Central; the party’s 2019 governorship candidate, Adebayo Adelabu; former Secretary to Oyo State Government, Sarafadeen Alli; three governorship aspirants of the party in 2019, Mogaji Joseph Tegbe, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan, and Prof Adeolu Akande, among others.