From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Ahead of the party primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State, leaders of the party in Ogun West Senatorial District, have denied allegation of planning to foist Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola otherwise known as Yayi, as the senatorial candidate on the APC.
The party leaders who equally denied that their support had been “bought” by the senator currently representing Lagos West, declared that the APC in the senatorial district remained cohesive, peaceful and prepared to be victorious in the 2023 general election.
A group, Committee of Concerned Ogun West Patriots under the umbrella of Ogun West Elders, Leaders and Stakeholders in the APC, in a communique, had accused the party leaders of working to skew the party’s senatorial primary in favour of Senator Adeola.
The group also claimed that the party in Ogun West was enmeshed in controversy and acrimony, and demanded that Senator Adeola be excluded from taking part in the primary as he is a “stranger and foreigner”.
But refuting the allegations while briefing newsmen after a meeting of APC leaders and members of the Governor’s Elders Advisory Council, held at the Oronna Hall in Ilaro, at the weekend, the former Chairman of the Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) Muftau Ajibola, said that all the claims by the group led by Senator Iyabo Anisulowo and Mrs Mary Ogunjobi, were not only bogus, but a futile attempt to discredit the genuine APC leaders in Ogun West.
Ajibola added that apart from the fact that the communique issued by the group was not signed, further findings revealed that leaders of the APC mentioned in the said communique including Senators Ayo Otegbola, Kola Bajomo, Gbolahan Dada and others, were fraudulently inserted into the document without their knowledge or permission.
He declared that the real APC leaders and elders in Ogun West would not stand by and allow any qualified aspirant who can add value to the senatorial race to be excluded on the basis of personal animosity and hatred.
“We make bold to say that Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola is one of our members in Ilaro Ward 1 of Yewa South local government. As far as Yewa and Ogun West is concerned, he is not a foreigner or stranger. Besides, even an Ibo man or Hausa man who satisfies the provision of the constitution of Nigeria is qualified to run as a senatorial aspirant or candidate in Ogun West talk less of somebody who is a proven native of the land.
“As leaders and elders of the APC in Ogun West, we will not stand by and allow any qualified aspirant who can add value to the race to be excluded on the basis of personal animosity and hatred. Rather, we will support a transparent process that will throw up the best Ogun West senatorial flag bearer for our party who can win comfortably in the general election. The claim of illegality around the aspiration of Senator Adeola by the group is alien to the constitution of the APC and that of Nigeria”, the former SUBEB boss stated.
Ajibola, however, flayed the members of the group for referring to themselves as the “genuine elders, leaders and stakeholders” of APC in Ogun West”, saying “how can a meeting where not a single elected official of the party participated claim to be genuine or speaking for the party”?
“The Ogun West APC has its elected executives with its recognized elders most of whom are members of the Governor’s Elders Advisory Council. Those who sat down on Wednesday 18th to issue the said communique do not belong to this category. Some of them are not even members of the APC. They should therefore be regarded as mere interlopers looking for underserved recognition.
“We wish to observe that some of those being celebrated in the communique issued by the committee are people opposed to the aspiration of Governor Dapo Abiodun to run for a second term. As leaders in our senatorial district, we have prior to now endorsed the governor for a second term as a reward for the good work he is doing in our district in particular and the entire state in general.
“We have always worked for the best to represent us in Ogun West; and in the 2023 elections, our position is that the best of the lot should fly our flag and represent us. Let nobody who has benefitted from such support in the past now rise against the house in an attempt to pull it down. We will strongly resist such unguided moves, and hereby warn such aspirants and others to retrace their steps otherwise, sooner or later they will meet their political waterloo”. He submitted.
The meeting was attended by other APC leaders and stakeholders in Ogun West including a former member of the House of Representatives, Bisiriyu Popoola; a former deputy governor, Mrs Salimot Badru; former Commissioner for Cooperatives and Community Development, Samuel Ayedogbon; former chairman, Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development Authority, Mrs Iyabo Apampa; former state chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Olu Agemo and the chairman, House of Assembly Service Commission, Waliu Taiwo.
The meeting was also attended by the APC senatorial chairman in Ogun West, Azeez Muhammed, senatorial Secretary, Bayo Oguntade, state officers of the party from Ogun West, local government chairmen as well as party chairmen in the five local government areas in the senatorial district.