From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Contrary to insinuations that the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State, Hon. Idowu Adetunji, has been expelled from the party, the APC chieftain was only suspended.
The clarification was made by Assistant Organising Secretary of the party in the local government area, Mr. Samson Salako, who said that the purported expulsion of Adetunji from the party was untrue.
According to Salako, who spoke with our correspondent on telephone, Adetunji was only suspended pending the time he would appear before the Local Government executive to defend the allegations levelled against him,. He clarified that the embattledchairman was not booted out of the party as being insinuated.
Salako added that the former chairman’s suspension was not only legal, but carried out in accordance with the party guidelines and rules.
Nine members out of the 13 exco members of APC in the local government, had on Wednesday, passed a vote of no confidence in Adetunji and signed his suspension letter.
The embattled chairman, who was accused of high-handedness, mismanagement of party affairs, misappropriation of party fund, hobnobbing with members suspected to be involved in anti-party activities, was said to have escaped the party hammer about eight months ago over similar allegations, due to the intervention of a party chieftain, Senator Iyabo Anisulowo.
Adetunji was equally accused of being one of the party leaders who wrote a petition to the national leadership of APC against Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, accusing the governor of pocketing the party in the state.
When contacted by our correspondent, however, Senator Anisulowo, faulted the suspension of the chairman saying as a leader of the party in the area, she was never aware of the decision of the exco members, who he described as “sectional”.
The senator, who said she learnt about the development on a social media platform, further accused the exco members of not following party constitution in their decision and had a premeditated motive to oust the chairman at all cost, and replace him with another person, who she claimed was an indigene of Yewa North local government.
Anisulowo said, “I was not aware of the development and I was not there when the decision was taken. I only learnt about it on the Facebook. As a chieftain of the party, not only in the council but in the senatorial district, I was supposed to be privy to any decision that could tarnish the image of the party. Yes, I intervened on the similar move by the party exco about eight months ago, not because I supported the chairman, but because I felt that due process and party guidelines must be followed, even if at all the allegations were true.
“I personally saw the petition they alleged the chairman to be part of, but I did not see his name on the petition. What they should have done was to summon him to a meeting in the presence of party leaders and members, read the petition and ascertain there and then, whether it carries his name or signature.
“Rather than doing that, a particular section of the exco members met and decided that they suspended a party chairman, without fair hearing, I can’t be a party to that. And to even replace him with another person from Yewa North, tells you that they wanted the chairman out at all cost and replace him with one of their own”.
But reacting to Anisulowo’s allegation of bias by the party exco, Salako exonerated his colleagues of any wrongdoing. He said prior to his suspension, the former chairman, was formally invited to appear before the exco and party members to defend the allegations against him but failed to honour the invitation.
“What we have done has no prejudice whatsoever. We formally invited Adetunji to appear and make clarification on the allegations levelled against him, but he refused. Rather, he went ahead to be part of the people who wrote a petition to the APC national chairman, Chief John Oyegun, against the governor. It was when he refused to appear that nine out of twelve, excluding the chairman, met, passed vote of no confidence in him and suspended him pending the time he is ready to clear his name.” He stated.
Salako, who added that the exco members needed to take the decision to dissociate themselves from the petition written against the governor, said issue of indigene was not a condition in APC constitution in choosing a local government party chairman insisting the new chairman, Salmon Adeshina was eligible, contrary to the claim of Senator Anisulowo.