- Agbekoya Farmers Association has reacted to the news that it threatened to disrupt Ekiti and Osun elections
- The association’s scribe said those behind the threat are impostors, not Agbekoya
- He clarified that Agbekoya is a professional group, not a political a militant group
The national publicity secretary of Agbekoya Farmers Association, Chief Olatunji Bandele, dissociates the Yoruba group from a recent threat by some people to disrupt Osun and Ekiti governorship elections if the southwest is not recognised as a region.
In an interview with Punch, Bandele said that the people behind the threats are being used by some politicians to achieve their selfish interests.
He said: "The truth is that this is not the real Agbekoya people; they are being used by some politicians for personal gains. This is a fake Agbekoya group. The president has called for a meeting over the issue and we will make our position known about this fake group of people who call themselves Agbekoya.
Bandele further said that Agbekoya was not part of a meeting called by a group of Yoruba pressure group in Ibadan where a communiqué on regional agitation before the elections was issued.
Though Agbekoya was represented in the meeting, Bandele said the original group was not contacted.
He explained that there is another unregistered group bearing the name Agbekoya which might have been part of the meeting.
His words: "There is a group that calls itself Agbekoya Solidarity Movement. This is an unregistered group of people. They are not the real members of the Agbekoya Farmers Association. They are a group of people who call themselves militants. They emanated from Akanran in Ibadan. They are members of the family of the late Tafa Adeoye, who was a former leader of Agbekoya. Members of his family believe that Agbekoya belongs to Adeoye and his family.
"Adeoye was the former Are Agbekoya, who led the Agbekoya War between 1968 and 1969. That was when the Agbekoya farmers waged the war against the military because of the increase in taxes and lowering of the price of cocoa. That was during the time of the late Maj. Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo. After Adeoye was arrested, the group went under for over 34 years before the present leader, Chief Kamorudeen Aremu Okikiola, resuscitated it, rebranded it and registered it with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
"Ask the fake Agbekoya group if they are registered with the CAC. They are not. We are not militants but a professional group for the farmers who fight for members’ rights.
"Unfortunately, some politicians are using these unscrupulous elements to foster their own game. The real Agbekoya will not do such thing because we have a mission and a vision. We are not a political organisation.
Bandele used the medium to clarify that the real Agbekoya association is not a political group.
"How can a group said it will not allow elections to hold in Osun and Ekiti states? Is that their business? These are impostors who are being used by politicians for a selfish game," he said.
When asked if he knew the 109-year-old Agbekoya chieftain, Ayalu Olalere, who spoke at the Ibadan function and who also signed the communiqué on behalf of Agbekoya, Bandele said: "There is only one man who can be referred to as the last man remaining among the 1,105 members of the Agbekoya group that fought the war. We are still gathering our facts and all these have been addressed at our meeting on Friday."
Legit.ng previously reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ekiti on Wednesday, April 4, said that 218,000 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) were yet to be collected in the state.
The commission said this just as it formally issued a “Notice of Election”, which stated that the governorship election would hold in the state on July 14.
It said that this was in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Law.
The INEC’s public relations officer, Alhaji Taiwo Gbadegesin, disclosed this at a public enlightenment forum in Ado Ekiti.
He, however, said that not less than 500,000 PVCs had far been collected by their owners. He advised those who were yet to pick their PVCs to do so, saying that they would be disenfranchised during the forthcoming election without the PVCs.
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