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Oyo APC faction threatens mass defection over Oke's chairmanship

Oyo APC faction threatens mass defection over Oke's chairmanship

- The crisis in the APC in Oyo state has taken another dimension as members of the Unity Forum of the party have threatened to defect to another party

- A prominent member of the group said they would defect to another party if the party does not reconsider its decision of allowing Chief Akin Oke to continue as the state party chairman

- Oke was among the state chairmen that were sworn in by the party's NWC in Abuja on Monday, June 4

Members of the Unity Forum of the Oyo state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, who have dissociated themselves from the inauguration of Chief Akin Oke as the party chairman in the state, may defect to another party.

Recall that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party recognised Oke as the chairman of Oyo state APC on Monday, June 4. He emerged from the congresses held by Ajimobi's group in the state, and was among the state chairmen that were sworn in by the party's NWC in Abuja, The Punch reports. notes that the forum has among its members the minister of communications, Adebayo Shittu; Senator Monsurat Sunmonu; a member of the House of Representatives, Dapo Lam-Adesina; governorship aspirant in the party, Prof Adeolu Akande; former council chairman, Wasiu Olatunbosun; former secretary to Oyo state government and chairman, Elders Caucus of APC, Dr Busari Adebisi; Chief Michael Jolaoso; former commissioner for commerce under ex-governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, Dr Kola Balogun; and former political adviser to governor Ajimobi, Fatai Ibikunle.

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The forum said in a communique issued at the end of their meeting on Tuesday, June 5 that they would not be part of a reconciliation arrangement of the governor, describing it as ridiculous and laughable.

The communique reads: “The effort is ridiculous and laughable. Governor Ajimobi is the problem of APC in Oyo state. How can a problem be the solution? An issue in the crisis is the anti-democratic conduct of the governor in the party. Examples include his decision not to follow the constitution of the party in the election of party candidates for the local government election; his unilateral handpicking of the party’s candidate in the last Ibarapa East House of Assembly bye-election, which culminated in the disgraceful loss of the party and an attempt to impose members of his minority SENACO as executives of the party at the ward, local and state levels.

“It is, therefore, ridiculous and laughable that such a character will expect that serious-minded persons and group like the Unity Forum will take his kangaroo reconciliation with even a pinch of seriousness. Ajimobi is never known for keeping any promise. The entire political landscape of Oyo state and Ajimobi’s political career are littered with carcasses of victims of his deceit. His offer of reconciliation is a poisoned chalice that anyone will accept at his own peril. We reject it."

According to the group, a suit has been filed in court to challenge the position of the NWC and recognition of Oke as chairman.

A prominent member of the group, who craved anonymity, said: “From the information we have, the vice-president told the NWC to swear in Oke. Anybody who understands party administration will know that it starts and ends with the chairman. We will not be part of that executive no matter what is offered. We have filed a case in court but the decision of our people is to defect to another party. We see that as the way out. We cannot work for Ajimobi to install someone as his successor in this state. He should respect party rules.”

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Meanwhile, previously reported that some leaders of the APC in Oyo state sent a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari and the national headquarters of the party.

The leaders maintained that the failure to address issues relating to congresses in the state could jeopardise its chances during 2019 general elections.

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