From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State has accused Governor Seyi Makinde of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of incessant sponsorship of fake news and unsubstantiated claims, allegedly against the party, to probably curry favour for his second term re-election bid during the 2023 general elections.
The APC’s outburst apparently came in reaction to a news report that went viral on social media that a chieftain of APC in the state, Alhaji Bashir Adeola, spoke in condemnation of his party and in favour of the ruling PDP.
In a statement issued on Tuesday and made available to journalists in Ibadan by its Publicity Secretary, Olawale Sadare, Oyo APC dismissed the said Bashir Adeola. The party also described the name as fictitious, arguing that such efforts would not stop PDP from imminent sack from power in the forthcoming general elections.
Adeola had in the report contended that APC has become divided in the state, adding that he and others would ensure that the presidential candidate of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, wins in Oyo State. However, he said the same thing could not be said of governorship poll in the state as “minority camp has chased away the gladiators who are the majority from the party.”
When contacted on the allegation against Makinde of sponsoring fake news, the Publicity Secretary of PDP in the state, Akeem Olatunji, stated that Bashir Adeola said the ‘gospel truth’, adding that APC in the state has become more or less like a carcass. He noted that a number of APC members had defected to Accord, while majority of APC members have also decamped to PDP.
Olatunji said APC should not bring Governor Makinde into their crisis, alleging that the governorship candidate of the party, Senator Teslim Folarin, has purportedly destroyed the fabrics of APC in the state. He was optimistic that, starting from the presidential poll next month, the PDP would win this year’s general elections from top to bottom.
But the statement issued by APC on Tuesday read in part: “The fraudulent report was the handiwork of some desperados in power, who have been overwhelmed by the political fireworks of Oyo APC as demonstrated in the last few months.
“Some funny characters around Gov. Makinde feel that the best way to mitigate the effects of political affliction, which befall their administration and party every day. That a party in power keeps losing its members and supporters to the opposition is not a healthy development for Gov. Makinde.
“But he has nobody to blame for this as he cannot eat his cake and have it. A governor, who neither does well with governance, nor runs an all-inclusive government, cannot have the trust of serious politicians and voters.
“We have painstakingly checked our party membership register and found no member by the name Bashiru Adeola. We then wonder where the PDP media got the ghost to speak with them as a chieftain of Oyo APC. The unscrupulous PDP elements packaged their usual lies and they just put a fictitious name as the source whereas the so-called Bashir Adeola was without a known Ward, Local Government Area or traceable residence or office address.
“As it is their usual antics, Oyo PDP came up with the latest spurious story aimed at discrediting our party (APC) in an attempt to water down the adverse effect, which the defection of a two-term House of Assembly member, Olusegun Olaleye, would have on their party and government. Olaleye retraced his step as he returned to the progressive fold few days after hundreds of PDP leaders and members had left the PDP for the APC in Oyo Federal Constituency.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we do not have any member or chieftain who bears the name mentioned and it is safe to say that the story was sponsored by the PDP to mislead the public. We are focused on our electioneering campaigns as a serious political party, whose candidates have all it takes to win the forthcoming election in the state. Therefore, we urge the electorate to disregard myriad of fake news being churned out to create a soft landing for Gov. Makinde who has already lost his re-election bid, even before the day of the poll.”