The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has constituted a Reconciliation Committee to ensure unity and cohesion in the party ahead of the June 18 governorship election.
The Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, has been appointed as the Chairman of the Reconciliation Committee to reach out to some aspirants and their supporters who are still aggrieved with the outcome of the January 27 governorship primary.
The Committee also has two former Deputy Governors, Chief Abiodun Aluko and Prof. Modupe Adelabu as members. Other members are Prof. Bolaji Aluko and Hon. Bunmi Adelugba, who will serve as the Secretary.
This was one of the resolutions reached at a stakeholders’ meeting of the Ekiti APC held on Saturday at the Osuntokun Pavilion of the Government House, Ado Ekiti, the state capital to discuss the last governorship primary, the forthcoming national convention, among other issues.
The raising of the Egbeyemi-led Reconciliation Committee is believed to be a step to ensure that the party approached the forthcoming governorship poll as a united house and ensure victory for its flag bearer, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji.
While aspirants like Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, Hon. Femi Bamisile and Hon. Bamidele Faparusi, has agreed to work for the party at the forthcoming governorship election, one of them, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, has gone to court to challenge the result of the last primary.
Other aspirants the Committee is expected to appease and enlist their support for Oyebanji include Engr. Kayode Ojo, Otunba Demola Popoola and Mr. Oluwasola Afolabi and their supporters ahead of the main election.
The two-hour meeting was attended by Governor Kayode Fayemi, Deputy Governor, Otunba Egbeyemi; state APC Chairman, Barrister Paul Omotoso; House of Assembly Speaker, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye; Deputy Speaker, Mr. Hakeem Jamiu; National and State Assembly members, governorship flag bearer, Mr. Oyebanji; cabinet members, other government functionaries and party leaders from across the local government areas.
According to a 10-point communique issued at the end of the Stakeholders’ Meeting, Oyebanji’s thank-you tour round the state was put on hold because of the need to reach out to other aspirants who vied for the party’s governorship ticket with him.
The communique, which said the thank-you tour commences today (Monday) “now that most of the other contestants have been reconciled also expressed satisfaction that the last party primary of January 27, 2022 was peaceful, without any bloodletting.
It was resolved at the meeting that the unity of APC in Ekiti State is sacrosanct. All party members were encouraged to work together as a team and shun any act that can cause disunity.
The stakeholders resolved that party members should see nothing wrong in people expressing grievances but pointed out that such grievances must not be allowed to tear or destroy the party.
Speaking on the constitution of the Egbeyemi-led Peace Panel “to woo and reconcile all aggrieved aspirants and their followers within the party,” the meeting resolved that “this would be replicated at both the local government and ward levels.”
The communique said further: “That the glory of the Ekiti State governorship primary was attributed to sportsmanship of all the aspirants, especially those who have openly accepted the result and pledged to support the candidacy of the flag bearer.
“That the forthcoming election is not about Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji but about the good of our people and Ekiti State in general. Therefore, all party members must see the forthcoming election as their personal project and all hands must be on the deck.
“That the performance of the incumbent, Governor Kayode Fayemi is the impetus for the party’s campaign while marketing the party’s candidate, Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji for the general election with the promise to continue the present good work of Gov. Fayemi.
“That the party stakeholders should see the ongoing voters’ registration exercise as an opportunity to boost the voters’ strength of their different communities. As a party, the APC will also do the needful to encourage and motivate people to register.
“The forum noticed the alarming rate of uncollected voter’s cards and enjoin those who have yet to collect their PVC to go to the INEC office and collect them. Registration without collection of PVC is a fruitless exercise.
“Going forward, Party faithfuls are enjoined to show more commitment to party activities, especially at the ward level. Regular weekly ward meetings must be observed to propagate the good work of Governor Fayemi and the prospect of Oyebanji at the forthcoming gubernatorial election.”
The State APC Chairman, Barrister Omotosho, who delivered the opening address thanked party faithful for their loyalty and dedication, especially on the successful gubernatorial primaries of January 27, 2022. He encouraged all stakeholders and party faithfuls in general to work in unison in the overall best interest of the party.
Other speakers at the forum, including Governor Fayemi, also talked on the primaries, the national convention, forthcoming Ekiti State governorship election and the way forward to strengthen the APC in Ekiti to surmount known and unknown hurdles.