Oyo: APC leadership crisis deepens

From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

The leadership crisis rocking the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Oyo State deepened on Wednesday as leadership of the party installed and affirmed Alhaji Abubaker Gbadamosi, as a new state chairman of the party.

Gbadamosi was chosen as chairman against Isaac Omodewu, the state chairman installed by the national leadership of the party in Abuja last week.

The leadership and stakeholders of the party took the decision at a meeting organised by the Ibadan main city and Ibadan outer city, the two major zones that control close to 60 per cent of votes in the entire state, held in Ibadan, the state capital, on Wednesday.

The meeting contended that the congress that produced Omodewu as the state chairman was flawed and had earlier been rejected by the National Caretaker Committee of the party and thus condemned the inauguration of Omodewu with other major stakeholders of the party.

The leaders of the two zones, also known as the Progressives Foundation Forum (PFF), said it aligned with the other five zonal leaders, that had come up with  an harmonised list. They said in the harmonised list, which was submitted to the national secretariat of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Adejare Gbadamosi was chairman, while other positions had also been agreed upon on zonal basis,  during one of the several harmonisation meetings of the  zonal leaders and other stakeholders in the party.

Earlier in the week, other major stakeholders of the party had also condemned the inauguration  of Omodewu.

The National Secretary of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), John Akpan, was quoted to have said the purported state congress  conducted on October 30, 2021 at Obafemi Awolowo Stadium (formerly Liberty Stadium), Ibadan was held in error and without Knowledge nor approval of the national caretaker chairman of the party, Mai Buni. He reportedly apologised to members for the error and it was resolved to complete the consensus election of a state chairman, which was said to have produced Gbadamosi as the state chairman.

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In the same vein, Senator Ayo Adeseun, in a statement he signed and issued on behalf of the stakeholders, warned that the inauguration of Omodewu is a threat to the party in Oyo State as the enthronement of a minority group on a majority cannot stand and it will only lead to the party electoral disaster.

The stakeholders include Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare; former Minister of  Communications, Adebayo Shittu; Senator Abdulfatai Buhari, representing Oyo North Senatorial District; the 2019 governorship candidate of APC in the state, Adebayo Adelabu; Chairman, National Lottery Commission, Fatai Ibikunle; Chairman, National Communication Commission, Pof Adeolu Akande; the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), Dr. Ismail Adewusi; Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Zacch Adedeji Adelabu; 2019 governorship aspirants of the party, Joseph Tegbe, And Azeez Adeduatan; as well as Murphy Olatunji.

The stakeholders and leaders of the party affirmed that there was no congress on which Omodewu could be returned as state chairman, wondering the basis on which the national secretariat could have issued Omodewu with a ‘Certificate of Return’ and vowed to use every legal means to return the party to majority of its members, who affirmed Alhaji Abubaker Adejare Gbadamosi as state chairman of the party.

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