Last Saturday’s meeting held at the home of a former governor of Oyo State, Otunba Adebayo Alao Akala, has been described as a gathering for ambitions without intention to reconcile aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) or move the party forward.
From Yinka Adeniran, Ibadan
A group within the party in Oyo State called the APC Core Progressives Forum made the allegation in a statement yesterday in Ibadan.
It said the meeting was “suspect” and should be disregarded by the national secretariat of the party, adding that none of the known APC leaders and aggrieved people was in attendance.
The statement signed by the Chairman of the forum, Pastor Olayemi Emmanuel, said over 95 per cent of the attendees were strangers to the progressive family, noting that they were mainly those jostling for positions and undue political relevance without any progressive antecedent.
The group said the intention of the meeting comprising conservative politicians was to hijack the structures of the party to foist one of them as the leader of the APC in Oyo State, in order to hand over the party to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), where they all came from, in 2023.
Emmanuel, who explained that the statement was issued at the end of a review of the two separate meetings held by former governor Akala and the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, in Ibadan over the weekend, said the core progressives in the state “found out that the meeting that former governor Akala summoned on the pretext of reconciliation last Saturday in Ibadan at his home has nothing to do with reconciliation. It has more to do with ambitions.
“The first ambition is the conspiracy to foist Akala on Oyo APC as the leader, with Senator Teslim Folarin as the chair leader. The second ambition is to gather those governorship ambitions together to design the hijack of the party. As far as the core progressives and ardent followers of political developments are concerned, the Akala reconciliation meeting remains suspect.
“The forum raised a few posers: were the people to be reconciled at the meeting? No. Rather, we had the same party members who fell out with others at the meeting back slapping and grinning. Where are the Unity Group people? None of the known progressives and foundation leaders and members of APC across the zones of Oyo State was at the meeting.
“Key party leaders from the last administration were missing. The APC chairman was absent. Even the Minister of Youths and Sports, who was in Ibadan and held a party consultative meeting a day earlier, was absent.
“We as progressives know as a matter of fact that our leaders in the progressives in Oyo State will never fall prey to antics and deceits of the conservative politicians to take over our party under any guise and therefore urge the National Interim Committee and the National Reconciliation Committee for Imo, Oyo and Plateau states to disregard Akala’s meeting, as it was only meant to feather the nests of the conservative party, the PDP.
“Also, where is the full report of the Reconciliation Committee by Akala? Has it been submitted to the party and vetted? Akala’s gathering was one to feather nests, not reconciliation.”
The statement queried the outcome of the meeting as lacking in substance, saying the same mentality that tore the party apart is now being exhibited.
The forum, however, hailed the consultative meeting with select APC leaders and members hosted by Minister Dare, saying it was a right step in the right direction with a good response and quality attendance, signalling a new trajectory.
The minister led the discussion by insisting that unity was the only path to victory and that an attempt by a few to think they owned the party could only divide not unite.
“The meeting agreed that uniting the party was more important now than the strategising and jostling to be the governorship front runners,” the statement said.