We’ll retrieve APC from ‘predators’, Buhari’s minister vows

Buhari and ministers
Buhari and ministers

The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, on Saturday said he and his faction of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would retrieve the party in Oyo State from “predators.”

He said the APC headquarters was forced to accept those who were not qualified as its executive members in Oyo State.

Mr Shittu made this allegation on a live radio programme on Fresh FM in Ibadan, tagged South West Political Circuit.

The minister was disqualified from the governorship primary of the APC due to his failure to observe the one-year mandatory National Service conducted by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Before then, he had been in a long-running dispute with Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi who he accused of foisting leaders and candidates on the party in the state.

Mr Shittu last week lost in court a bid to quash his disqualification by the APC for not participating in the NYSC.

On the Saturday programme monitored by PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Shittu said he and other like minds were challenging in court the composition of the executives of the party at the various levels in the state.

The Saki-born politician accused Mr Ajimobi of foisting the executives on the party and the people.

Messrs Shittu and Ajimobi have been in dispute since the merger of four opposition parties produced the APC. Both men belonged to different parties until the merger.

In the Saturday interview, the minister called Mr Ajimobi a “dictator” and a “betrayer.”

The APC lost the presidential and governorship elections in the state to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which also won a clear majority in the State House of Assembly.

Mr Shittu said the process of rebuilding the APC in the state will start soon. He said his faction of the party, the Unity Forum, will retrieve the party from “predators.”

“Let me recall, during the congresses in Oyo state, we had two congresses; two factions of our party held parallel congresses. The governor’s faction and the Unity Forum faction, which has members four times that of the governor’s faction.

“Our party leaders at the national level by force accepted those who are not qualified as party executives.

“Eventually, what happened started from there. We are in court challenging to know the legally recognised executives of the party. The Unity Forum will certainly ensure that justice is done in the area of party congresses.

“That is what we are challenging, the emergence of the current executives. They have to be true to themselves that but for Ajimobi, they will not be there.

“Governor Ajimobi did what he did so that he could use them. He foisted on the party the people who will continue to do his bidding.

“Clearly Ajimobi is a dictator, a betrayer; clearly everything you could think of. Now that he has gone, we have to rescue all of those people away from him.

“Our lawyer unjustly terminated the cases in court. I have instructed lawyers from my chambers to apply for the revisit of those cases and I have all the support of all members of the Unity Forum to do that.

“We are all waiting to collaborate in ensuring that we retrieve our party from predators.

“We will bring everybody on board, we will retrieve our party. We will start soonest by the grace of God.”

The minister denied that members of the Unity Forum had fled from the APC to other parties.

“They are in APC, unless you show me when they resigned their membership of APC,” he said.

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