Some chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State have accused the governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, of causing division within the party in Oyo State.
The accusation against Mr Fayemi, the Nigerian Governors Forum chairperson, is coming days after some party stakeholders in Ekiti State alleged that he supported Godwin Obaseki, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the just-concluded Edo State elections.
Mr Fayemi did not respond to all enquiries seeking his reactions to the allegations.
The former deputy chairman of APC in Oyo State, Isiaka Alimi, in a statement to PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday, said the party was gradually returning to peace after the Abuja peace meeting but Mr Fayemi’s attempt to hand over the party’s leadership to Adebayo Alao-Akala, Teslim Folarin, and Fatai Buhari, who are former PDP members, will cause harm to the party.
At a meeting between Mr Fayemi and the contending factions of the party in the state on Sunday, the governor reportedly prevailed on them to defer to Mr Alao-Akala, a former governor of the state, as the leader of the party.
“There is no provision for the position of leader in the constitution of APC,” the statement by Mr Alimi said.
“How can you impose an illegality on a political party? Where there is no governor, the party chairman is the leader of the party. We are suspicious of the secret agenda that is driving this imposition of a leader. It is illegal and will only make the case of the party worse. Let Otunba Akala be the leader of the people coming with him into the party. He cannot be the leader to the people he met in the party.”
“He was a PDP governor, not a progressives governor. Since 2007, we have defeated him at every election in 2011, 2015 and 2019. So what is he bringing that qualifies him to be a leader? They only want to hijack the APC for the PDP. The attempt to hand over the APC to conservative elements will not work. Unfortunately,it has only worsened the crisis in the state chapter of APC”, he said.
Also, the Unity Forum of the party in Oyo State rejected the announcement by Mr Fayemi that Mr Alao-Akala is a leader of the party in the state.
In a statement jointly signed by four of its leaders namely, Senator Soji Akanbi, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, Senator Ayoade Adeseun, and Adebayo Shittu, the forum said Mr Fayemi only proposed the composition of an advisory council of elders with Mr Alao-Akala as chairperson.
“When attempts were made by some contributors that Otunba Akala be made the leader of the party in the state, this was vehemently opposed on two grounds: One, that the constitution of APC does not make a provision for a leader. Second, that given the recent experience of the party with dictatorial leadership, the council of elders should provide collegiate advisory leadership for the party instead of creating another possible dictator.”
“The opinion was so overwhelming that in his closing remarks, Otunba Akala angrily rejected the offer to be chair of a council of elders. He said he was only ready to be leader of the party.”
Mr Fayemi spokesperson, Yinka Oyebode did not respond to PREMIUM TIMES calls and text messages seeking the response of the governor to accusations levied against him.