For the second time, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has suspended two leaders of the party, allegedly for hobnobbing with the South West Agenda for 2023 (SWAGA), a political platform campaigning for a national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, to be Nigeria’s president.
Kayode Adetifa and Jide Oso, who were slammed with the suspension, are members of the party in Ward 9, Owaye quarters in Ayede Ekiti, Oye Local Government Area of the state.
In April, the Chairman of Ward 8, Ado Ekiti Local Government Area, Clement Afolabi, was suspended over a similar offence.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the larger number of the leadership of the party is averse to the activities of SWAGA, viewing it as contradicting the agreements of the party not to encourage groups that appear to be dividing the party.
Like Mr Tinubu, the Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, is believed to be nursing the ambition to become president.
The suspension of Messrs Adetifa and Oso was communicated in two separate letters signed by the ward Chairman, Abejide Sola; Women Leader, Bamisayo Abigeal; Youth Leader, Oladipo Adekunle; Secretary, Fayemi Apeke, and Treasurer, Oloruntoba Bosede.
“We noted from your activities in the party in the recent past that you have been working against the unity of the party even to the extent of creating a parallel ward that you named ‘SWAGA’ within the ward,” the letters dated May 31, 2021, stated.
“You sent in confirmation of your action through Mr. Jide Oso, a former ward chairman on 16th May, 2021 to the ward that you have created another venue for this purpose.
“You as well was invited to the general Executive and leaders’ meeting on 20th May, 2021 to explain your action and you confirmed that the message of Mr Jide Oso was sent by you as his principal and that you would not stop your parallel meeting for any reason.
“In view of the above reasons the general executive of the ward met 27th May, 2021 and decided to suspend you for running against the party (APC) Constitution till further notice.”
The Ekiti APC Publicity Secretary, Ade Ajayi, however, denied that the suspension had anything to do with their association with SWAGA.
He said the report from the ward indicated that the two were defying the party’s orders and dividing the party through their actions
“They were not suspended because of SWAGA. But they have been dividing the party and all efforts to rein them in failed,” he said on Friday.
“They were invited to defend themselves; they confirmed it and party supremacy had to come to play. Nobody is bigger than the party.”
The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu, had earlier reacted to the action of the party, saying the suspension of party members for their association with the group was draconian and devoid of the tenets of democracy.
A former senator, Dayo Adeyeye, is a major leader of the SWAGA group and is backed by a retinue of former members of the National Assembly and top politicians in the South-west zone.
His campaign across the country is to sell the candidature of Mr Tinubu, detailing the reasons why the former Lagos governor should run for president in 2023.
While Mr Adeyeye has continued his campaign unhindered, his activities have been irksome to the party leadership in Ekiti State.
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