All seems not well with the Governor Dapo Abiodun’s faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State as members struggle for recognition in various local governments.
Since the build-up to the last local government elections in the State, the Dapo Abiodun camp has experienced crisis across different wards.
Hitherto, the APC is factionalised between supporters of Abiodun and those of his predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
DAILY POST reports that members of the two groups have been nervous over what may be the outcome of the congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State.
After holding parallel ward and local government congresses on July 31 and September 4 respectively, leaders of the two major APC factions in the State have been assuring their followers of victory.
While the national secretariat of the party is yet to release a list of who the authentic ward executive officers of the APC are, the two factions inaugurated parallel excos, thereby creating confusion for their members.
On September 3, when a stakeholders’ meeting was held preparatory to the local government congress in Abeokuta, the Chairman of the congress committee, Wale Ohu, appeared with a compendium, which he said consisted the names of those elected during the ward congress in Ogun.
Ohu said he was directed to work strictly according to the list, saying anything outside that was null and void.
However, it was observed that Ohu did not open the said compendium to release the list of approved ward excos to party leaders or members, leaving rooms for further speculations.
But, as the two factions await the position of the APC national secretariat over the congresses, members of the Abiodun camp are at war within themselves.
Earlier, a former Deputy Governor of Ogun, Segun Adesegun, and 16 other chieftains of the APC had petitioned Abiodun over what they termed the “ugly” outcome of the ward congress.
Adesegun and the APC leaders, including the former House of Assembly Deputy Speaker, Oludare Kadiri, expressed shock that their list of elected ward executives “were changed throughout the wards in Ijebu North Local Government.”
They told Abiodun that the list sent to Abeokuta was not the same sent back to them, believing that the governor was not aware of the situation.
The party leaders accused the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Tokunbo Talabi, and a former House of Assembly member, Joseph Adegbesan, of masterminding and colluding to change the lists of elected officials after the ward congress, an allegation that had since been denied by Talabi, who asked Adesegun and others to approach the congress appeal committee for redress.
On Wednesday, party members from Ijebu North stormed the Governor’s office in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, demanding the removal of the SSG.
Armed with placards bearing different inscriptions, the party members accused Talabi of undue interference and disruptive manipulation of the recent APC congresses of the APC in their area.
They alleged that the SSG abused his position and privileges by orchestrating imposition of candidates on the generality of the leaders and members.
They said, “We have over 600 APC members here. We are here to register our displeasure about the activities of the SSG, Mr Tokunbo Talabi. He has been using his powers to embarrass and harass party members in our local government.
“Look at the ward and local government congresses, we elected our party excos only for us to find out that their names have been changed. Enough is enough. The SSG must leave us alone and allow democracy to thrive in our local government. He and his cohorts should desist from imposing on us. The SSG is not our party leader.”
Addressing the protesters, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Shuaib Salisu, and the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Afolabi Afuape, begged them to exercise patience over the crisis, promising to inform Abiodun of their complaints.
DAILY POST recalls that Abiodun’s loyalists in Ijebu-Ode Local Government also staged a protest last week, expressing anger that their list of party officials had been tampered with.
While the Ijebu-Ode protesters did not reveal those behind the alleged substitution of names after the congresses, they accused a minority group of making efforts to rule over them.
Meanwhile, the congress appeal committee of the APC in Ogun State has said both Amosun and Abiodun may adopt a sharing formular to settle the crisis rocking party amicably.
At the moment, the APC factions are yet to agree on any sharing percentage, even as the state congress holds October 16.
Except there is a change in plans, findings by our correspondent confirmed that both factions are getting set for another parallel state congress.