Ajimobi urges winners to be magnanimous
OYO State All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman Chief Akin Oke yesterday dismissed the claims that parallel local government congresses were organised in the state.
According to him, the party followed the APC national secretariat’s guidelines in organising the exercise.
Oke insisted that any election conducted without the party’s guidelines “is unknown to the party”.
He said: “The constitution of our party is clear. There cannot be any parallel congress. As far as the National leadership is concerned, party congress is an internal affair of the party. The executive (of the party at state level) was directed to conduct the congress.
“So, congresses are only organised by the party. So, if anyone goes against the guidelines of the constitution of the constitution, it is not recognised.
“The dissidents felt we never bought form for the election, they forgot that materials for the congresses were delivered to the party. So, as far as I’m concerned, there is no parallel congress. Going to organise the so-called parallel congresses is unconstitutional. The congress committee is here and it will turn in its report after the exercise.”
Governor Abiola Ajimobi, however, congratulated winners in the state’s local government election and the LG congresses, urging them to be magnanimous in victory.
The governor conveyed his message through a statement by his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Mr. Bolaji Tunji, after the release of the results of the LG election by the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission yesterday.
Similarly, Ajimobi said that he was thrilled by the peaceful and orderly conduct of the rescheduled local government congress of the APC, which was held across the 33 LG headquarters.
He called on losers in both contests to eschew violence and to be gallant in defeat, in the realisation that in every contest, including elections, there would always be winners and losers.
The governor urged APC faithful across the state to be orderly and law-abiding in their conduct, while he advised those that might be aggrieved with the outcome of the LG election and APC local government congress to explore lawful channels to seek redress.
But Minister for Communications Adebayo Shittu said the National Congress Committee that conducted the congresses was compromised.
Shittu, who belonged to the state APC Unity Forum faction, wondered how the committee refused to collect forms from the candidates, who purchased the forms as stipulated by the party guidelines.
He declared that by “collecting the forms from Ajimobi’s candidates and shutting the doors against us, the congress committee has shown that they are bias and compromised”.
The minister stated that unless the party’s national leadership ensures that justice is done, the aggrieved would seek redress in the court to nullify the exercise.
Shittu, who spoke to members of Oyo State Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Ibadan at the weekend, described the election as a fraud.
Tinubu to party chieftains: embrace dialogue
ALL Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart Asiwaju Bola Tinubu yesterday reflected on the rancorous local government congresses in Oyo State, urging the party chieftains to embrace dialogue and peace.
The former Lagos State governor cautioned against using the names of party leaders, including President Muhammadu Buhari and himself, for advancing their positions without their consent.
He said the solution to the parallel congresses is for the two factions in the disputed exercise to embrace compromises, instead of fixating on transient personal differences.
In an advertorial in The Nation newspaper today titled: ‘Oyo State: Re-Open Letter To Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,’ he acknowledged the open letter to him by the members of the APC Unity Forum, who he described as progressives in the democratic family with ties of collaborative efforts, both in the Southwest and the country.
Urging them to refrain from taking “precipitous action”, Tinubu said despite their right to voice their opinion and seek elective offices, there was a limitation to the efficacy of political prayers.
He urged the aggrieved chieftains to emulate him by making use of the party’s appeal processes and structures to ventilate their grievances and seek redress.
Tinubu said the warring chieftains should not allow themselves to be swayed by “behind-the-scenes enticements of forces outside the party,” noting that these “false voices” may want to motivate them to break into a rival group that would be dangerous to the democratic journey and the future of Oyo State.
He urged them to cooperate with the party chairman, Chief Akin Oke, who he described as a committed and fair-minded leaders, and the Ward and Local Government Congress committees, to enable them discharge their assignment in a free and fair atmosphere.
Noting that all candidates cannot win during elections, Tinubu advised them to make sacrifice as a fitting tribute to the memories of their past heroes, including the slain Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, and former Governor Lam Adesina.
He stressed: “We must recognise there may be many good candidates for a particular office, but only one person can win the party nomination for that office. We have encouraged all who seek the party’s nomination for an office to freely exercise that core right. Yet, we must equally encourage you to close ranks and accept the results once a contest is over. The party and its fair processes take precedence over individual ambition. That is why we must cooperate with the party hierarchy.”
Tinubu appealed to the forum to bury its hatchet, forgive the perceived shortcomings and cooperate with Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who he said, must have reached out to the protesters to promote an inclusive culture.
He noted that the governor has demonstrated openness by welcoming into the fold defectors from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), including Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, former Senate Leader Teslim Folarin, Chief Taofeel Arapaja, Chief Ayodele Adigun and Segun Odebunmi.
Urging the Oyo APC family to imbibe the spirit of give and take, Tinubu said the party faithful should make compromises and contribute to the efforts to win future elections.
He added: “As elders in the party, we seek to play an impartial role and not allow ourselves to be used to sow seeds of division.”