Stakeholders of the ruling All Progressive Congress in Osun State has described the demands of a splinter group known as ‘The Osun Progressives’ (TOP) as laughable and devoid of substance.
This was disclosed on Sunday during the meeting of the National Reconciliation Committee with Stakeholders of the party at the Government House, Osogbo.
Members of ‘TOP’ had petitioned the Committee over alleged alienation of party leaders from the activities of the Party, saying that the incumbent governor, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, had hinged the implementation and execution of most party policies on the platform that ushered his emergence, Ileri Oluwa.
But the Secretary of the Party’s State Congress Committee, Mr. Sunday Akere, described the allegations as spurious, arguing that since Oyetola was elected Governor, the party had been accorded its pride of place in all decision making and implementation.
He added that the present leadership structure was put in place by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and inherited by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola until few additions were made just about few months ago.
According to him, in the preparation for the just- concluded congresses, the Governor and the party leaders carried everybody along and acted in conformity with the party guidelines and resolutions reached at all levels as the elections went smoothly in all the wards, local governments and state levels.
“For TOP members to say they participated in the Ward, Local and State Congresses is laughable and it amounts to building something on nothing because they know there was no basis for such; and the allegation of nepotism leveled against the Governor is not only baseless but spurious. He who alleges must prove. All they wanted is juicy appointments.
“Their prayer asking the Reconciliation Committee to recognise their Congresses is misplaced and a distraction because the Committee’s job is to calm frayed nerves, give peace a chance and not to decide on the long-concluded congresses.
“The Committee should take note that, this so- called TOP members have constituted themselves into a team more vicious than the opposition. They don’t have respect for the Governor or the leadership of the party headed by Prince Gboyega Famodun. The manner in which they deride the programmes and achievements of the Governor shows clearly that some of them have made up their minds about leaving the party if they cannot get what they want.
“They are already holding meetings with the opposition and a faction of the said opposition in the state now takes the responsibility of protecting and defending them as a matter of life and death.
“The TOP members have no right whatsoever to comment on or make demands on issues that do not concern them, like their demand for resignation of Mr. Governor from the APC National Caretaker Committee connotes.
“However, the Governor as the leader and father to all is ready to embrace and welcome back those willing to retrace their steps. This Committee in the spirit of the minority having their say while majority have their way should appeal to TOP members to join hands with Mr. Governor in sustaining the progressive legacy in Osun State.
“And finally, this Committee should implore the immediate past Governor and current Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, to rein in TOP members because he had publicly declared that he is their patron and and that he supports whatever they do”, Akere submitted.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Abdulahi Adamu, noted that their presence at the Government House was part of efforts to ensure fair hearing, equity and justice as it would serve as a forum for the party leadership to respond to and defend some of the allegations raised and petitions filed before it.
“You are aware that APC like any human endeavour has issues that are affecting the free flow of the affairs of the party, hence the inauguration of the Committee to restore peace. It is natural for human beings to have conflicts, but what is important is to resolve it.
“We are here to work for the unity, harmony and love within and among the party loyalists.
“When we came yesterday, we started with a visit to Mr Governor to declare that we were in his domain. We have started to take requests, and we felt it was necessary to hear from you too. That is why we are here. We have served the copies of the petitions to the Governor. We expect to have some responses. Nothing is expected to be covered up,” he added.
In his remarks, the Governor of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola, commended the Committee for taking the bull by the horns, just as he expressed confidence in its ability to carry out the task with fairness and equity.
He expressed delight at the presence of who-is-who in the party, saying the large turn out of the party leaders was an indication that his Administration was open to all and that power now resides with the party.
Speaking one aftertheother, the Chairman, Osun APC Elders’ Caucus, called “Igbimo Agba” Engr. Sola Akinwumi; Senate Spokesman and Senator representing Osun Central Senatorial District, Bashiru Ajibola; Former Osun Deputies Governor, Senator Christopher Iyiola Omisore; Mrs Titilayo Ponle; Prince Adeleke Adewoyin; Deputy Speaker, Osun House of Assembly, Hon. Simeon Popoola; the Party Chairman-elect, Prince Gboyega Famodun; reaffirmed the commitment of the party’s leadership to ensure unity and victory at the polls.