- Crisis Rocks IleriOluwa Group
- TOP Claims Victory In 27 LGs
- Why We Didn’t Hold Congress In Boripe
THE All Progressives Congress in the State of Osun is heading for factionalisation, following the parallel ward and local government congresses held by The Osun Progressives (TOP) and the Governor Adegboyega Oyetola’s group, IleriOluwa.
OSUN DEFENDER noted that the Osun APC, which had been under one Chairmanship of Prince Gboyega Famodun with Alhaji Rasaq Salinsile as the Secretary, could not save itself from imminent sharp division because of yet-to-be reconciled differences among some key players, which have shattered the peace of the party.
From all indications, the State Congress of the party, which will be held any moment from now, will follow the same pattern of ward and local government congresses. That will result to producing two chairmen of the APC in Osun.
Governor Oyetola, Famodun and some other party leaders have been hell-bent on using consensus method for the congresses, while Salinsile, former Chairman of the APC, Reverend Adelowo Adebiyi and some other leaders of the party, who belong to TOP have also refused to shift ground on elective congresses.
Members of the APC who belong to TOP participated in the ward and local government congresses by electing their party executive members through Option A4, while the Oyetola-led caucus went on consensus by submitting names of candidates to the Congress Committee as new executive members of the party.
TOP contested all the 17 party positions in 27 councils of the state in the last Saturday Local Government Congress of the party.
All the APC members put forward for the party offices by TOP were elected unopposed, as the IleriOluwa group boycotted the elections.
Crisis In IleriOluwa Group
The local government congress has again turned members of the IleriOluwa group against one another in some local governments of the state, in spite of the consensus agreement by their leaders.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that members of the group in the affected local governments could not agree on the consensus list in their various councils, a development that has put the name of the party executives from their end in controversy.
It was gathered that the position of the party chairman generated controversies in Isokan Local Government, where a section of the IleriOluwa group was calling for the zoning of the Chairman to Ikoyi, while some other members insisted that the position be left in Apomu.
The APC Chairman in Isokan Local Government has been residual in Apomu for close to 16 years, according to sources in the IleriOluwa group.
They argued that the position be zoned to Ikoyi, a community that has no political office holder except the Caretaker Chairman of the Isokan South Local Council Development Area, Mr. Wasiu Oyelami.
But the other group insisted that since it had been agreed at the state that all the party executive members be returned, Apomu should retain the Chairman of the party, Mr. Bashiru Osunlakin.
The disagreement held the IleriOluwa group standstill at the DC Grammar School, Apomu, where they gathered to draw the consensus list.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr. Adegboyega Alabi, intervened in the matter around 5pm and pleaded with the members of the group in Ikoyi to allow Osunlakin to continue as the Chairman of the party for the local government.
According to the aggrieved members, they grudgingly agreed to let go the chairmanship position in honour of the Deputy Governor.
In Olorunda Local Government, the IleriOluwa group reportedly lost one of its key members, Abiodun Tijani, to TOP during the local government congress process.
It was gathered that Tijani, who was the local government Secretary of the party, was replaced by another person and given Assistant Youth Leader.
According to APC members in the local government, Tijani rejected the Assistant Youth Leader offer on the ground that if he could not be retained as the Secretary, he could not serve in any capacity lower than the scribe.
As at the time of filing this report, the consensus lists of the IleriOluwa group in Obokun, Orolu and Ayedire local governments of the state were yet to be resolved because of the disagreement between two factions of the group.
It was gathered that the Hon. Olatunbosun Oyintiloye and Pharm. Olasiji Olamiju’s factions of the group could not agree on a consensus list in Obokun LG.
Why Elective Congress Didn’t Hold In Boripe LG
There was no elective congress in Boripe Local Government, where Governor Adegboyega Oyetola hails from.
Boluwaduro and Ila local governments were also excused from the elective ward and LG congresses.
Investigations by OSUN DEFENDER revealed that the leadership of The Osun Progressives advised members of the APC not to participate in the congress for security reasons.
It was gathered that some political office holders in Boripe LG had commissioned some hoodlums to attack members of the party who wanted to participate in the elective congress championed by TOP.
According to some sources, the political office holders had a day to the congress housed the hoodlums and had given them venues to be used by the APC members who belong to TOP for the local government congress.
Speaking with the medium, a former Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor under the immediate past administration, Barr. Gbenga Akano, confirmed that elective congress did not hold in Boripe Local Government because of the threat to some people’s lives.
Akano, who hails from Iragbiji, the hometown of Governor Oyetola, stated that some government elements were ready to violently attack members of the party anywhere they gathered for the congress.
He said: “We did not have elective congress in Boripe Local Government because of security reason. Some government elements have marked some of us for attack. These people are evil and they are feeling threatened by the popularity of TOP.
“You should know that they also planned to attack the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and some leaders of TOP during the funeral of Pa G.O. Lawal about two weeks ago. The plot is still very much in place and they thought they could carry out the attack on some of us during the congress.”
OSUN DEFENDER had exclusively reported how Aregbesola averted the repeat of 2006 Oroki Day attack by refusing to attend Pa G.O. Lawal’s funeral in Ikirun on Saturday, August 28.
Aregbesola and members of TOP were to be attacked by hoodlums who were commissioned by some government elements at the funeral.
The medium gathered that the government elements, among who are Commissioners in Governor Oyetola’s cabinet and Caretaker Chairmen in some Local Government Councils in Ifelodun/Boripe Odo Otin Federal Constituency, held a meeting on Wednesday preceding the week of the funeral in Iragbiji, where they concluded on attacking Aregbesola and TOP members.
Part of their plans is also to blackmail Aregbesola, turn the case against him and misinform the public that he was the one that came to foment trouble, like it was done on the attack on members of the APC during the sitting of the Ward Congress Appeal Committee at the Government Secretariat, recently.
The sources confided in the medium that each of eight hoodlum gangs commissioned to do the hatchet job was mobilised with a sum of N500,000 in cash.
It would also be recalled that about 11 members of the APC were reportedly injured during the ward congress in Iree, Boripe Local Government of the state.
Violence marred the congress in Wards 9, 10 and 11, as hoodlums attacked members of the party who were on the queue, hoping to have election for the congress.
We Contested, Won 27 Councils, One Area Office, Says TOP
Barely 24 hours after the completion of the congress, The Osun Progressives claimed victory in the 27 local governments where its members participated in the congress.
According to TOP Chairman in a press release on Sunday, Reverend Adelowo Adebiyi, members of the APC who belong to group contested and won 27 councils and one Area Office in the local government congress.
According to Adebiyi, delegates of the APC who were largely members of the party elected as executives in the last Ward Congress came out on Saturday to elect their party officials at their various local governments.
Adebiyi expressed happiness at the large turnout of members of the party at the congress, describing it as impressive.
The former Chairman of the APC in the State noted the huge turnout signposts the desire of the members to really recreate the APC for a more useful purpose and take it away from the near abyss in which it had been taken recently.
He thanked the APC faithful for sharing the laudable desire of a reinvigorated APC that will stand the test of time and be a perennial election winner, which is what the TOP stands for.
The former APC boss congratulated the new executives in the 27 LGs and one Area Office where TOP participated and urged them to be good ambassadors and change agents for the party.
He urged them to make hay while the sun shines, just as he called for cooperation of members of the party with the new executives by being loyal, active, supportive and abide by all rules and regulations guiding the operations of the party.
Thugs Attack APC Members In Ede North
Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were attacked on Saturday by armed political thugs during the congress in Ede North Local Government of the State of Osun.
About eight people sustained injuries in the attack which was carried out by a gang of notorious hoodlums in Ede.
The thugs, according to eye witnesses, stormed Film House, NITEL area, beside Pere Police Station, Ede around 9am with guns, cutlasses and other weapons with which they attacked members of the APC.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the hoodlums started shooting sporadically on getting to the venue of the congress.
The APC members who belong to TOP were beaten with clubs and canes by the hoodlums.
A former Chairman of Ede North Local Council Development Area, Comrade Mukaila Uthman, confirmed the attack, saying that he was a witness.
Uthman said: “The hoodlums came around 9am and started shooting sporadically. They beat out people mercilessly. The hoodlums confided in me that they were mobilised by government officials in Ede.”
However, the APC members continued the elective congress some hours later and new party executives were elected for the local government.
Adebiyi, Elegbeleye Disagree On Congress Outcome
A former Chairman of the APC n the state, Reverend Adelowo Adebiyi, has faulted the claim of the Chairman of the Local Government Congress Committee of the APC, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, that there was no parallel congress in any part of the state.
Elegbeleye had during a press conference on Monday said there was no congress in Osun on Saturday, other than the one the committee conducted and that was monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security operatives.
According to him, the committee was not informed of any other congress except the one its members witnessed and supervised across the state.
Reacting to the statement, Adebiyi described Elegbeleye as a procured man that came to the state to do hatchet job.
According to Adebiyi, it is only a purchased character like Elegbeleye that would continue to carry about the air of “all is well” as he had done so far.
He said it could not surprise any discerning mind that Elegbeleye committee served the hatchet job for which they were procured with all his inglorious activities so far in Osun Congress affairs.
Adebiyi noted that the conduct of Elegbeleye will be his future albatross and great undoing as Karma will surely catch up with him, even as he stated that his antics will come to naught when truth confronts it soon.
The former Chairman said: “Before Ward Congress, we had reported that we are not party to any consensus arrangement. Elegbeleye committee came and had meeting with the IleriOluwa group of the party and called it a stakeholders’ meeting. The Secretary of the party, Hon. Rasaq Salinsile, myself and a lot of leaders of the party were not invited for any meeting by the Elegbeleye committee.
“The same thing happened in the last Local Government congress. We had also reported that we are not party to any consensus arrangement. The Elegbeleye committee, which had been camped at the Government House by Governor Oyetola, did not reach out anybody.
“A day to the congress, on Friday, Elegbeye held meeting with the IleriOluwa group amidst heavy security and presence of hoodlums. We were not invited to the meeting.
“If you want to invite people, you send a text message to me or through letter to attend the stakeholders’ meeting, that is the usual practice. The Secretary of the party is in charge of the Secretariat and the issue of sales of forms and conducting the procedure of congresses and all modalities should be handled by the Secretary of the party.
“We sent out messages to notify the party members and National Secretariat that we were going for elective congress, not consensus. And we participated in the congress and won 27 local governments and one area council.
“Elegbeleye came to witness imposition of candidates in the name of consensus, while we held congress witnessed by INEC, DSS, Police and NSCDC officers in different local governments. We had an open contest – elective congress as directed by the National Secretariat.”