Tunde Olanrewaju, Abeokuta
The simmering crisis in the Ogun State chapter of the newly registered All Progressives Congress (APC) persisted on Monday as key leaders of the party boycotted an event organized to adopt the Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, for a second term in office.
A leading leader of the APC and former Governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba, and all National Assembly members elected on the party’s platform were absent at a stakeholders meeting held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, on Monday.
Those at the gathering included Amosun, his deputy, Prince Segun Adesegun, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Suraj Adekunbi Ishola, and his deputy, Tola Banjo, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, Senator Iyabode Anisulowo, Chief Olu Adebanjo, Chief Dayo Abatan, Mr. Kunle Elegbede, and Chief Samuel Durojaye among others.
The gathering adopted Amosun for a second term, as those who spoke argued that his achievements in office in the last two and half years were enough for him to be re-elected with Anisulowo, Durojaiye, Elegbede, Abatan and others being key figures among those who appealed to APC members to support the second term bid of the governor.
A member of the Ogun State House of Assembly (APC, Ifo 1 State Constituency), Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, thereafter moved a motion for the adoption for Amosun for second term in office, which was seconded by one Mr. Elias Ishola from Ogun East Senatorial District. But there was a mild drama as the Deputy Chief of Staff to the governor, Alhaji Salis Shuaib, who moderated the meeting invited Durojaiye to support the motion.
Durojaiye, a lawyer, stunned the audience when he raised a point of caution over the illegality of the endorsement process. He argued that the gathering was not constitutionally empowered to effect such, arguing that “due process must be followed. I think what is paramount is not the endorsement of an aspirant but to allow the ongoing transition process to be brought to a conclusive end.”
He explained that an endorsement of the governor for a second term without following due process is a negation of APC constitution, but pointed out that he personally support Amosun’s second term ambition. Despite this, Durojaiye bluntly refused to second the motion as requested by the chief of staff to the governor.
Following the stalemate, a former Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, who is currently a Special Assistant to Amosun, Hon. Tunji Egbetokun, moved in and called for a voice vote, which eventually went in favour of the governor.
Amosun in his remarks, said the meeting was called to uphold the unity of the party and sued for peace among party members. According to him: “I don’t regard our gathering here to be a matter of Amosun for second term endorsement. Ultimately, it is the people that will decide. We are here to tell our people that this party should be one and we are one. I don’t want you to join issues with anybody. You don’t beat a man that is down. He that is down fears no fall. I will be the last person that will want us to have disunity and disharmony in the party.”
In his reaction to the gathering of Amosun faithful, Senator Adegbenga Kaka (APC, ogun East Senatorial District), dismissed the gathering, saying members of the party in the National Assembly were unaware of the meeting. He insisted that the adoption of the governor for a second term without due process being followed was not in line with the party constitution.