By Femi Adediran, Abeokuta
The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ogun State chapter on Thursday took a worse turn as the Caretaker Committee of the party, loyal to Governor Dapo Abiodun, and a National leader of the party, Olusegun Osoba, allegedly broke into the State Secretariat and took over the affairs of the property.
The Caretaker Committee, led by the Chairman, Yemi Sanusi, allegedly stormed the Secretariat, located at Iyana Mortuary in Abeokuta, the State capital at 10 am on Friday, chased away the staff and carted away vital documents belonging to the party.
It would be recalled that the National Working Committee (NWC), led by the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole had dissolved the State Executive of the party, led by Derin Adebiyi and set up the Caretaker Committee in their place.
But the State party Secretariat had been under the control of Adebiyi’s faction which is loyal to the immediate past Governor of the State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
Sanusi, addressing journalists after taking over the Secretariat, explained that the party members were at the Secretariat to assess its condition as the party is set to start work immediately.
He expressed displeasure over the present condition of the Secretariat, assuring that the party would give the Secretariat a befitting facelift, in preparation for the forthcoming local government elections.
Sanusi insisted that the take-over was in order as the party is expected to swing into action now that the election was over and new government is already in place.
But Adebiyi in a swift reaction, described it as an “ugly development” which is condemnable by the law and vowed to reclaim the Secretariat through all the legal means possible.
Adebiyi who spoke to journalist at a press briefing, insisted that he remained the authentic and legal Chairman of the party, stressing that he and other members of the Executive were dully elected at the party’s congress held May 19, 2018.
Adebiyi said, “The Governor’s (Prince Dapo Abiodun) band of marauders arrived the Secretariat in a war – like manner and ready for a show down. They were accompanied by a detachment of fierce – looking mobile police officers.”
“They damaged all properties at the Secretariat and illegally broke into offices and carted away vital documents. Some of the destroyed materials were dumped at the back of the kiosks beside the party Secretariat. They drove out members of staff of the Secretariat and locked up the place.”
“You will recall that the illegal occupation of the Secretariat took place despite the fact that the State Executive Committee (SEC) of the party under my leadership had gone to court to challenge the illegal dissolution of the State Executive Committee by the Adams Oshiomhole – led National Working Committee (NWC) at the Federal High Court Abuja in Suit No: CV/363/2018.
He added, “Their action is condemnable and contravene the extant law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that the constitution of our dear party.”
“We shall take all legal means possible in taking back our Secretariat. We are products of a congress in May 19, 2018 and those causing this problem also took that part in this congress.”
“We have refuse to join issues with them. We don’t want to engage in violence like they have done.”
“We have already filed a case at the Federal High Court in Abuja challenging the dissolution by the NWC and the next hear is scheduled for October 8, 2019.”
“Why can’t they wait till the outcome of the court? Why are they resorting to violence? They are very immature people and with their actions, many people of the State are now of the opinion that the era of thuggery is now back in Ogun State.”
Adebiyi concluded, “We wish to state that the action of the invaders and illegal occupiers is condemnable and contravenes the extant party laws and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”