- Ondo APC crisis assumes fetish dimension
James Sowole in Akure
Despite the relocation of the Ali Modu Sheriff-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Ondo State to Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Sunday for its primary election, an Akure High Court yesterday restrained the faction from conducting the primary outside the state.
The restriction was contained in an order given around 9a.m. by Justice Omolara of the Akure High Court, who ordered that none of the aspirants should present him/herself in the parallel primary.
The justice noted that the only legally recognised primary of the party was the one conducted on Monday, August 22, 2016, by the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction that produced Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) as the party’s flagbearer.
However, the Sheriff faction under the state chairmanship of Mr. Biyi Poroye, had preempted the court order by relocating the primary election slated for monday to the party’s South-west zonal office.
The aspirants, Jimoh Ibrahim, Chief Sola Ebiseeni, Bamiduro Dada, Niran Sule and Mrs. Abiye Ademuyegun had assembled with their supporters at the Premier Hotel, Ibadan on Sunday night.
It was gathered at the time of filling this report that the primary, headed by Mr. Ahmed Gulak, as the chairman electoral committee, conducted the election in the early hours of yesterday.
It was gathered that three other aspirants stepped down for the business mogul, Ibrahim, while Ebiseni declined to contest the party ticket with him.
At the end of the poll, Ebiseni, who is the immediate past Commissioner for Environment in the state, polled 41 votes while Ibrahim polled 502 votes to pick the faction’s ticket ahead of the November 26 governorship election.
Meanwhile, the crisis within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state on the forthcoming primary election of the party yesterday, took another dimension as the surroundings of the party secretariat located along Oyemekun road in Akure, Ondo State capital, was laced with fetish objects.
The objects which included goat and dog heads, red, white and black cloths, local pap, salt and some cash prepared in a plate, sprinkled with red palm oil while palm font were tied at the entrance of the party office to signify the sealing off of the premises.
The presence of the strange objects prevented the office staff at the secretariat of the party from gaining entry while the party’s secretariat was turned to centre of attraction as many people thronged to have a glimpse of the situation.
Some of the staff who wanted to forcefully enter the office were cautioned by some traditionalists who explained that the palm fronts tied around the gate signified ‘No entry’
However, the objects were being cleared by some people under the watch of security operatives before the gate leading to the office was opened around 11:30a.m.
Reacting to the development, the Chairman of the party, Hon. Isaacs Kekemeke, described it as part of the antics of detractors to further distabilise the party before they eventually decamp to another party.
He said the activities of the people are seen as a handshake beyond the elbow, saying it is going beyond a mere crisis within the party but an attempt to kill the party in the state.
Kekemeke said the objects and action of the people should be seen as desecration of the culture of the land and said whosoever was behind the atrocity should face the wrath of the land.
Reacting on the act, the Deji of Akureland, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, condemned the act and dissociated the palace from the action.
According to the Akure tradition, the placing of traditional palm fronds at the entrance of any property is a traditional way of sealing such property.
The monarch in a statement issued and signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Adeyeye Michael, frowned at the act, saying using such method to seal off a premises remained the prerogative of the palace only.
The Deji of Akure said: “The Deji of Akure remains non-partisan and a father to all political aspirants and never authorised such and wishes to inform the public that such act did not emanate from the palace
“We wish to inform you that any attempt to desecrate the tradition will be vehemently rebuffed.
It is certain that those who carried out this condemnable act are not aware of the cultural and traditional implications of this action.
“The palace is apolitical and therefore should not be dragged into the internal wrangling of any party.We want to state without mincing words that the palace has nothing to do with and equally condemns it in its entirety,” the monarch stated.
Oba Aladetoyinbo said the palace had directed its emissaries to carry out an investigation on the development, saying “we are confident that the culprits will be apprehended in no distant time.
“We equally call on security agencies to investigate and bring to book those behind the sacrilegious act so as to serve as deterrent to would-be persons,” the monarch said.