Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
All is not well with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State, as the Minister of Communications, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu, came under heavy attack thursday.
His sin? The effrontery to write a petition to the presidency, party organs and its national leader, Bola Tinubu, that APC under Governor Abiola Ajimobi was primed for failure in 2019 because of the governor’s perceived highhandedness; demolition of an ICT project being financed by him in his hometown of Saki; and the governor’s alleged lack of purposeful leadership to unite all members of the party.
But the APC, in a statement signed by its Director of Media and Strategy, Abdul-Azeez Olatunde, described, such vituperations by the Minister as deliberate falsehood because “his desperation for the governorship of Oyo State is driving him to work at cross – purpose with the overall well-being of APC in Oyo State.”
The party’s statement made available to THISDAY read in part, “contrary to the reckless insinuations made by the minister, the Oyo State APC is doing extremely well. Rather than loose any member to the opposition, the Oyo State APC under the leadership of Governor Abiola Ajimobi has been moving from strength to strength. Barely one month ago, the rank and file of the party membership experienced unprecedented growth and development because of a bumper harvest when notable political stakeholders from major opposition parties in the state declared in an open rally where they submitted themselves to the leadership of the governor.
“We must state very clearly that the decampees include a former governor, former deputy governor, former Senate Leader, serving and former members of the House of Representatives, former Senators, former Secretary to the State Government, former senatorial candidate, former State Chairman of the PDP, former state Secretary of the PDP, former Speaker of the House of Assembly, present and past state House of Assembly members, former commissioners and former local government chairmen and several others.
“It is quite saddening, highly disheartening and a monumental disservice to our party that a serving minister of Oyo State origin will as a matter of habit stand the truth on its head and close his eyes to the reality of the rising political profile of not only our party but also of our leader. The fact is that his petition is rooted in falsehood and premised on cheap blackmail.
“It must be stated that while Ajimobi and other leaders of our party have been working assiduously to develop our great party, Bayo Shittu in his characteristic manner has been moving from one local government to another sowing seeds of discord all in the name of his desperate and inordinate ambition to govern the state. Shittu was never part of the developmental process of our party. Having lost the governorship primary election in 2015, Shittu abandoned every activity geared towards victory for the party including the presidential campaign.
“He further took the party to court on the eve of the 2015 governorship election and was working for the opposition Accord Party where his former boss and benefactor contested the governorship election. Today he is reaping from where he did not sow.”