Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
Eminent leaders and elders from seven political zones of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State yesterday stormed the state government Secretariat in Agodi, Ibadan, to pledge their support for the state Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, on the fallout of the recent wards and local government congresses.
A splinter group within the party led by the Communications Minister, Adebayo Shittu; Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, a gubernatorial aspirant, Prof. Adeolu Akande; Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun, eight serving members of the House of Representatives and a host of others under the banner of Oyo APC Unity Forum had fallen out with the governorâ€™s group as both camps held parallel local government congresses last Sunday.
But elders like Adewolu Oluokun (Ibadan city); Alhaji Lasisi Ayankojo (Oyo); Chief Samuel Akindele (Oyo); Alhaji Olaide Abass (Ibarapa); Chief Samuel Adediji Adekola (Oke Ogun); Chief Samuel Laoye (Ibadan less city); Prince Kunle Sanda (Ibadan leas city); Alh. Kamorudeen Ajisafe; Sunday Adewale, (Ogbomoso); Chief Femi Yusuf; Samuel Akindele and Chief Mrs. Adepeju Esan (Ibadan) passed vote of confidence on the governor as the party leader.
Not only that, they tongue-lashed the members of the Unity Forum as inconsequential and bulk of ingrates who were out to undermine Ajimobi and rubbish the good deeds like infrastructural turn around and other achievements of the state government.
Their visit also coincided with the swearing-in of new chairmen and councillors who were declared winners of last Saturdayâ€™s election. Candidates of the ruling party swell the polls across the 33 local government areas and newly created 35 LCDAs.
Ajimobi, who presided over the swearing-in at the House of Chiefs Secretariat in Ibadan, noted that the epoch-making event signified his administrationâ€™s resolve towards consolidating democratic process and participatory governance at the local government level.
The governor further stated that he has proved doubting Thomas wrong, just as he described the event as another defining moment in the life of his administration.
Ajimobi recalled that â€œwe have had cause to cross several legal and administrative hurdles in our quest to conduct elections into our local government areas thereby entrenching democratic governance at the third tier level of government.â€
â€œTo you all the winners at the local government elections, please accept my heart-felt congratulations.
â€œYou should be guided by the oath that you have just sworn to and be fair and just in the discharge of your onerous responsibilities.â€
He reminded them of the expectations of people of the state, noting that they were earnestly yearning for development and quick delivery of dividends of democracy, adding: â€œYou cannot afford to fail them.â€
Ajimobi, who also full of thanks to the party elders, extended olive branch to the splinter group. He appealed to them to retrace their steps and join hands with his administration to make the party more formidable and virile ahead of the 2019 general election.