By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
For allegedly getting involved in anti-party activities, the Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has suspended the former state Governor Segun Oni from the party.
In a letter dated May 1, 2019 and addressed to Oni by the party, APC said it took the action over the failure of the party chieftain to appear before the ward executive to clear the allegations.
The letter was signed by the chairman and secretary of Ifaki Ward II, Shina Akinloye and Ogunyemi Taiwo, respectively and 24 other executive members in the ward.
The APC executive in Ido/Osi Local Government through its Assistant Financial Secretary and Assistant Organising Secretary, Messrs A. Suleiman and Olanrewaju Olamope, also signed the letter.
Apart from being a former governor, Oni also served as the Deputy National Chairman (South) of the party under the tenure of Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
The letter titled: ‘Suspension from All Progressives Congress Ward II, Ifaki Ekiti’ reads: “Subject to Article 21 Subsections I, II and X of the APC constitution 2014 as amended, we undersigned executive members of the APC hereby suspend you indefinitely from our great party, based on your refusal to honour our invitation for investigation and fact finding into the allegation of anti-party activities levelled against your person by the members of our party.
“We are by the copy of this letter informing both the local government and state working committee of the party for necessary information and action.”
The party, had in a letter dated April 24, 2019 and signed by the ward executive, invited Oni to appear before a panel.
The letter reads: “We the executive members of the APC in Ifaki Ward II, hereby request your presence at the Ilero town hall, Ilogbe, Ifaki Ekiti to clear air about the allegations by members of the APC in your ward.
“Kindly indicate by informing the APC chairman the convenient time and date to appear before members within the next seven days of the reception of this letter.”
The letter of invitation was received on Oni’s behalf by one Segun Adetunji on April 25, 2019.
Oni had gone to court after the May 26, 2018 APC governorship primary to challenge Governor Kayode Fayemi’s eligibility to participate in the election.
Oni said going by the constitution of the party, Fayemi, being a minister in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari ought to resign 30 days to the primary.
Fayemi resigned in June, 2018 after the primary had been held.
He later won the July 14 governorship election by defeating the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prof. Kolapo Olusola.
But the Supreme Court, in its judgment, dismissed Oni’s suit for lack of merit, saying Fayemi didn’t breach the law by resigning after the primary.
Fayemi had in his reaction to the court verdict extended an olive branch to Oni, with a promise to work with him to move the party forward.
But some party members were said to have insisted Oni needed to be punished for disrespecting the party by declining the senatorial ticket and went to court to upturn Fayemi’s victory.
But Oni, who said he was not sure of the said suspension, added that: “I am not sure. There is a structure in the party. There is a way things are done in the party.”
On his failure to heed the invitation of APC Ifaki Ward as conveyed in a letter dated April 24, the former governor queried the people behind the said invitation. He said: “Who are they? I am not a nobody in the party. So I cannot be expected to honour such a faceless invitation.
“Who are they? What is their pedigree? If a group of rascals signed a letter, how can they expect me to give any thought to such. Let those who wrote the letter show face and levy allegations.”