Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The appointment of former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, as the All Progressives Congress (APC) Deputy National Chairman (South) has started generating ripples, as the Ekiti State chapter of the party rejected the action vehemently.
A statement issued in Ado Ekiti yesterday by the party state Chairman, Hon Paul omotoso, described the pronouncement of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party as subjudice capable of eroding the rule of law.
The statement signed by the state Publicity Secretary, Hon Ade Ajayi, said the nomination is unacceptable and won’t stand the test of time.
Omotoso said: “Our attention has been drawn to a statement purportedly signed and issued by the National Publicity Secretary of our great party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, on March 4, 2020, in which he announced the nomination of former Oyo State Governor, Ajimobi as the Deputy National Chairman (South) among other vacant positions.
“We wish to categorically state here that the statement is a fraudulent assertion.
“We recall that a select leaders of the APC in the Southwest met in Lagos on January 31, 2020, where the APC state chairmen and other members of the South-west caucus, being the statutory organ, was mandated to meet and decide on the matter.
“Subsequently, the South-west caucus of the party met accordingly on February 4, 2020, at Oshogbo, the Osun State capital, and it was inconclusive.
“How can the party now issue a statement on March 4 that a decision was taken on January 14, 2020? It can only be a fraud.”
Omotoso insisted that the Ekiti State nominee for the vacant position of the Deputy Vice Chairman (South), Senator Gbenga Aluko, remains the best and most qualified for the position, saying: “We have not ceded our right to anybody.
“It is unfortunate that the NWC could still go ahead to forge the decision of the NEC which is the only body empowered by the party constitution to ratify the nomination of candidates.
“Kindly recall that the same NWC wrote to the leadership of the Southwest on January 29, 2020, to forward the name of their nominees to fill the vacant position.
“How come then that the decision for ratification was taken in January 14, few weeks before the South-west caucus was asked for nominees through a letter on January
“Meanwhile, one should ask on whose prerogative is it to ratify the nomination? Is it that of NWC or that of the NEC? From the provisions of the articles of the APC constitution, it is clear that only NEC can ratify such nomination. It is therefore suffice to say that the purported ratification by NWC of Ajimobi’s nomination is an effort in futility.
“It should be recalled that an aggrieved aspirant to the contentious vacant position had instituted an action at the Federal High Court in Ado-Ekiti praying among others against any nomination or announcement of anyone to fill the vacant position pending the determination of the suit.
“All the parties to the suit have been duly served, including the office of the national chairman. Issues have also been joined by parties, meaning that the principle of lis pendis is already in place. The case is fixed for March 12, 2020.”