· Calls for cohesion, reconciliation
Kemi Olaitan, Ibadan
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, yesterday warned that the All Progressives Congress (APC), Oyo State, might not be able to regain the political power in the state as a result of the deepening internal crisis that plagued the party in the state.
Dare, who contested for the office of the state governor in 2019, urged all aggrieved members of the party to shelve any perceived differences and work together for the APC to regain its political relevance in the state.
He made this call in a statement he issued yesterday, urging the party leaders in the state to go beyond setbacks and disappointments they had experienced in the past and work together for the future of the APC in the state.
He said stakeholders should act with greater cohesion and strength of purpose and that the APC government has a track record of achievement that the state has never experienced irrespective of what was said to the contrary.
He said: “Despite the extraordinary events that have beset us in the intervening months and perhaps because of these subsequent new challenges, the call to unity and for reconciliation remains our great imperative.
“The APC in Oyo state can only progress if we pull together. Disunity is just another way of defeat. We fight against each other at our own collective peril. Ambition is part of the body of politics,” the minister observed.
Specifically, however, the minister warned that unbridled ambition served only to tear that body down and that undue ambition would lead to the collapse of what members of the party wanted to build.
He, therefore, warned that the current tendency of trying “to build individual nests and of running various political plots and schemes will fail to achieve what is sought. These things will only cloud and fog the air so much that none of us will be able to see our way through.
“Not only will the party be impaired. Many of our individual objectives will be dashed also because the state chapter of the party will lack the strength and cohesion to carry us through to the needed ends and to the desired victories.”
He said there were many good and illustrious people in the state party, adding that with this pedigree of members, “we should not know the uncertain condition in which we now find ourselves.”
He said part of the problem “is due to the high quality, high-octane membership we have. People of such talent and experience are unjustly denied due respect and consideration in party deliberations and decisions.”
Dare, however, observed that some of the party members had crossed the subtle line between commanding due respect as opposed to seeking to take undue command of the party.
He said the party members “have done so perhaps innocently and without being fully conscious of what they were doing and that it was alienating other key members and tearing at the fabric of internal unity.
“In the sincere attempt to make the party what it should be they inadvertently stepped across this important boundary. We need to take a step back and repair the damage this process has caused.
“The notion of entitlement or personal ownership of the Oyo APC will keep the party stuck as if caught in wet cement. No one of us owns the party. We all do. The party is an institution of collective membership but also collective ownership,” the minister said.