By Victor Ogunje
The Ekiti State All Progressives Congress (APC) last Monday summoned the Special Adviser on Political Matters to the President, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, and 11 others before a disciplinary committee for alleged insubordination and anti-party activities.
Also summoned was Hon Oyetunde Ojo, an in-law to APC national leader, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
To this end, the party had set up an eight- member disciplinary committee headed by former Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Sola Ajigbolamu, which invited Ojudu and others to answer questions as to why they had allegedly refused to withdraw the cases they instituted against the party.
The party expressed worries over the recalcitrant postures of the aggrieved members despite the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party.
Others who were invited alongside Ojudu are Ayo Ajibade, Hon. Oyetunde Ojo, Hon Femi Adeleye, Bunmi Ogunleye, Akin Akomolafe, Bamigboye Adegoroye, Wole Oluyede, Olusoga Owoeye, Dele Afolabi, Toyin Oluwasola, and Ben And Oguntuase
Addressing journalists in Ado Ekiti yesterday, a member of the party’s disciplinary committee, who is the APC Director of Media and Publicity, Sam Oluwalana, said the eight-man committee has been set up to invite and query them over their hard lining postures.
Oluwalana said the party’s NEC on July 25, 2020, directed all members of the party to withdraw all pending cases in courts, and urged them to explore internal mechanisms to resolve their differences.
The APC chieftain added that the lukewarm attitude of the aggrieved members propelled the party to invoke Article 21 of the APC’s constitution, by way of commencement of suspension procedure against the affected members.
He said the disciplinary committee headed by former Speaker, Ajigbolamu, has been given 10 days to complete their assignments and report to the National Working Committee (NWC) for proper action.
“You will recall that on July 25, 2020, the party NEC headed by President Buhari passed a resolution directing all members of the party not to institute any court action and also to withdraw their cases in court in order to explore the internal conflict resolution mechanisms of the party.
“The caretaker finds it worrisome that despite the directive of the NEC and the subsequent steps taken by the party to ensure compliance, there have been a number of court cases by party members seeking the dissolution of the caretaker committee/state congresses in complete disregard of the directive of NEC.
“The leadership of the party has decided to invoke the provisions of Article 21 of the party constitution against members of the party who have flouted the directive,” he stated.
Oluwalana said the composition of the disciplinary committee was in consonance with the directive given by Mai Mala Buni-led caretaker committee that each chapter must set up a committee to try alleged erring members.
“Let me clarify here that this is not a suspension, but an invitation. We are not here to witch-hunt anybody, as all those involved will be given fair hearing.
“But we are worried that many of our party members have not withdrawn those cases and there must be discipline among our ranks,” he stated.
Ojudu’s political base at ward 8 in Ado Ekiti and Oluyede’s ward at Ikere Ekiti had in June 2020 resisted attempt to use them to suspend the duo at that level “the way they crippled former APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, from his ward.”
Responding, Ojudu said: “It is laughable and also against the constitution of the party “because the state working committee lacks the power to suspend any member. It is only the ward that can do that. They are setting out on the path to perdition, and I wish them good luck.”