Ondo Polls: AD national leadership at loggerheads over Oke’s candidacy
A Faction of the national leadership of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) has rejected the candidature of Chief Olusola Oke in the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State, passing a vote of no confidence on the National Chairman, Chief Joseph Avazi and other party chieftains.
At an emergency meeting held in Akure yesterday, presided over by the Deputy National Chairman (North), Malam Musa Sheu Loyi and the National Organising Secretary of the party, Mr. Ibrahim Abdollah, who led some other members, said that the party National Working Committee (NWC) was not aware of Oke’s candidature. Loyi alleged that the AD National Chairman has not called NEC meeting since he was elected as the party chairman in December 2015, accusing him of high-handedness, recklessness and outright abuse of office.
He stated that Avazi also denied the party of the opportunity to take part in the just concluded governorship election in Edo State by failing to endorse and submit the name of its governorship candidate, Mr. Ibrahim Garuba, to INEC. Abdollah complained that the National Chairman and three others unilaterally adopted Oke as the party candidate without following due process laid down by the party’s constitution, also leaving out the Board of Trustees (BoT).
“Oke’s adoption as a flag bearer on the platform of AD is just known to Chief Avazi, the National Chairman, in connivance with three others who constituted themselves as the NEC of the party.” The aggrieved national leaders, supported by other 44 members across the zones, who were in attendance, issued a communique that “this meeting condemns in its entirety all actions of the four officers in the emergence of Chief Olusola Oke as the flagbearer of the party in Ondo State. “That Olusola Oke is hereby not adopted as the flagbearer of the party in the gubernatorial election of Ondo state scheduled for November 26, 2016. “And that vote of no confidence is passed on the National Chairman, Chief Joseph Avazi; National Secretary, Mr Akin Fasogbon, the National Auditor, Mr Ismaeel Ayodele and Southwest Zonal Chairman, Chief Tayo Onayemi,” it read.
The communique ordered the National Chairman and the Secretary to convene the NEC meeting in Abuja within 21 days with effect from October 14, saying that any failure to do that would incur punitive measures. It added that 5-member committee should be set up to recommend to the party the next line of action, whether to adopt a candidate of another party or otherwise. They warned that failure to comply with its directive will lead to employing the constitution of the party in settling the impending crisis but said it was open to negotiation only the due process are fulfilled.
The National Chairman, however, told our correspondent on phone that it was a trivial issue, saying those who kicked against Oke’s candidature were being sponsored by the opposition party to cause problems in the party. Avazi described them as “miscreants who do not have capacity to call for meetings, on what position? The constitution of the party is clear. I don’t attend to trivial matters, they could go ahead with their meetings. “They are paid elements of the opposition to destroy the party. When they are talking and serious we shall be able to react, but for now, I have not seen any issue to react to: the constitution is clear on matters like this,” he said