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Ekiti APC in fresh crisis ahead of congresses over consensus

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Flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

Ahead of next week’s congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Ekiti State chapter, disagreement on consensus arrangement is tearing the party apart.

The Southwest Agenda for Asiwaju 2023 (SWAGA) said the consensus arrangement would not work in the state.

The group said the consensus arrangement in Ekiti State would not work as a result of some unilateral decisions already being taken by the state government and its caucus, with grave democratic consequences to an all-embracing congress.

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In a statement signed by the Ekiti State Chairman of SWAGA, Tony Adeniyi, he said the governor and his caucus in Ekiti State APC had solely imposed an electoral body, just as delegates had been handpicked for the congresses without the input of several party stakeholders.

He alleged that the names of the delegates were already compiled with a promise by the government to pay for their electoral dues.
He hinted that the APC in the state is polarised and only a direct primary can bring the party back on a stable foot.

Adeniyi stressed that the APC in Ekiti got its body fractures with the taking over of the party affair by a group within the state chapter under the name ‘Tokan-Tokan”, to which the governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, belongs.

He noted that the splinter group, within the Ekiti APC, had dominated the state affairs and had held down other party members by retaining its grip on their jugular.

He, therefore, said that the party hierarchy would need to be painstaking in the conduct of the coming congresses to forestall the palpable imposition and the plot to disenfranchise some members and as such plunge the party into avoidable electoral turmoil.

Adeniyi, who commended the resolution of the national caretaker committee to ensure a swerve in the constituted State Congresses Electoral Committees, also advised that there should be a level playing ground for party members to carry out their aspirations without fear or favour.

“We hereby state categorically that the APC members in Ekiti State are fully prepared to go for direct congresses immediately after the registration/revalidation exercise. We are not, and shall not be part of any unilateral ‘consensus’ arrangement whatsoever.

“The beauty of democracy is in allowing everybody to have their say, even when the majority would have their way. The only civilised way to prove our numerical values is through congresses, not by any proxy,” Adeniyi said.

REACTING to SWAGA position, the APC State Publicity Secretary, Mr. Ade Ajayi, said that the aspersion cast on APC and its leadership confirmed that the so-called SWAGA members were outsiders in the party.

He said that the fair composition of the congress committee and directive issued to the party to conduct free and credible congresses at its recent stakeholders’ meeting substantiated the fact that the party had been fair and just to all tendencies.

The APC spokesman also condemned the group’s attempt to drag Fayemi into the fray by accusing him of undue interferences, adding that the leadership has not been under any pressure to subvert the will of the people as being painted.

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“To the best of our knowledge, Adeniyi and his ilk are strangers and outsiders in Ekiti APC. They don’t know what is going on and rather than ask, they were throwing tantrums. Everybody shall be allowed to participate in the congress, including Adeniyi that has been dividing the party. That has been our stand.”

“There is no group called Tokan-Tokan. All we know is Ekiti APC. The Paul Omotoso leadership of APC is firmly on ground and in charge and it is ready to conduct free, fair credible congresses that will be acceptable to all stakeholders.

“At the last stakeholders’ meeting, leaders agreed that nobody must be sidelined in the congresses and we can’t afford to disappoint them. But Adeniyi and his people didn’t attend and how would they have known our action plan.

“We appeal to him to come back to the party and make atonement like the Biblical prodigal son, rather than playing divisive politics that won’t take him anywhere.”

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