…as exco passes vote of confidence in ward chairman
As political activities in Ekiti State begin to gain audible volume, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Segun Ajibulu, has called for a level playing ground for members of the party in demonstrating their democratic rights as a panacea for success in coming elections.
Also, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, has reacted to the recent suspension of the APC Caretaker Chairman of Ado Ekiti Ward 8, Afolabi Olaife Clement, describing the development as an assault on freedom of association as stipulated in the country's constitution. Clement, who’s believed to have been in the black book of the leadership of the party since last year for rejecting being used to suspend Ojudu, was finally edged out at the weekend over a trumped-up allegation of identifying with the South West Agenda for 2023, (SWAGA), a political pressure group supporting the emergence of APC Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a presidential choice for the zone in the 2023 elections.
Speaking from his base in the United States of America, Ajibulu said it is through selfless service and unbiased coordination of affairs in Ekiti State, that the incumbent government of Dr. Kayode Fayemi could midwife electoral success for the APC incoming electoral contests.
The former Commissioner in the Ekiti State Pension Commission and ally to the government, was reacting to lingering perceived inequalities and seemingly government side taking in party affairs in the state
On his part, Ojudu insisted the treatment meted to Clement was unjust and unacceptable and that it was an assault on freedom of association as stipulated in the country's constitution.
“How could you sanction a party man for identifying with the ambition of a member of his party? This fellow is a member of our party and he chose to go with Tinubu. What is wrong with that? What intolerance? This is a dictatorship and not a democracy. We shall assist this individual to fight this assault on his right to the highest court in the land. I am shocked that this is happening under the watch of Dr Kayode Fayemi. He should realize that though he is in power today he will not be there tomorrow. I am really peeved. You are sacking a guy for identifying with Tinubu? It is a shock and I just couldn't understand while you and our party in the state should go this low” Ojudu lamented.
While calling on the party leadership to think of consolidation now, Ajibulu said what the party needed was not division that could cause terrible implosions, which would eventually work against the electoral success of the party in coming contests.
He condemned the recent political make-outs of the incumbent government, which he said do not put the people first as should be expected in a quality democracy.
“It beats one hollow that we are yet to harness ourselves and settle on one page as a political family, almost three years into governance, after a rigorous collective struggle that earned us this victory. It is appalling that we can settle for tearing ourselves apart from the more at the threshold of pending electoral contests where unity is most needed as the only weapon that can deliver success.
The attempt to remove Clement Afolabi as Caretaker Chairman in Ward 8, by those obviously acting a script there, is a silly step unexpected in a democracy. How can support for a member of your party to become president of the nation be tagged an anti-party adventure? To some of us APC is Tinubu and Tinubu is APC, so what is anti-party even if their claim is true,” he queried.
“I have settled down to take stock of some unchecked activities going on in Ekiti State, and my suspicion is that some elements in our party may be up to some pranks. The ongoing land grabbing activities in some parts of Ikole Local Government by the government of the state without due consultation with the people is anti-people and should be condemned.
“It is said that a government that swore to an oath to protect the people could move into their forests and deprive them of their ancestral land, depleting their means of livelihood, the flora and fauna, with no consultation whatsoever. To me, this is a clampdown too massive on the people by a government they participated to put in place,” he said.
Ajibulu however called for caution and advised the Ekiti State government to take urgent precautionary steps to right all wrongs and reconcile all APC members in the state into unity for the electoral battles ahead.
“Time is not on our side. And this is why I will call on Dr Fayemi to take urgent steps to calm all bruised nerves. The party in Ekiti State is currently fragmented and the need for a quick fix is sacrosanct. This is certainly not the time for political witch-hunting but the time for fence-mending and reconciliation that will boost our chances in victory,” he stressed
Meanwhile, in another development, 18 of the executive members in the ward have passed a vote of confidence in Hon. Clement pointing out that that the tormented ward chairman is only being victimized on frivolous issues.
Rising from a meeting on 27th April 2021, to review the allegation leveled against Clement, the executive members ruled that the various allegations against him were frivolous and born out of hatred and envy.
According to the minutes of the meeting obtained by the AbujaCityJournal, the leaders stated that the allegation that Clement factionalised the exco, was not true, arguing that a state exco member, Mrs. Funke Oluwadare, and two aides of the deputy governor; Tokunbo Adeparusi, Special Assistant on Politics to the deputy governor and Wale Falade, Special Assistant to the deputy governor, are to be blamed for the division in the ward and not Clement.
The minutes further pointed out how the aforementioned aides of the deputy governor conspired with six ward exco and some party members to hold a meeting on 14th April 2021, at one Mr. Adebiyi house at Ogbon Oba. They also dismissed the allegation that the ousted chairman failed to call the ward meeting arguing that the ward was the first to hold a meeting in 2021 at the instance of the chairman.
To this end, they dismissed the allegation and gave Afolabi a clean slate.