The All Progressives Congress’ (APC’s) stakeholders in Ekiti State on Sunday expressed worry that the party might suffer worse defeat in the next governorship election in 2022, with the alleged impunity and highhandness being displayed by Governor Kayode Fayemi.
The concerned party leaders under the auspices of the Ekiti APC Stakeholders Forum said the soaring popularity of the ruling party at the ward, local and state levels had waned following Fayemi’s alleged underperformance and dictatorial tendencies.
The stakeholders, in a statement on Sunday in Ado-Ekiti, accused the governor of ostracising party executives and victimising critics of his government through his alleged surrogate Omotosho-led State Working Committee.
Signatories to the statement include former Minister of Works, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, a presidential aide, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Senator Tony Adeniyi, former federal lawmakers Oyetunde Ojo, Bimbo Daramola and Robinson Ajiboye, as well as former Ekiti State Assembly Speaker Adewale Omirin and eight others.
The leaders urged the newly-inaugurated Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Committee to intervene and caution Fayemi against the alleged use of party machineries to punish members via illegal suspension and alienation from party’s activities.
In the statement titled: ‘Time to Take a Stand’, the leaders hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for spearheading the dissolution of the National Working Committee and the inauguration of the Governor Buni ‘s Caretaker Committee to bring some calmness into the party.
They listed Senators Adeniyi and Ojudu, Bimbo Daramola, Oyetunde Ojo, Bunmi Ogunleye, Ben Oguntuase, Dele Afolabi and Diran Fadipe as among those that had either been “unjustly” suspended or at various stages of suspension in their wards.
They said: “This gratifying development has informed the need to bring to the attention of the newly constituted committee our concerns about the unfortunate drift of our party in Ekiti State. Prior to now, we had communicated the situation effusively to the dissolved NWC.
“As this new body sets about resetting the future of our party, it has become imperative to acquaint the leadership with developments in Ekiti State. The time has come to bring to the fore the developments in the state and the political realities in our party”.
The leaders said that the victory they recorded in the Ekiti 2018 governorship election was not solely through the governor’s efforts, rather by all party members who worked so hard to secure the feat.
They advocated the dissolution of the APC state executives across all strata, saying their lists were allegedly compiled through undemocratic means by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo and Governor Fayemi.
“This travesty was committed deliberately to completely ostracise people from the party activities and today that is what has become the rule and not the exemption.
“In almost two years, the party had not convened any political meeting of stakeholders, no new membership drive, no political activity whatsoever to rev up and consolidate the place and presence of the party in the state since inception of this administration to date. Instead of growth, the membership of the party is dwindling by the day.
“Today, any member who expresses a contrary view is seen as a dissident that must be harassed and intimidated, notwithstanding the status, stature, profile, reputation and above all contributions of such person.
“The state, local government and ward executives, who see the governor as their benefactors capitulate under such threats of removal and denial of patronage to carry out the marching orders to suspend party members without recourse to constitution, just to please their masters, except in Senator Babafemi Ojudu’s ward where the chairman stood his ground not to oblige such a perfidious request.” they added.
In a swift reaction, the ruling APC state Publicity Secretary, Mr. Ade Ajayi, urged the aggrieved members to re-examine themselves, saying Fayemi was not meddling in the party’s operations.