Dayo Johnson Akure
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo state is not fictionalised or in crisis over the membership registration and validation of its members ahead of the February 2, 2021 deadline.
Publicity Secretary of the party in the Akure North Local Government Area, Temitope Aluko said this against the disruption of its meeting by some angry youths in the council area.
Recall that the Commissioner for Works, Saka Yusuf Ogunleye, who is from the local government was attacked by some angry youths last week.
Aluko said that Ogunleye was not beaten but that the meeting which was attended by the party’s stakeholders from the council was disrupted while party leaders were chased away by the sponsored thugs.
According to him “the meeting was called to promote cohesion within the party in the council ahead of the membership registration and validation of the members of the party in the state.
“The meeting was convened at the instance of the Chairman of the party in the local government, Mr Joshua Eleti. It was meant to deliberate on the ways to sensitise our members in the wards to register on the 2nd February as directed by the National Secretariat.
“Every stakeholder including former and present political office holders were invited, including the Mr Saka Yusuf Ogunleye and these were the people attacked, chase away and humiliated and not Mr Saka Yusuf Ogunleye as erroneously reported.
“We were about commencing the meeting when some sponsored thugs stormed the hall, brandishing dangerous weapons, shouting and hitting the high table saying ‘everyone must go out of this hall, this meeting cannot hold, it is illegal.’
“The peace-loving members of our party left the hall and converged outside. Meanwhile, some of the women, who ran out and fell in the process out of fear sustained injuries.
“These miscreants joined us outside; this time threatening to deal with Mr Saka Yusuf Ogunleye.
“They were mentioning his name and accusing him of all sorts of things. But no finger or weapon was raised against him. He was not attacked in any way physically.
” The hoodlums ensured that we did not succeed in holding any discussion as they hurled stones over the roof of the house, where we gathered. This made the people scamper for safety.
“What happened was not attack on Mr Saka Ogunleye but on the party leaders by thugs, not the youths of Iju community as the commissioner is not the party chairman nor the convener of the meeting. Why he is being singled out for persecution beats our imagination?” Aluko explained.
He, however, maintained that the party is not fictionalised in the council and the state as presented by the media aide of Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, who hailed from the council.
Alasoadura media aide, Dayo Joe had described the meeting as an assembly of a faction of the party.
Dayo Joe said: “It was not an APC meeting. They only camouflaged under the umbrella of APC. This is because some other leaders whom they believe are not loyal to them were not invited to that meeting”
But Aluko maintained that the hoodlums were sponsored by Alasoadura and said “The problem is that Chief Alasoadura does not believe in the party structure. That is the truth. He has never once attended a party meeting nor recognise the party structure.
“The truth of the matter is that the minister harbour grudges against those who did not support him in his local government during the governorship primary in 2016 but voted the incumbent governor as the party candidate.
“He also holds them responsible for his failure to return to the senate in his local government in 2019.
“He wants to do everything to uproot his perceived opponents ahead of 2023 and 2025 when he would be 75 years of age.
“The party must be one united entity; there must be cohesion. 2023 is still far only God puts people in power. We must not hide under any ethnicity agenda for 2025 to destroy our party.
“APC Akure North will stand by the governor in his efforts to reposition the party and move the state forward. This is a democracy where the voice of the people must be heard not the voice of the oppressor.
He said that “The commissioner has no issue with the minister neither with any of the party leaders but things must be done properly. This is the position of the party in Akure North local government”