ABEOKUTA – There seems to be uneasy calm in the camp of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abeokuta South local government area of Ogun state ahead of the July 24, 2021 local government elections in the state.
The disquiet in the broom camp may not be unconnected with the inability of the party’s chairmanship candidate in the council area to team up with other 10 aspirants who unilaterally accepted Mr. Omolaja Majekodunmi emergence as APC chairmanship candidate.
The aspirants were all compelled by the party supremacy to clear the way for Majekodunmi’s candidature.
Meanwhile, before the build up to the party’s primaries some aspirants, having suspected irregularities in the primaries process, declared their support for the incumbent Transition Committee Chairman of the local government, Hon. Ayodeji Michael Shomide as their consensus candidate.
They claimed that, rather than losing out to the moneybags who have allegedly hijacked the primaries in favour of their anointed candidate, they would rather support the incumbent to continue his excellent performance in the council area.
The development ignited controversy for over three weeks which necessitated the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun to interven in the crisis as the party leader in the state before the issue degenerated into another bloodshed as witnessed in Lagos.
The governor, according to an impeccable source, had instructed the candidate to be magnanimous in victory and reach out to other aspirants who lost out in primaries and work together as a team to achieve success at the polls during and after the local government elections.
The nine aspirants in their total submission to party’s supremacy and governor’s directive, publicly declared their support for Majekodunmi’s candidacy and formed a new group that will work for the governor’s second term re-election bid, tagged Dapo Abiodun Continuity Agenda (DACA).
While addressing the mammoth crowd and party loyalists at DACA launching penultimate week, the Transition Committee Chairman, Abeokuta South local government, Hon. Ayodeji Shomide on behalf of the aggrieved aspirants publicly announced their unwavering support for Majekodunmi before, during and after the election with a call to Majekodunmi and party leaders to reconcile the aggrieved aspirants.
However, Newsacross gathered that, rather for Majekodunmi and his team be magnanimous in victory, they are being vindictive and activated the winner takes all syndrome.
Speaking to newsacross Newspaper on telephone interview, one of the nine aspirants, Mr. Muiz Omitogun maintained that, despite their support and solidarity to the candidate and the party, there was no invitation from the party leaders in the local government nor the candidate himself.
Omitogun opined that, Majekodunmi’s group might be afraid of reconciliation due to their growing popularity among party members and that might weaken their structure.
He said, “Since politics is a game of number and we have the number, they fear that reconciling with us will weaken the status quo, which they will never allow to happen.
“They believed that reconciling with the aspirants will mean discussing about how other positions in the local government will be shared, which they are not ready to entertain. As I speak, all positions in the local government including: SLG, Supervisors, Special Advisers, Special Assistants, Consultants, etc have been shared among their children, who never contested nor spent a kobo, at the expense of those who spent millions of naira.
Another aspirant, Mr. Toyosi Enilolobo expressed bitterness on the scheming by Majekodunmi and his team.
Enilolobo said, “look Mr. Journalist, the truth needs to be told to ourselves and the party leaders.
‘We need to state the exact position of happenings in our local government, in order to prevent some leaders from feeding you with false information, which is their stock in trade’
“We are open and available for genuine and true reconciliation, devoid of deceit. we want to state that we have the numbers and this is making them uncomfortable. This is evident in the consolidation of the chairmanship aspirants and the launch of Dapo Abiodun Continuity Agenda (DACA) and also show support for their candidate that was picked.
“We are urging the Governor to carry out independent findings on our claims with a view to determining our strength in our local government.
“We are solidly and genuinely behind him, as we remain committed to his second term agenda. Despite their abracadabra, we have started work on the governor’s second term agenda.
However, indications emerged on Monday that, the flag off campaign of APC in the forthcoming local government election will commence on Thursday, July 8, 2021 at the party secretariat, Oke Ejigbo without reconciling all aggrieved groups which may spell doom for the party in the coming council elections.
There are also indications that some party leaders are acting contrary to the governor’s directive which stated that all parties must be reconciled before embarking on any programme. Obafemi Owode, Abeokuta North, Ifo, Sagamu, Ijebu North, Ipokia, Ado Odo-Ota, Odeda local governments have reconciled their aspirants, in line with the governor’s directive.
When contacted, the APC party chairman of Abeokuta south didn’t not confirm if the reconciliation has been done.
Also, APC Chairmanship candidate in the local government, Mr. Omolaja Majekodunmi did not pick our reporter’s calls nor reply to the text message sent to him.
As at the time of filing this reports, there are no indications that Abeokuta South local government leaders have reconciled the chairmanship aspirants before embarking on the campaign programme.
This might be a confirmation from a video that went viral from the party chairmanship candidate, Hon. Laja Majekodunmi, in which he claimed that the fight between him and the aspirants has just started.
With this unfolding scenario, the ruling party may loose the chairmanship seat to the oppositions.