By Akeem Abas
A group, Progressives Democrat Front (PDF), has called on Chief Akin Oke, the Oyo State Caretaker Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to release the results of July 31 Ward Congresses in the state.
This is contained in a statement signed by the group’s acting State Coordinator, Mr Michael Adeagbo, on Sunday in Ibadan.
The adeagbo-led group urged Oke to release the names as contained in the copies submitted to him for the National Secretariat of APC to do the needful within the next 48 hours.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PDF’s warning came barely a few days after similar groups in the party raised an alarm over the allegation of manipulation.
Gov. Mai Mala Buni-led APC National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) had announced a seven-man ward congress committee for the Oyo State led by Alhaji Gambo Lawan.
Adeagbo said that it was highly necessary for the CECPC under Buni not to allow a clique within the party to have their ways of discrediting a hitch-free exercise.
He said that the clique should not be allowed to upturn the success recorded so far in Oyo APC, saying “anything to the contrary would be tantamount to playing with naked fire”.
Adeagbo said, “some forces and influential members are behind the alleged manipulation of the ward congress results.”
He then urged the state and national leadership of the party not to allow such “dastardly act or risk the consequences of their actions”.
The group’s acting coordinator alleged that the forces were bent on replacing the names of elected party officials in most of the 351 Wards across the state with those that belong to their camp.
He said that the state caretaker committee chairman “erred by putting too much trust in the Gambo Lawan-led Committee deployed for the Ward Congress”.
According to him, the committee ought to have announced all the names of new Ward Executive Committee members in Ibadan before their departure.
“We have it on good authority that the Lawan-led committee was later compromised by a clique of undemocratic forces which made them to head for Lagos, instead of Abuja, after the conduct of the congress.
“It was in Lagos that they allegedly carried out their nefarious activities as most of the original lists were tampered with in favour of some desperate political players and their sympathisers,” he said.
Adeagbo then urged the Lawan-led committee to have a rethink and reverse whatever form of manipulation they might have done to the original lists submitted to them by the 33 local government electoral officers.
“We are progressives in APC and we are using this opportunity to inform all gubernatorial aspirants jostling for our party ticket ahead of 2023 to thread softly.
“Majority of Oyo APC members are poised to resist any attempt by any individual or clique to hijack the party, no matter how rich or powerful such individual or group of individuals are,” he said.
Adeagbo said that all the group wanted from everyone was to play the game according to the laid down rules and without violating democratic the principles as well as ethos.
“However, we still maintain our vote of confidence in Chief Akin Oke and we urge him to be mindful of all bad eggs who might want to mount undue pressure on him to act wrongfully.
“We wish he hand over the mantle of leadership of our party to another progressive, honest and courageous mind who would not destroy the good legacy he has been able to produce for himself,” the group said.
When contacted, Oke described the allegations from various groups as “mere speculative”, calling on all to remain calm.
He said results of the congress would be officially made available, adding the list with him can’t be regarded as official. (NAN)