The All Progressives Congress (APC) in South-west takes another dimension over the position of the National Vice-Chairman, as some party leaders are working hard to get the position for the former governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajumobi.
Some leaders also fitting that it would ensure that its nomination of Senator Gbenga Aluko from Ekiti State to fill the vacancy of Deputy National Chairman (South) is respected.
Recall that Ekiti APC chapter on Tuesday, had protested in Osogbo APC Zonal executive meeting that the National Vice Chairman should be a zone of Ekiti State
The vacant position of National Deputy Chairman (South) of the APC occupied by Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo from Ekiti State had been vacant following his appointment as Minister of Trade and Investment by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
The APC had at the weekend, held a meeting to decide on a candidate following a note from the national body of the party seeking its nomination of a suitable candidate for the office of the Deputy National Chairman (South).
In response, however, to the notification to fill the vacant position from the National Headquarters of the party, the chapter, in a letter, addressed to Pastor Bankole Oluwajana, National Vice-Chairman and Zonal Chairman, South West Caucus of the APC, titled: Re: Replacement of Deputy National Chairman (South) informed the party’s national leader that going by precedence, the state’s should be the one to occupy the office, which was earlier occupied by the current Minister of Trade and Industry, Otunba Niyi Adebayo.
The post of Deputy National Chairman was zoned to Ekiti State.
However, according to sources, a section of the party from the Southwest some party leaders from the region are working hard to get the position for the former governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajumobi.
They are also said to have secured the support of the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole. Incidentally, Oshimhole himself benefitted from the extant arrangement as he got into office to replace another Edo politician, Chief Odigie Oyegun.
‘’It is all about 2023,’’ the source said
‘’You know this is a powerful position. So, some politicians want to violate the rule so that they could install their own person in the position for personal benefits.’’
The source said although the APC Zonal executive meeting held on Tuesday in Osogbo should have been the place to announce the name of the new national official; this could not happen because of the disagreement.
The Ekiti chapter however successfully prevented what would have been a coronation of Ajimobi as the zone’s nominee for the office.
The Ekiti APC’s letter, signed by its Chairman, Paul Omotosho, reads:
‘’We present our compliments to the APC Zonal executive, meeting in Osogbo, Osun State, Tuesday, February 4, 2020.
‘’We write to inform the zonal caucus that the Ekiti State chapter of the party met in Ado Ekiti today, 2nd February 2020 to deliberate on the nomination of a suitable candidate for the office of the Deputy National Chairman (South) in response to the notification to fill the vacant position from the National Headquarters of the party.
‘’We are pleased to inform the South West Caucus of our decision to nominate Senator Daniel Gbenga Aluko to fill the vacancy of Deputy National Chairman(South). Our National Working Committee (NWC) represents a tremendous amount of talent, experience, and wisdom and we are convinced that Senator Aluko will be an invaluable addition to this important party organ.
‘’Senator Aluko is an extremely well regarded and experienced party loyalist. He is an entrepreneur, industrialist, and politician. He served as Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and in that capacity; he became a Principal Officer as the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate between 1999-2003.
‘’The Zonal executive may note that that the position of the Deputy National Chairman became vacant on the appointment of Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo from Ekiti State as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Otunba Adebayo served almost two years of four-year tenure as prescribed by the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress, 2014 (as amended).
‘’We wish to specifically draw the attention of the South West Caucus to the existing precedence on the replacement of members of NWC in previous instances where vacancies arose when the incumbent officeholders were unable to complete their tenure.
‘’It has been the practice of our party that where a vacancy occurs in NWC, it shall be filled on the recommendation of the State Executive Committee from where the vacancy arose.
“Members of the South West Caucus may recall that when the position of National Publicity Secretary became vacant on the appointment of Alhaji Lai Mohammed from Kwara State as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Party referred the matter to the North Central Zonal Caucus who then nominated Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi also from Kwara State as Mallam Abdulahi’s replacement.
“Even in the wake of the Party convention in 2018, the position was retained in Kwara State with the nomination of Lanre Issa-Oniru. Indeed, subsequent replacements of party officials with uncompleted terms have followed this sensible precedent.
‘’We humbly urge the South West Zone to affirm this precedent on the replacement of NWC members who are unable to complete their tenure, from the State where such vacancy occurred and to further support the nomination of Senator Gbenga Aluko as Deputy National Chairman (South).’’