There is a mild drama in Osogbo on Tuesday, February 4, when the All Progressives Congress, APC, members from Ekiti State stormed the Party Secretariat, disrupting the southwest caucus meeting.
It was gathered the report that the protesters who were demanding for the slot of the national deputy chairman south to be a zone to Ekiti State.
The southwest leadership of the party held a closed-door meeting in Osogbo allegedly to fill the vacant seats in the National Executive Council of the party from the region.
The vacant position of National Deputy Chairman (South) of the All Progressives Congress occupied by Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo had been vacant following his appointment as Minister of Trade and Investment by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
The protester who was chanting solidarity songs were armed with placards with several inscriptions such as; “No more Ajele politics”, “Fair is fair don’t cheat us”, “Don’t take us fools”, “Beware of those things that can tear us apart”, “Ekiti APC is not second class Ekiti”, “Party constitution is superior to personal sentiments”, “It is deputy chairman or nothing”, and others.
The protest was led by a member of Ekiti state house of assembly representing Ikole Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye forced their way into the secretariat thereby forcing the leaders to end the meeting.
Hon Aribasoye addressing the southwest caucus leadership, said, “The reason for our protest is for equity and justice. The position of the national deputy chairman APC south became vacant upon the appointment of Niyi Adebayo who is now a minister. By the precedent convention and constitution of our party, the state which produces the seat that is vacant is to select another person to replace.
He furthered, In Lagos state, Muiz Banire as the Chairman of Assets Management Company of Nigeria and was replaced by Babatunde Ogala which is also from Lagos. Like in Kwara State, Lai Mohammed was appointed Minister Professor Bolaji Abdullahi replaced him. We have the same in River State, in the case of Oji Ngofa.
“There is a zoning arrangement within our party, whereby the national chairman was zone to Edo State in South-south then the deputy national chairman, the south was zone to Southwest and Ekiti.”
“Now that the position is vacant it beckons on the southwest caucus ask for nomination from Ekiti state, not any other place. But what we heard they want to choose a replacement from Oyo State.”
“Ekiti State is not an appendage of any other state. We are against cheating. What belongs to us must not be taken away. The position of the National Deputy Chairman (South) of the APC should be zone back to Ekiti. We believe in a course and we are resolute. We are resisting modern-day Ajele.”
However, the National Vice chairman (Southwest) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Bankole Oluwajana responding to the protesters implored them to be calm.
He said, “We have heard what you have said, and we will make it known to the leadership of the party.
“Before your arrival, the deputy governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, was here to submit a four-page letter to us. God will help us sort it,” he ended.