Continued from Part 1
he first in the series of my eight letters published last week treated the way the non conduct of local government elections affected APC during the last election in Ekiti, the way it is likely to affect us in Oyo state and recommended solutions to solving the problem. This second part will treat the way fractionization and fractionalization of the party affected Ekiti state, how it may affect us in Oyo and recommended solutions.
Except for the followers of Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, factional politics was not well pronounced in Ekiti as it is in Oyo state. SENACO, the acronym for Senator Abiola Ajimobi Campaign Organization was more popular than some political parties in Oyo state. Immediately after your success at the poll, it grew to become a virus eating every party of defunct AC N and now APC. Apart from this, it became very powerful with the patronage of the government giving juicy ministries, commissions, board headships and contracts to the members. If the exit of Hon. Bamidele destroyed Ekiti APC by 20% during the last election, SENACO must have destroyed Oyo state APC by 70%.
Nothing has destroyed the foundation of Oyo state APC more than your refusal to manage the success of the party properly by allowing young elements in the party who worked for your success at the last election to defect to Labour Party (LP) in a manner much more bigger than Bamidele's defection in Ekiti. Young, energetic, popular, resourceful and pragmatic tusks like": Hon. Nuru Akinyo, Alhaji Sarafa Alli, Hon. Peter Odetomi, Hon. Lowo Adebiyi, Hon. Kazeem Adedeji, Hon. Yemi Aderibigbe, Hon. Caleb Oyaniyi, Hon. Pegba Adegbenjo, Hon Bayo Olagbenro, Hon Gbenga Olayemi, Hon Gbenga Oyekola and a lot of others defected to APC earlier this year. Just like Fayemi refused to make peace with Bamidele, all these respected politicians across the seven zones of the states have been ignored by you. Yet, they are the ones who made your election possible in 2011. As at the time of writing this letter to you, LP has at least two notable and credible members in each of the 33 local governments in Oyo state each of whom is competent of delivering the council for them.
Your Excellency, you will scream in total disbelieve if you know the names and number of your serving commissioners, special advisers, special assistants and parliamentarians (state and federal) currently funding LP and ACCORD parties in Oyo state silently. Without taking necessary measures on time, the situation will explode above your imagination by September/ October. The recent meeting between opposition and APC legislators in the state is not ordinary. Apart from this, the decision of the state house of assembly to adjourn seating to August 28 while the tenure of caretaker chairmen expires in August 7 is a poison which you can either swallow or distance your administration from.
More devastating to Oyo state APC is the exit of the two senators of the party to other political parties. At the time of conducting the governorship election of Ekiti in June, none of the senators produced by the former AC N defected to any other party. The three of them namely, Olubunmi Adetunmbi (Ekiti North), Anthony Adeniyi (Ekiti South) and Babafemi Ojudu (Ekiti Central) participated actively in the election and campaigned massively for the gentleman to the core, Govr. Kayode Fayemi. However the two Senators produced by Oyo state APC, Sen. Olufemi Lanlehin (Oyo South) and Sen. Ayo Adeseun (Oyo Central) have defected to the Accord Party and PDP respectively. This is a replay of the scenario during the second term bid of Late Lam Adesina.
The well respected Lam lost partially because two out of the three senators produced by the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD) defected out of the party, Sen. Peter Adeyemo ( Oyo South) and Sen. Lekan Balogun ( Oyo Central). At the time of the 2003 election, the party was left with only one Senator, Brimmo Yemi Yussuff of Oyo North Senatorial district. Now that we have lost our two senators, and we don't have any to support in the coming election, is history repeating itself? It will be a big joke for any governor or political party to trivialize the exit and decampment of Senators from ruling parties. They are institutions on their own. They have followers, supporters and voters that will surly follow them out of the party.
Your Excellency, Similar to the above is the fact that our defunct AC N won the last governorship election for you with the lowest margin in Nigeria. Among all the 26 states where governorship election was conducted in 2011, Oyo is the only state where we managed to win narrowly. In Lagos, Fashola had a difference of over 1.2 Million votes against Musiliu Obanikoro of PDP. Govr Ibikunle Amosun defeated Gen Olurin of PDP with over 190,000 votes. But in Oyo state the margin was merely 33,000 votes. This 33,000 is far below the difference between some elected senators and the first runner-ups in their constituencies. As a reminder, Oyo state AC N vote was 420,167, PDP 386, 480, ACCORD 275,151. In my conservative estimate, our party must have lost a quarter of these votes as a result of the senator's exit and another 30% with the exit of the young elements now in LP.
Most analysts of Ekiti gubernatorial election result are naοve to say the LP where Opeyemi Bamidele defected to do not have a good show. There is no gain saying Bamidele and his LP played a spoiler's role for APC. We should look beyond the 18, 135 votes scored by LP. A sizeable portion of the 203,090 votes scored by PDP are the votes sold out by Bamidele and his co defectors in LP. Are we going to allow this to happen in Oyo state?
I should also remind you of your common statement that a rainbow coalition of about 13 political parties, groups and religious bodies contributed actively to bring you to government. I will like to remind you that six of the groups that made the rainbow coalition are either out of the party or marking time to defect. What will remain in the party and can we re-galvanized to prepare for February 2015?
As bad as the situation above is, there is no problem without solution and our predicament above is not beyond redemption. Efforts should be made to reconcile the governor with the defecting Senators and members who have defected to the LP. This time around, reconciliation and negotiation should be done by young men of integrity across the 7 zones of the state. Young men like them can approach them more easily than the leaders of the party who are currently having the governor's ear.
To be continued