The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC in Oyo State may still have to put its house in order as more indications of division emerges.
Recall that the party had some issues that came up in the run up to the 2019 general elections as a result of the primary elections. The fallout of that primary election still lingers as a top member of the party and Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu sued the APC over his disqualification.
Shittu has also accused the Governor of Oyo state, Abiola Ajimobi of foisting ‘weak’ executives on the state chapter of the APC. According to Daily Post, Shittu spoke at the weekend on a live radio programme on Ibadan-based Fresh FM, tagged South West Political Circuit. According to him, Ajimobi coerced the national leadership of the party into accepting incompetent politicians as Oyo APC state executives.
His words, “Let me recall, during the congresses in Oyo state, we had two congresses; two factions of our party held parallel congresses. The governor’s faction and the Unity Forum faction, which has members four times that of the governor’s faction.
“Our party leaders at the national level by force accepted those who are not qualified as party executives. Eventually, what happened started from there. We are in court challenging to know the legally recognised executives of the party. The Unity Forum will certainly ensure that justice is done in the area of party congresses. That is what we are challenging, the emergence of the current executives. They have to be true to themselves that but for Ajimobi, they will not be there. Governor Ajimobi did what he did so that he could use them. He foisted on the party the people who will continue to do his bidding.
“Clearly Ajimobi is a dictator, a betrayer; clearly everything you could think of. Now that he has gone, we have to rescue all of those people away from him. Our lawyer unjustly terminated the cases in court. I have instructed lawyers from my chambers to apply for the revisit of those cases and I have all the support of all members of the Unity Forum to do that. We are all waiting to collaborate in ensuring that we retrieve our party from predators. We will bring everybody on board, we will retrieve our party. We will start soonest by the grace of God,” he said.
Meanwhile, it will be recalled that Shittu had sued his party over the case of his disqualification by the party. According to TheCable, a federal high court in Ibadan has struck out the suit Adebayo Shittu, minister of communication, filed against the All Progressives Congress (APC) for disqualifying him from the Oyo state governorship race.
The APC had disqualified Shittu from the state’s governorship primary over his failure to partake in the one-year mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme. The minister therefore sued the party, seeking redress for being screened out of the primary election which held last year. Shittu had argued that the 1979 constitution, under which he first contested for a political post, did not make it mandatory for anyone seeking an elective position to present an NYSC certificate.
He had prayed the court to determine whether the ground for disqualifying him was lawful or a contravention of the constitution. But delivering judgement on Friday, P.I Ajoku, presiding judge, struck out the suit because Shittu did not file the case within the time stipulated by law. “I must first consider the provision of section 285 of the constitution that makes it mandatory for all pre-election matters to be filed within 14 days of occurrence,” she said.
“This particular case was not filed within 14 days, but outside the date. Therefore, I will not bother going into the merit of the case. Having failed to satisfy the dictates of the constitution, the matter is hereby, struck out.” Reacting to the matter, Adebayo Ojo, the defence counsel, said the law has taken it due course. “The judge acted by the 1999 constitution and it is a victory for democracy,” Ojo said.
The latest move by Shittu shows that all is not yet well in the ruling party in the state. Also, he may still proceed with the case of his disqualification by appealing the judgment of the High Court.