The Oyo State chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress is not the least comfortable with President Buhari’s ministerial choice from the state. As a result of this, the party has decided to pen an open letter to the president.
To: President Mohammadu Buhari,
Thr: Senator Abiola Ajimobi,
Executive Governor of Oyo State,
Marginalisation of Oyo State in Political Appointments
The State Central Working Committee (CWC) of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State met on 1st October, 2015 and resolved as follows:
(a) that President Muhammadu Buhari deserves commendation for beginning to lead the campaign for laying foundation for the desired change by Nigerians through his enviable leadership within a short period of time that his administration was inaugurated.
(b) that we pledge our unalloyed loyalty and support for the national leadership and all levels of our great party while at the same time appreciating the followership for their cooperation in repositioning our dear country.
(c) that we like to appreciate the fact that going by the 2015 presidential election results, Oyo State performed creditably in terms of contribution of votes to the overall success of our party. In ranking, Oyo State came first in the South-West with 528,620 votes, third position in the whole of the South and seventh in the whole federation. Similarly, we won all the three senatorial seats and twelve out of 14 House of Representatives seats too. This we considered not a mean feat.
(d) Surprisingly however, our performance has not been commensurately rewarded at the national level. For instance, Your Excellency, the current power matrix shows that the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives hails from Osun State while the recently appointed Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue is a Lagosian. Both in the Senate and the House of Representatives, no lawmaker from Oyo State heads any of the committees that had so far been constituted. In fact not even any of the visible party positions nationally despite the fact that Oyo State is the political capital of the South West.
(e) Your Excellency sir, the recent media reports of the ministerial nominee from Oyo State in person of Barrister Adebayo Shittu has further compounded our political challenges this is due to his unacceptability and rejection by the vast majority of our people. The grounds for his rejection are:
(i) He is not known to be a team player. Despite the fact that he and his cohorts were fully accommodated in the APC, he exhibited a cantankerous and an uncooperative attitude in his relationship with the party and its leadership, which was uncalled for. We can recall that our amiable Governor appointed his one time female running mate as a Senior Special Assistant (SSA) Political Matters till May 28, 2015. Also, the State Chairman of CPC as well as the State Secretary of ANPP was equally given commissionership slot in Oyo State. This is a further demonstration of the fact that the state APC does not believe in a winner-takes-all or zero sum kind of politics.
(ii) It is curious to note that Barrister Shittu refused bluntly to participate in all party activities including campaigns except on one occasion of the Presidential Rally in Ibadan. Till date he has refused to participate in party activities or feature in any government programmes at all levels.
(iii) To say that Barrister Shittu likes engaging in anti-party activities is a gross under-statement. We can recall that he had taken the party (APC) to court on three occasions in respect of party congresses and primaries despite all entreaties and reconciliatory efforts. He vowed to work against the party which he actually did. Despite the fact that all the legacy parties worked together. He is a destabilizing and factionalizing factor in the party.
(iv) We like to place it on record that during the 2015 presidential election, Barrister Shittu was a lone ranger and that our party did not feel his impact for once, while we have it on good authority that he worked for the opposition during the last governorship election in Oyo State. This may be the reason why opposition elements were jubilating when the news of his nomination filtered into the public; celebrating him for his brazen anti-party activities.
In view of the foregoing, we hereby urge you to reconsider his nomination in the overall interest of the party and its likely implication for future elections so that the good people of Oyo State are not made to believe that the party is compensating a quisling while you are an apostle of party supremacy.
Be that as it may, we respect our amiable President and equally appreciate the fact that he has the absolute right to appoint anybody he so desires as Minister, we, however, believe that the promise he made ab initio that we can express our reservations about whoever he chooses is exactly what we are doing with Barrister Shittu.
It is in view of the foregoing, that we appeal to your Excellency to consider our plight in the state with a view to ameliorating the situation, in the overall interest of the party, the state and the country in general. In the unlikely event that your Excellency insists on his candidature, we solicit that he is intimated of the reservations we have expressed.
Once again, we like to express our absolute loyalty and unflinching support not only to Mr. President but also to our great party.
With profound regards,
Chief Akin Oke (State Party Chairman) Hon. Mojeed Olaoya (State Secretary)