By Rasaq Ibrahim, Ado-Ekiti
The internal crisis rocking the ruling All Progressive Congress in Ekiti took a new dimension on Friday as some statutory members of State Executive Committee
suspended Governor Kayode Fayemi over alleged anti-party activities.
According to the allegations brought against Fayemi, the SEC members said he worked against the APC candidate, Pastor Ize Iyamu and supported Godwin Obaseki, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party in the September 19 gubernatorial poll in Edo State.
The statutory members of the SEC also impose sanction on the party chairman, Paul Omotosho and other executives by suspending them, alleged that they were product of the list hurriedly compiled through undemocratic means by Fayemi.
The suspension came barely 24 hours after a faction of the party suspended a presidential aide, Senator Babafemi Ojudu and 10 others following the report of the Patrick Ajigbolamu-led eight-man disciplinary committee set up to probe allegations of anti-party activities levelled against them.
The decision suspending Fayemi and all the state Working Committee was made at an emergency meeting of the State Executive Committee of the party, which held 23rd September 2020.
The ruling APC has been wallowing in a fierce self-inflicted political storm for a long time. The crisis has inexplicably defied spirited attempts made to ensure that peace reigns with the party split into two factions; one camp is led by Governor Kayode Fayemi, while the other is led by Senator Ojudu.
The intense political battle may not be unconnected with a subtle but fierce struggle among its leading chieftains, for the control of the state ahead of the 2022 gubernatorial poll.
The SEC members, in a communique on Friday, alleged that Fayemi manipulated the congress that brought Omotoso and other members of the SWC into their respective offices, while also using his position to work against the party in some elections.
Acting on the alleged infractions, the statutory members of SEC said: “That Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the Executive Governor of Ekiti State is hereby suspended from the Party in view of his numerous anti-Party activities especially his role in the recent concluded governorship election in Edo State which is contrary to the provisions of Article 21 (A) (ii) of the APC Constitution.
Signatories to the communique include: Senator Tony Adeniyi, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, former House of Representatives members Bimbo Daramola, Hon Robinson Ajiboye, Hon Oyetunji Ojo, former Speaker Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Adewale Omirin and Hon. Femi Adeleye.
According to the communique titled: “Re: Dr. Fayemi Anti-party Activities”, Senator Adeniyi was appointed as the SEC acting chairman owing to what they described as the “absence of direction from the National Body” and was adjudged as “the only one thus capable to call the SEC meeting as duly required by the constitution”
It added that, “After painstakingly reviewing the activities of some members of the APC in Ekiti State, we the authentic members of the party in the State and members of SEC per Section 12.8 of the APC Constitution being duly constituted members of the National Convention of the Party, rose from its meeting of the 23rd September 2020 with some far-reaching resolutions.
“That Dr Fayemi, the Executive Governor of Ekiti State is hereby suspended from the Party in view of his numerous anti-party activities especially his role in the recently concluded governorship election in Edo State, which is contrary to the provisions of Article 21 (A) (ii) of the APC Constitution.
“For five days prior to the Edo elections Governor Fayemi hosted Mr Femi Fani- Kayode in the government house in Ado Ekiti. It was here they perfected the coup against our party in Edo State. This is same Fani-Kayode who daily abuses President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. We have evidence of celebration by his aides in Ekiti government house and on social media.
“We also recall his role in the gubernatorial election in Oyo State where he supported the PDP candidate to defeat the APC candidate. A second tranche of money he sent to Governor Makinde in the election was intercepted by soldiers.
“The Paul Omotosho led faction of the APC Executive in the state is hereby declared illegal and suspended from the party for failure to emerge in accordance with the Constitution of the Party.
“Senator Adeniyi, as a statutory member of the SEC going by our party’s constitution, was elected by all members attending as the Acting Chairman of the State Executive Committee in the absence of direction or directive from the National Body. He is as such the only one thus capable to call the SEC meeting as duly required by the constitution from henceforth.”
In his reaction to the suspension, Fayemi in a statement by his the Chief Press Secretary, Mr Yinka Oyebode, described it as a joke taken too far.
Fayemi said the APC is governed by laws, adding that members of the group cannot hide under their recent suspension to announce a dubious suspension they lack the locus to handle.
The statement reads, “While one would have dismissed their claims as another failed attempt to polarise the party in the state, it is also important to put it on record that the action of the group smacks of criminal impersonation as none of those who signed the purported suspension letter were executive members of the party at ward, Local government or state level.
“The action is but a joke taken too far as they never had such power they want to arrogate to themselves while they were members of the party, much less now that they have been suspended.
“Governor Fayemi however remains unperturbed by this antics of suspended members.
“Well-meaning members of the public as well as members of APC are urged to disregard the news of the purported suspension as it only exists in the imagination of members of the group.
“Dr Kayode Fayemi remains the indisputable leader of the APC in Ekiti State,” he said.
On his part, the APC Chairman, Omotoso, who reacted through the party’s Publicity Secretary, Ade Ajayi directed the signatories to deny the publication with immediate effect.
The statement said: “The attention of the Ekiti State APC SEC has been drawn to the publication which is in circulation in the social media titled, “ Dr. Kayode Fayemi Anti-Party Activities” purportedly signed by the following people: Senator Tony Adeniyi, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Senator Dayo Adeyeye,Congressman Bimbo Daramola, Hon. Robinson Ajiboye, Hon. Oye Ojo, Hon. Dr. Adewale Ominrin, Hon. Femi Adeleye.
“We hereby call for the confirmation or denial of the said publication by the purported signatories between now and the close of work today, September 25, 2020”.