National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu has given his voice to the crisis in the Oyo State Chapter of the APC, calling on members of the group within the party called, Unity Forum, to bury the hatchet, forgive perceived shortcomings and cooperate with Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
Tinubu’s appeal, contained in a statement he personally signed, further urged aggrieved members to utilize the party’s appeal mechanisms, imbibe the spirit of giving and take, embrace compromise and shun personal differences capable of jeopardizing the fortunes of the party in forthcoming elections.
Apparently reacting to an open letter addressed to him by the Unity Forum, Tinubu urged aggrieved members to take a cue from his experience whereby some party decisions and actions went contrary to his position, yet he applied to the party’s appeal processes and structures for redress, rather than threaten to leave the APC.
Noting that he regarded members of the Unity Forum as part of the progressive family, he warned them against being swayed by “false voices” to breaking into a rival group which could endanger the democratic experience in Oyo State.
With regard to reservations about the ward and local government congress, Tinubu urged all members of the party to cooperate with the congress committee and the party hierarchy, close ranks and accepts results that emerge afterwards.
Especially, he said members must key into the greater purpose of the party hierarchy as taking precedence over individual ambition and transient personal differences.
Describing Ajimobi as a good man and leader, Tinubu said Ajimobi had demonstrated openness, commitment to the party in reaching out and ensuring inclusiveness evidenced by his welcoming into the APC of former Governor Adebayo Alao Akala, former Senator Teslim Folarin, former Secretary to the State Governor, Ayodele Adigun among other top politicians.
This is just as he affirmed confidence in the commitment of Chairman of Oyo APC, Chief Akin Oke to the party, describing him as eminently fair-minded.
The statement read in parts, “I have read the Open Letter addressed to me by an informal group named the All Progressives Congress Unity Forum and published in the May 12 Saturday Tribune. Some who signed the pen letter, I have known many years. While we may not be related by blood, we have become part of the same progressive, democratic family due to our collaborative political efforts to uplift the nation and the Southwest.
“I hereby appeal to their conscience and urge them against taking precipitous action. The APC is a democratic gathering where all have the right to voice their opinion and to seek elective office. However, democracy does not guarantee that you will always get what you want or obtain the office you seek. It can only guarantee you a fair opportunity but not your preferred outcome. There have been times when party decisions and actions went contrary to my position.
Yet, I did not threaten to leave the APC.
“Regarding any decisions I thought were wrongly derived, I applied to the party’s appeal processes and structures for redress. As I have done, I now ask you to do. If you feel aggrieved by a party decision, there are appeal mechanisms available to you. We established these processes so that members would have a chance to voice their grievances and have those complaints receive an adequate hearing.
“Thus, I ask that you adhere to the processes we set up to air and resolve internal grievances. Do not let false voices entice you to break into a rival group that would be dangerous to our democratic journey and the future of Oyo State.
Oyo State APC Chairman, Chief Akin Oke, is committed to the party and he is eminently fair-minded. I also believe the Ward and LG Congress Committee has been conducting itself with fairness toward all. I enjoin you to cooperate with the committee that it may discharge its assignment in a free and fair atmosphere.
“We must recognise there may be many good candidates for a particular office but only one person can win the party nomination for that office.
The party and its fair processes take precedence over individual ambition. This is why we must cooperate with the party hierarchy.
“I ask you to bury the hatchet and co-operate with Governor Abiola Ajimobi and forgive whatever shortcomings you may perceive. I know he has tried to reach out and be inclusive. I can attest that he is a good man and leader. To me, the Governor has demonstrated openness by welcoming into APC top politicians like former governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo AlaoAkala; former Senate Leader, Senator Teslim Folarin; former deputy governor of the state and ex-Nigerian Ambassador to Jordan, Chief Taofeek Arapaja; former Secretary to the State Government, Chief Ayodele Adigun, and the only federal lawmaker elected on the platform of PDP to the House” of Representatives, Honourable Segun Odebunmi, among others.
“We must also not forget the Governor’s outstanding efforts towards the transformation and development of Oyo State. Remember that the tenure of any one office-holder must conclude within an appointed time but the party shall always remain. Thus, we must not fixate on transient personal differences but must join together for a greater purpose.”
“Let us imbibe the spirit of give and take. Make the compromises and contributions needed to position the party that it can win elections, beginning with the presidential and governorship contests.”
“I also ask people to desist from using the names of party leaders like of our President, Muhammadu Buhari, and my humble self to advance positions of which we have no knowledge and to which we did not give our consent”