Leaders from the progressive hew in Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa Federal Constituency, also known as Oke-Ogun Zone I, on Tuesday, boycotted a meeting called the Senator Femi Lanlehin-led Reconciliation Committee of the Oyo State All Progressives Congress (APC).
The meeting, which was scheduled for Okeho, in Kajola Local Government Area, as part of the ongoing tour of the 14 federal constituencies in the state to placate leaders who are aggrieved at the turn of events in APC, held in a near-chaotic atmosphere even as the expected leaders were conspicuously absent.
Some of the leaders who shunned the meeting included Alhaji Lekan Kazeem (leader, Iseyin LGA); Hon Adisa Adeniji (ex-chairman, Itesiwaju LGA); Hon Olabiyi Julius Oyekola ( ex-member, Federal House of Representatives); Alfa Osuolale Sikirulahi (party chairman); Adeyemo Akinrinade (former party secretary, Itesiwaju LGA); Chief Baleagbe Mustapha (party leader, Itesiwaju LGA); Mr Dejo Adebisi (party leader, Itesiwaju LGA); Hon Niyi Adeagbo(ex-chairman, Itesiwaju LGA); Hon Ipade Adeniji (former chairman, Itesiwaju LGA); PA George Adigun (party leader).
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Others included Pa Onaolapo Timothy Oladokun (party leader); Chief Goke Oyetunji; Chief Sola Ogunbode; Alhaji Salami Isiaka Olalekan (ex-chairman Kajola LGA); Alh Rasheed Wahab Ajulo; Alh Isiaka Salami (ex-former party Chairman Kajola LGA); Dr Sunday Ogungbenro (former chairman, Kajola LGA); Hon Ebun Popoola Solomon.; Hon Sola Oguntona; Hon Owolabi Banusomo and many more.
It was gathered that the chairman of the committee, Senator Lanlehin, lamented that the key progressive players in the Federal Constituency were not present at the meeting.
He was said to have assured the few APC members in attendance that he would find a way to reach out to the key leaders, declaring that their absence was an indication that they were still aggrieved with the party leadership.
Lanlehin sued for peace, stressing that the unity of Oyo APC lies in every member and leader staying on the same page with a viewing to returning the progressives to government in the state.
Reacting to Lanlehin’s peace homily, a former Deputy Chief Whip in the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Olaleru John Adebayo from Kajola LGA, said the reconciliation effort was too late, doubting if anything meaningful could be achieved by the committee.
Olaleru, who was a House of Reps aspirant in APC in the last primary election, reminded Lanlehin that since a group of people had hijacked the party and shared all the positions among themselves, it would be impossible for the majority that had been shut out to now work for the “Jagba people.”
He was quoted to have said that asking them to support the party’s candidates would amount to enjoining them to come and be slaves.
Just as he was about rounding off his speech, a handful of youths shouted that majority of APC leaders and members had joined Accord and asked Lanlehin not to bother himself about any reconciliation.
As the chairman and other members of the committee were trying to pacify the youths, their shout of Accord grew louder, creating a scene of disorderliness at the meeting.
The rowdiness continued for a long time before normalcy could return to the meeting with the youths insisting that they and their leaders are resolute to back candidates of Accord in next year’s elections.