The Unity Forum of the All Progressives Congress in Oyo State has denounced media reports that the party has selected Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala as Leader of the party in the state.
The Forum stated its position in a statement jointly signed by four of its leaders: Senator Soji Akanbi, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, Senator Ayoade Adeseun and Alhaji Adebayo Shittu.
The Unity Forum said the report did not correctly capture what happened at the meeting held at the residence of Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on September 20, 2020.
The Unity Forum contended that the peace meeting earlier held in Abuja was subverted when members of the SENACO/ADP/PDP axis of the APC flooded there with about 60 members contrary to the 15 representatives that the convener claimed had been invited.
The statement also corrected the claim that Alao-Akala was appointed the Leader of the party at the meeting.
It said: “The truth is that Governor Fayemi proposed the composition of an advisory council of elders with Otunba Akala as Chairman.
“When attempts were made by some contributors that Otunba Akala be made the Leader of the party in the state, this was vehemently opposed on two grounds: One, that the constitution of APC does not make a provision for a Leader.
“Second, that given the recent experience of the party with dictatorial leadership, the council of elders should provide collegiate advisory leadership for the party instead of creating another possible dictator.
“This position became the popular theme in subsequent contributions.
“The opinion was so overwhelming that in his closing remarks, Otunba Akala angrily rejected the offer to be Chairman of a council of elders.
“He said he was only ready to be Leader of the party.
“The meeting however went ahead to resolve that Akala be Chairman of the council while the two surviving former deputy governors in the party and Chairman of the party, Chief Akin Oke, be made automatic members of the council.
“They are to consult elders of the party in Oyo Central and Oyo South Senatorial zones to nominate three members each into the council.
“Efforts to elect the representatives at the meeting were resisted as there was no equal representation of stakeholders of the party at the meeting.
“At this point, it became evident why members of the SENACO/ADP/PDP axis flooded the meeting under the guise of being stakeholders of the APC.
“Besides, the meeting in Ibadan was on the directive of the National Reconciliation Committee of the APC.
“The outcome of the meeting is to be reported to the committee which will in turn report to the National Caretaker Committee of the party for final decision.
“What, then, is the basis of the premature announcements of unfounded outcomes if there has not been a grand plan to hijack the party for God knows reason?
“We call on members of the APC in Oyo State to discountenance the false claims on the peace initiative in the party.
“The cacophony of voices that has trailed the meeting is a confirmation that the Sunday meeting has worsened rather than help resolve the crisis in the APC in Oyo State.”