By Kunle Somorin

What is equally not in doubt is that many powerful elements in the party do not like to play by the rules. They are sacred cows. Their access to power intoxicates them so much that they believe a walk on the corridors of power exonerates them from reprimand.

Kunle Somorin writes that with the recent conclusion of the state congress of the All Progressives Congress in Ogun State, it may be the end of the road to the political career of the former governor of the state, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.

On Saturday, October 16, the All Progressives Congress (APC) state congresses were held across the country. The exercise, which culminated in the election of state executive committees of the party, was largely peaceful and orderly. In Ogun State, party loyalists converged on the MKO Abiola Stadium, approved venue of the state’s APC congress as early as 7:00 am to participate in the crucial internal democratic process.

At the end of the congress, 1,730 delegates from the 236 wards cutting across the 20 local governments, in a consensus arrangement via voice affirmation, unanimously elected Chief Yemi Sanusi as chairman under the supervision of a seven–member organising committee led by Hon. Wale Ohu. Sanusi and other members of the Ogun State APC exco were sworn-in to direct the affairs of the party in the state for the next four years.

However, while members of the party were savouring the success of the congress at the venue, a strange phrase started to filter in from the Ake Palace arcade. Party loyalists were hearing about a “parallel congress” being held in the most mischievous way by a bunch of delusional party misfits led by, of course, a black sheep of the APC who genuine party members are grossly disillusioned with.

The scenario at Ake Palace ground, the official seat of the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Aremu Gbadebo, was horrifying, chaotic and violent. Congregants resorted to a free-for-all, caution was thrown into the wind and gun shots became a tool for political engineering. Insiders said while majority of them preferred to be at the MKO Abiola Stadium where the state congress of the APC approved by the National Extraordinary Convention/Caretaker Committee of the party was being held, the other fraction insisted on the fake congress that they could get ratified by their henchmen in Abuja or at least a situation that could help them to negotiate for a 40-60 per cent with the mainstream.

Following the pandemonium, the primordial base of the Egba people was desecrated by miscreants. According to the State Commissioner of Police Lanre Bankole, on that day, “While men of SWAT team were patrolling round the town to monitor party congress going on, an unregistered Hilux vehicle was sighted with some people whose looks were suspicious inside it. The occupants of the vehicle, on sighting policemen, were trying to conceal something in the vehicle.

“The vehicle was subsequently stopped, and properly searched. One English Berretta pistol with breach no PT 92 AFS with five live ammunition and one locally fabricated revolver were recovered in the vehicle. Arrested were Ibrahim Amoje, Yusuf Azeez, Olaide Sodiq, Adewale Ogundele, Femi Oke and Balogun Olawale.

Already the suspects have volunteered useful information and their sponsors. They would soon have their days in court, but one thing is empirically clear, APC did not designate Ake Palace as a venue of its congress in Ogun. Who authorised Ake and why was the evil plot not checkmated before dissidents unsheathed their swords and guns?

Working against the directive of both President Muhammad Buhari and the party leadership, under the caretaker chairmanship of Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, was also worrisome. And if APC will walk its talk, there should be no scared cows.

What is equally not in doubt is that many powerful elements in the party do not like to play by the rules. They are sacred cows. Their access to power intoxicates them so much that they believe a walk on the corridors of power exonerates them from reprimand.

It would be recalled that Ibikunle Amosun, a former Governor of the state, was suspended in 2019 by the party for working for the Allied People’s Movement (APM) candidate, Abdulkabir Adekunle Akinlade against the APC candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who eventually won, in the 2019 governorship election. The APC National Working Committee had noted “how the suspended members have continued to campaign openly for other parties and candidates that are unknown to our great party, even while they have constituted themselves to opposition to APC candidates in their respective states.”

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