Former governor of Oyo State, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala has said the era of Impunity and disrespect for party supremacy in the Oyo State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) is over.
Alao-Akala, who is also the chairman, Oyo APC Elders Advisory Council, stated this while addressing party faithful and supporters who thronged his Bodija, Ibadan residence to demand for a fair and just process during the forthcoming state congress of the party scheduled to hold on the October 16, on Tuesday.
The former governor decried the level of impunity and disrespect for the constitution of the party, saying the leadership of the party will no longer tolerate distruptive tendencies whose stock in trade is to put the sanctity and constitution of the party to ridicule and disrepute at the slightest opportunity.
Alao-Akala said no matter how highly placed an individual is, the party is always supreme.
He said: “Anybody that calls him or herself a politician can never be a recognised politician without first belonging to a political party.That political party will serve as your identity.
“It is on the platform of that political party that you will ply your political trade.You can never use your surname to contest and win an election, so why can’t we abide by the rules guiding the party?
“Treating that platform that gave you a political leverage with disdain and disrespect will no longer be tolerated.The era of members of the party going on radio, granting newspaper interviews or going on social media to tarnish the hard earned image of the party has come to an end.
“Anybody caught in this web of impunity will be sanctioned appropriately as prescribed by the constitution of the party.There are rules of engagement and it will henceforth be followed to the latter.
“This coming state congress, you members of the party will decide who you want as your leads.
“The should know they cannot be the aspirant and at the same time be the one in charge of the party structure.You cannot eat your cake and have it.
“Anybody clamouring for the party structure is wasting his or her time.The party has returned to the people who are the members of the party.
“The people own the party not any leader or stakeholder, without you followers, we cannot exist as the leaders you call us.”
The former governor assured that the forthcoming state congress will be an open affair, adding that nobody’s ambition can supercede the interest of the party.
“I want to assure you that every local government will have a representative on the state executive.We have 36 positions in the state executive and we have 33 local government areas in Oyo State.
“It is a simple arithmetic, each local government will have a slot in the spirit of fairness and equity unlike in the past where some local governments had up to three representatives in the state exco while some had none.
“The era of some local governments being disenfranchised in the scheme of things is over.
“In the formation of this outgoing state executives, Oluyole Local Government for example has three representatives on the exco while Surulere Local Government has nothing, where is the fairness in that?
“Same thing for Ibadan South East, where they have the state secretary, P.R.O. and welfare officer
and Itesiwaju Local Government has nothing.Same thing in Ibadan North East Local Government with special leader and youth leader.
“These are the abnormalities we are out to correct in the formation of the new executives of the party and I can assure you we will achieve that; each local government will have at least a representative,” he said.
According to Alao-Akala, the party parades the finest brains capable of leading it to victory in 2023.
“Our membership is populated by an array of cerebral minds that are very capable of steering the ship of the party for us.
“We will not recycle old hands, rather, we will ensure that we bring on board a new set of team to steer the ship of the party for the next four years.
“Even the party primaries coming up next year, it will be an open contest by the grace of God.It will be thrown open to all.
“Those carrying rumours of zoning the governorship ticket are wasting their time.They will be in for a great shocker.
“I have said it often times and I will repeat it again, it will be an open contest, whoever the party chooses, we will support and we will win the election.
“It can be anybody from any zone of the state, whoever is interested in contesting for the governorship ticket of APC in Oyo State should be ready to work for it.It will not be tossed on anybody’s laps.
“That is where the practical aspect of politicking will come to play.Political theory is far different from practical politicking.
“A practical politician will always be in the field canvassing and mobilising for support, not making noise on the pages of newspapers and social media.
“APC as a party is a progressive-minded institution, hence, Oyo State will tow that line firmly.
“If the delegates at the party primaries decide to vote for a candidate from Ibarapa North as governorship candidate, so be it. That is who we will work with and ensure we win the election,” Alao-Akala declared.