The Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, on Sunday stated that he was not the only one seeking elective position in Oyo state without participating in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
In a statement titled “This time would pass”, Shittu said he has appealed his disqualification from the Oyo State governorship race by the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He also warned that the decision to disqualify him could affect the lot of the APC in Oyo state.
The primary election of the party is currently holding in Ibadan without Shittu and Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala who on Saturday announced his plan to boycott the exercise.
The party insisted that the APC made the wrong move in disqualifying him, stressing that the requirements for contesting as governor are clearly stated in the Nigerian constitution. He urged the party to reverse itself to prevent an alleged imminent collapse of APC in the state.
He accused the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and his supporters, of being the masterminds behind the disqualification.
The statement reads: “It is no longer news that I, Barrister Adebayo Shittu was purportedly disqualified from participating in Sunday’s governorship primary of our great party, the All Progressives Congress, APC in Oyo State on the baseless allegation of not possessing NYSC certificate.
“Although, I also received the news, like any other person, with shock and disbelief having successfully gone through the screening process by the Party’s Gubernatorial Screening Committee. The intent of the cowards behind the saga is becoming clearer by the day.
“May I appeal to supporters and well wishers across Oyo State and beyond – many of whom have bombarded my mobile lines with calls and text messages – to remain calm and be loyal to our great party as we resolve the issue politically.
“Let me assure you that the All Progressives Congress which I took part in writing its constitution, is a party built on the rule of law, justice and fairness. This I believe the NWC would uphold at all times.
“On the issue of NYSC, I had made my position known and there’s no need to repeat myself but I wish to further add that the position of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) is unambiguous on the qualification for participating in governorship election.
“ I want to believe that the NWC was wrongly advised to disqualify me. I do not want to agree that a script is being acted, if at all, it is poorly written.
“On this note, I have forwarded an appeal for the NWC to review and reconsider the decision not to clear me. It is my prayer and hope that this appeal process would afford our leaders the rare opportunity to salvage our party from the potentially destructive precipice into which APC in Oyo State is being pushed by the political shenanigans of Governor Abiola Ajimobi and his cohorts, many of whom have also never served in the NYSC scheme but are also seeking new elective positions.
“I, once again, seek your understanding, calmness and loyalty to the party.”