Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State has commenced the process to unite all factions and groups within the party.
The effort to close ranks started with a stakeholders meeting of the Ibadan axis of the party, which was held at the Civic Centre, Gate, Ibadan, on Wednesday.
Party leaders, stalwarts and supporters across the 11 local governments in Ibadan showed up to express their willingness to end factionalisation. They include Sen. Teslim Folarin; Hon. Tolu Akande-Sadipe who is representing Oluyole Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives; the governorship candidate of the party in the 2019 election, Chief Bayo Adelabu; former Minister of Special Duties, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja; former member, Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Bola Agbaje and the Chairman, Association of Local Government of Nigeria, Oyo State chapter, Prince Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye.
Others include the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the party, Chief Akin Oke and former governor of Oyo State, who is also the leader of the party, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, represented by Chief Wale Ohu. They all stressed the need to work together and build a stronger party ahead of the 2023 elections.
A 10-point communique issued at the end of the meeting, the APC members said that all factions should be collapsed to allow the unity of all members. They agreed that factionalisation would not help the party and any member in their ambition to defeat the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general elections.
“Conveners emphasized that the meeting was not at the instance of individual, group or bloc of aspirants or those seeking to hijack the party for selfish reasons. More so, efforts were made to reach out to all gladiators and prospective aspirants without any exception as they all pledged their support for the bold initiative.
“Conveners regretted the step taken by some faceless people to discredit the meeting through sponsored noise in the mass media which was aimed at discouraging genuine members/delegates from attending the meeting. However, stakeholders again appealed to those behind the futile call for boycott of the meeting to have a rethink and join others to rebuild Oyo APC if they were genuine in their claims as members of the party.
“Stakeholders at the meeting were, therefore, unanimous in their call for more commitment, team spirit and love for one another among party faithful as the 2023 general election beckons.
“At the meeting, it was reported that progressive elements from Ibarapa axis expressed their desire to be carried along in the efforts to reflect Ibadanland/Ibarapaland agenda for the APC.
“Stakeholders re-echoed the need for oneness and togetherness as this was considered very essential for the APC to bounce back and reclaim its lost glory and thus emerge stronger and more virile.
“Stakeholders welcomed briefing from the National Headquarters of the APC ahead of the forthcoming membership registration and revalidation exercise which they promised to accord all necessary support, to ensure that a good population of existing and new members are captured in the exercise,” a communique issued at the end of the meeting read in part.