The crisis rocking the leadership of the Alliance for Democracy(AD) in the South West deepened on Thursday when some of the party’s zonal executives distanced themselves from the activities of the South West leaders caucus.
The caucus had earlier in the week, announced that it has withdrawn support for the governorship candidate of the party in Oyo State, Hakeem Alao and adopted Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
But the zonal executives have come out to reaffirm Alao as the Oyo AD governorship candidate and distanced itself from what it described as the “unholy romance and criminal adoption” of another party’s candidate for the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
In a communique signed by the Zonal Chairman, Otunba Tayo Onayemi after the South West zonal meeting held on Thursday in Ibadan, the zonal leaders described the action of the South West leaders caucus that adopted Makinde, as illegal, null and avoid, and of no effect.
They declared that Alao remains the governorship candidate of the party in Oyo State, having been endorsed by all parties to the former dispute in the party, adding “consequently, it is anathema for a non-existent group to attempt disparage of his person and the ticket freely given as well as arrogating non-existent power to themselves”.
The zone affirmed the suspension of the Oyo State Caretaker Chairman of the party, Chief Akin Alamu and his group. It also declared that the South West leaders caucus does not exist in the party, adding that “what they are doing is aberration and a criminal twist of constitutional fact.”
According to the communique, “in the constitution of AD, there’s no mention of any caucus, let alone that of the South-West. The constitution in Article 8: 2(iii) establishes only the office of a National Vice-Chairman, who is also the Chairman of the zone- South-West. Also in Article 8: 2, B 3, the constitution also establishes only the office of the South-West Chairman.
“The general public is hereby informed that all actions by the so-called South-West leaders’ caucus is null and void and of no effect as South-West caucus is not known to the constitution of the party. Consequent upon this, the expulsion of Aremo Adeola Adepoju (Oyo), Gbenga Adesina (Lagos) and others is hereby nullified.
“In Article 16: 4 of AD, only the National Convention or National Executive Council (NEC) has the power to expel a member. It is unfortunate that for pecuniary reasons, disgruntled members of the party could put themselves together under a shed and feed the public with illegalities”
It added that “the endorsement of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate is anti-party activity, which is also criminal. The CUPP arrangement as mentioned in the said media report is a fraud, because, the body has already endorsed a candidate and the job of CUPP ends there at the national level”.
The AD in the South West zone declared that Mr. Akin Fasogbon, who is a member of the caucus “is not known to be an Afenifere member as well as Pastor Alamu. Therefore, they can’t be seen as speaking for Afenifere”.
The meeting was attended by Chairmen from three states in the zone, Prince Dayo Adeshina (Ogun); Chief Segun Akinropo (Oyo); Hon. Olapade Fakunle (Osun) and two of the National Officers of the party; Mrs Angela Nola (National Publicity Secretary) and Barr. Kehinde Aworele (National Legal Officer).