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OYO101: In Oyo APC, It Is Progressives Vs Conservatives | Muftau Gbadegesin

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The internal crisis rocking the state All Progressives Congress is expected to have subsided by now owing to the resolution made at the party’s National Secretariat penultimate week. That resolution was in the wake of controversy that greeted the purported state congress and the emergence of Isaac Omodewu as the chairman-elect.

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Since that disputed congress and the stakeholders meeting that followed, the party has found itself balkanized, polarized and factionalized. It has continue to wage internal war against itself thereby crippling its support base while stifling its relative political advantage. With each passing day comes another twists to the unfolding political drama.

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In its latest drama, former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala and Caretaker chairman of the party, Chief Akin Oke, both from Ogbomosho are the latest to exchange political fisticuffs. And if there is anything to go by according to media reports, it is the simple wrangling between the Progressively inclined politicians against conservatively informed political heavyweights. By account of their ideological posturing, former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala fits appropriately as the leader of the conservatives while Chief Akin Oke to the Progressives.

Right from Independence, Nigerian political space have always been divided into the ideological spectrum of progressive and conservative. For instance, the Northern People’s congress (NPC), under Sir Ahmadu Bello prides itself as a conservative party while Chief Awolowo’s Action Group enjoyed being brandished as a progressive party. Both NPC and AG are actually political parties grounded and wrought in sound ideologies. It is that ideological linens, like present day Democrat and Republican in America that made the legacies of their leaders and the parties enduring. The free education which made Western region the most educated in the country owes its success to AG policy under Chief Obafemi Awolowo, to cite just one example.

Both Democrat and Republican are divided along wide array of fundamental issues such as: tax, race, immigration. For instance, republican believe in low taxes, strong defense and traditional values while Democratic favors openness, multiple tax for the rich, bridging racial divides among others. It is no surprising that a Barrack Obama would emerge first black man to rule America under the Democratic party. In a way, issues that pitched both Democratic party and Republican against each are of course contentiously multidimensional, and they’ve successfully been able to tie their survival to the apron springs of those crucial issues.

In Nigeria case, ideology, since the start of 4th republic is more of mantra and slogan. While PDP loves to be seen as a party of the old order, one that gives power to the people, APC on the other hand is interested in projecting an image of anti-establishment, one that’s ready to turn the wheel, and change the look of things. With 16 years of PDP and APC’s six, the two are birds of the same feathers.

Back to Oyo state. In 2006, former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala took over the mantle of leadership from his impeached boss, Senator Rashidi Ladoja. For the next eleven months until he was sacked by the court, Chief Akala ruled the state under the PDP and by 2011 having clinched the party ticket went on to win election as the elected Governor of the state also under PDP. It is from PDP that his Political career hit the ground running and it is from PDP that he ruled the state once. But now, he is according to APC constitution, the leader of the All Progressives Congress in the state; meaning he ditched his old party for the new one.

Flurry of examples abound about how Nigerian politicians dumped their party for another. In Kogi for instance, there is Senators Smart Adeyemi and Dino Melaye. In Edo, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Governor Godwin Obaseki. There is Atiku Abubakar, Abubakar Bukola Saraki and a host of others swinging back and forth between PDP and APC. It is why Nigeria may not progress at a meteoric level with her crops of political jumpers. To average Nigerian politicians, party matter less as personal interest.

Oyo APC used to be divided along various lines. Prior to his death, former Governor Abiola Ajimobi watched over the division of the party into both SENACO and Unity forum. But unity forum itself was a mixture of different political interests with the LAMISTS being the notable of the groups. In his press briefing at the Party National Secretariat, former Communication Minister, Barrister Adebayo Shittu told journalists that the state APC is constituted by six strong groups. It is one out of these six groups, according to him that went ahead to foist its preferred candidate as the state chairman on others.

There is no one size fits all solution to the crisis rocking Oyo APC but there are ways each of the issues can be resolved. But first just as I admonished Oyo PDP, the Media war has to stop. People are tired of the antics and theatrics and politicking of politicians in the face of hunger and starvation. And even as we move closer to next election, the party that will win will be the party that was able to put it house in order. For s house divided against itself cannot stand.

OYO101, Muftau Gbadegesin’s opinion on issues affecting Oyo State, is published on Saturdays. He can be reached via muftaugbadegesin@gmail.com and 09065176850.


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