A group within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in Oyo State, Itesiwaju Oyo, on Monday berated Governor Abiola Ajimobi of the state for urging members-elect from the state to support Hon. Hakeem Femi Gbajabiamila as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Itesiwaju Oyo in a statement made available to Newsmen, described the move by Ajimobi, urging the members-elect from the state to support Gbajabiamila instead of other lawmakers from the state whom the group argued that, are also qualified for the position, as “unfortunate”.
Ajimobi, had at the weekend held a meeting with some members-elect from the state where he urged them to support the candidature of Gbajabiamila for the Speaker of the 9th Assembly.
Ajimobim while meeting the newly-elected members among whom were: Hon. Akeem Adeyemi (Atiba/Afijio/Oyo East/Oyo West) Hon. Akin Alabi (Egbeda/Ona Ara) and Hon. Olu Akintola (Akinyele/Lagelu), Hon. Tolu Akande-Sadipe (Oluyole) and Hon. Musliudeen Olaide Akinremi (Ibadan North), on Sunday in Ibadan, the state capital urged them to abide by the party’s decision on the choice of the leadership position.
He advised them to toe party line by following the decision reached by the leadership of the party in determining the leadership of the 9th Assembly and to support Gbajabiamila’s aspiration as the next Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives.
Akeem Adeyemi, who was elected for the third term to represent Atiba/Afijio/Oyo East/Oyo West confirmed that Ajimobi met the lawmakers where they assured the governor of their loyalty and determination to support Gbajabiamila.
Adeyemi said, “The nine members-elect appreciated the Governor for providing a sound leadership and positive direction for the party, and; however, promised the Governor their full cooperation, after each member had spoken in acceptance of the Governor’s endorsement of the House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila.”
But in a swift reaction, the group under the aegis of Itesiwaju Oyo, said the governor’s directive is not only a bad decision but a further demonstration of his disdain for the growth of internal democracy in the party and the state.
The group made their position known in a statement signed by its coordinator, Adetunji Yaqub and Secretary, Oluseyi Michael, copies of which were made available to journalists in Ibadan.
The group said, “It is quite absurd that Mr. Governor who should be spearheading how Oyo state will produce the speaker 9th Assembly house of Rep speaker which has been zoned to south west by the party is the one mobilizing for candidates of other state when the state has ranking lawmakers that are qualified to be speaker.
“Oyo state has three high ranking lawmakers including Hon Olajide Olatubosun from Saki, Hon Akeem Adeyemi from Oyo and Hon Segun Dokun Odebunmi from Surulere who has also been enjoying maximum support from lawmakers and stakeholders from other states to be speaker”.