GOVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi has said the elders’ council was formed only as an advisory body but not with the intent to hijack the structure of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
According to the Nigerian Tribune, Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu had in an interview last weekend decried that the constitution of an elders’ council was an attempt by Ajimobi to hijack the party.
Special Adviser to Governor Ajimobi on Communication and Strategy, while debunking the allegation on Monday, said the elders’ council was only a platform to tap into the wealth of wisdom of those elders and give them room to input in policy making and implementation.
He also affirmed that the party leadership was consulted and party members with required qualifications, skills, abilities and capacities to contribute were beneficiaries of recent appointments.
“The elders’ council is not a party organ because there are elders in the party. If the governor in his wisdom and in consultation with the party decide that to tap into the well of wisdom of the elders in the party is to have an advisory body. It is a forum where they share and come up with ideas for the government and the party, what is wrong with that?”
“This advisory body was put together by organs of the party at different levels. It is to give those critical stakeholders an opportunity for engagement. It is an opportunity for those outside the formal structure of the party to have an input in policy making and implementing. Can the elders’ council mutate into the party’s structure? Of course not.”
In the same vein, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo state has described as unfortunate the statement by Adebayo Shittu that Governor Abiola Ajimobi, through the setting up of elders’ council intends to hijack the state.
According to the Party Chairman in the State, Akin Oke said Ajimobi, through the setting up of elders’ council, only created a platform to coalesce progressive ideas of persons with wealth of experience.
“The elders’ council is only an advisory team. The governor or party is not bound to take their decision. A lot of elders had continued to say that they elders were not been considered but we said the party constitution does not make provision for such.
It is unfortunate that the Minister of Communications said the elders’ council was an attempt to hijack the party. The elders can never hijack the party. It was just a selection of some selected elders. It is a progressive idea,” Oke said.
On statement by Shittu that he was not carried along as a stakeholder in the Oyo APC, Oke said, “At his own level, he has a relationship with the governor. There has to be serious meetings to invite people at that level. If he gets to us at the party office, we are available. My understanding is that there is a cordial relationship between the Minister and the governor. I am surprised to hear that he said he is not been carried along by the party. As contained in the party’s constitution, any leader, no matter his clout, must associate himself at his ward, local government and senatorial meetings.”
Also, the Oke-Ogun youth wing of the APC in the state, through its leader, Salami Jimoh, has also berated Shittu over his comments on Governor Ajimobi.
The youths said that Ajimobi’s leadership of the APC in Oyo State was neither self imposed nor appointed, “but by virtue of the position of the party‘s organizational policy that where the party has a sitting Governor, and the sitting Governor automatically leads the party.”
“Since there is no division in the party, we want to uncompromisingly say that Mr. Governor has always consulted with the party leadership and considered majority of party members’ interests in all his appointments. Today, APC Oyo States operates a system that respects the sanctity of internal democracy,” Jimoh said.