Excerpts from proceedings of the Ifaki meeting of the 32-member committee with Chief Olusegun Oni on the 16th September, 2018

A 32-member committee set up at Iyin Stakeholders Meeting was led by Chief Jide Awe to meet His Excellency, Chief Segun Oni and demand the withdraw of the court case between CSO and JKF

After the opening prayers, High Chief Jide Awe recounted the efforts earlier made by Chief Taiwo Olatunbosun and himself by visiting CSO and Dr. Kayode Fayemi on the court matter. He said he also met with Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo who promised to organise a meeting with the concerned parties.

Chief Awe stated that the position of the party was that the case be withdrawn from court.
The Director General of AtunseEkiti Movement , Hon. Dr. Ife Arowosoge, who moderated the meeting suggested the need for leaders to be properly briefed of events that led to the court case before asking for its withdrawal. He therefore invited
Senator Tony Adeniyi to brief the House.
Sen. Adeniyi stated that some of the remote and immediate events that led to the court matter, are as follow:

a) That in spite of the pressures mounted on Chief Segun Oni (CSO) to move to another party after the primary election, CSO stood his ground of not leaving APC and also directed his followers to remain and continue to support the party in achieving success in the General Election of 14 July, 2018.

b) CSO went on air to congratulate the winner. He, in addition, addressed press conference and promised to support the candidate of the party in the election and this he resolutely executed with all his resources (financially and otherwise) during the campaign and processes that led to the success of the party.

c) When Ekiti APC leaders were invited to meet President Buhari in Abuja shortly after the primary election and towards preparation for the general election, none of the supporters of CSO, in the AtunseEkiti Movement including former NASS members was considered qualified to make the list of the Ekiti APC leaders to meet the president. Whereas, JKF went with about 12 members of his team to the AsoRock meeting .
Even the then APC State Chairman, Chief Jide Awe, was sidetracked because of his closeness to CSO. Chief Awe could only gain access to the venue after intervention of some leaders

d) When the National Campaign council for the Ekiti Governorship election was constituted and senators Adeniyi and Adetunmbi, who were supporters of CSO, were named as members, Otunba Niyi Adeniyi embarrassed them when they approached to greet him at the inauguration of the committee when they called him leader. But he openly disgraced them by denouncing them publicly that he was not their leader, which ostensibly means that they failed to read his body language in the matter of who should be the candidate of the party

e) As the general election was approaching, Otunba Niyi Adebayo invited CSO’s team to Abuja to meet with the SouthWest members of the NWC. It was requested in the meeting that the case be withdrawn so as not to create impediment for the pending election. The team promised on behalf of other members to cooperate with the party by working for the success of the party at the election (which they did) and that the case in court had stopped supporters of CSO from drifting away from the party. The promise of Otunba to facilitate a meeting between JKF and the team is yet to be fulfilled after more than two months of making such promise.

f) After the meeting of CSO team with Otunba, in what was to be seen or perceived as a first step towards reconciliation, JKF approached and persuaded CSO to return to his former position as the Deputy National Chairman (DNC). CSO insisted that if he, JKF meant what he said, he should move the good idea at the South West leaders’ meeting coming up shortly at Marina, Lagos, but instead of JKF coming to conclude what he started, JKF decided to absent himself from such an important meeting.
When senator Tony Adeniyi eventually decided to contest for the post of Deputy National Chairman (DNC) South from CSO’s camp, he was persuaded by eminent APC leaders from South West to step down for Otunba Niyi Adebayo, who had also entered the race. This, he did without hesitation by writing a letter of withdrawal which was read at the convention ground

g) As directed by the party at the National Level, every state was to compile 50 names of party leaders for Board appointments at the Federal level. All the 3 former Governors in Ekiti agreed with the list from Ekiti and the list was signed by Chief Jide Awe, the State Chairman. JKF facilitated the appointments of 38 members of the party all of who were from his camp and NONE from the CSO camp.Some of those appointed by JKF were not even among the agreed names on the list and they include his driver, blood relations and other aides .No single Muslim member among the 38 he favoured, the only person who, by marriage, is a Muslim, Hon. Mrs Bunni Oriniowo had her name removed despite the fact that Mr. President had approved it, and she only discovered this during the inauguration of her Board. Why was her name deleted? Of course, because she was supporting CSO

h) CSO’’s group were again invited and met with Ekiti party Elders under the leadership of Chief George Akosile at Igbara Odo after the general election on 31st of May. CSO’’s representatives painstakingly narrated all the ordeals and politics of exclusion the group had been facing within the party. The elders promised to reach out to JKF and information had it that a letter was written to JKF regarding the outcome of the meeting but there was no response from JKF.
It was therefore surprising to note that the same elders who promised to reach back to CSO people after seeing JKF did not do so, instead, they went to the press, asking Segun Oni to withdraw the case from the court without any further discussion.

i) While the group had explained and complained the above to Otunba Adebayo, he only replied that the case in court should be withdrawn also without first meeting to negotiate. The party is aware that those who came in newly from their party to APC, and those who scored much lower votes in the primary election than CSO have been compensated whereas CSO who came second in the election with 481 votes is being rubbished

j) For the first time in the political history of Ekiti, aspirants to the House of Assembly were been coerced that only 26 forms are available for the 26 seats in the State House of Assembly. And this means, the forms were meant for the selected JKF ‘’anointed candidates’. All those from CSO group , some of who had paid for nomination forms were deprived of the forms. It is laughable that only those who received text messages (alert) were were given the green light to obtain nomination forms.

k) The party structures were recently constituted in Ekiti State without any recourse to or consideration for the CSO’s supporters . It was a fact that the state exco was inaugurated at Iyin home of Otunba Niyi Adebayo without any state Congress . In a calculated manner, CSO’’s supporters have been systematically and totally removed and annihilated from the party hierarchy in spite of the CSO’s support during the APC governorship election with all the resources at his disposal. Senator Adeniyi sighted the examples from his ward where he could not be considered relevant in the picking his ward officers even as a former Senator in the same party. Every leader in Segun Oni’s group identified with this example.
l) Of recent, some people had been threatening the life of CSO and the consensus arraignment on his ward exco was disrupted by supporters of JKF in the presence of Deputy Governor -elect, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi. Currently, threats are on that CSO and his supporters would be expelled from APC for seeking to resolve issues in the most civilized and constitutionally recognized means.

m) CSO supporters had systematically mobilised support and campaigned vigorously for APC for over two years, before JKF came within one month to the primary election with all the instrumentalities of government office and now expecting the CSO’’s supporters to go into oblivion.

n) The provisions of the constitution and guidelines of our party APC, which expressly state that public officers aspiring for public office must resign from office at least 30 days before the primary election. If JKF did not fulfill the provisions of the constitution and its guidelines, it the right of CSO, a fellow aspirant, to seek for redress in court in order to deepen our democracy.

In his contribution at the meeting, His Excellency, Engr. Segun Oni formally welcomed leaders to the meeting and informed them that his nature is such that he is naturally endowed with high pain threshold longer than normal as he doesn’t’ react quickly to negative events.

He said that on assumption of office as the Deputy National Chairman, he met a fragmented party on ground in Ekiti but he ensured through holding of several stakeholders meetings of all the factions to iron out differences so that everybody was able to come together as party should be built and not be put in disarray.
He maintained that people who did not even campaign for him or not being his supporters to be governor in the state were given appointments in his government irrespective of opposition by some people. This was in order to create a united front within the party.

CSO reaffirmed that his supporters are comprised of array of former NASS members, State Assembly members including principal officers, retired permanent secretaries, former political office holders and notable leaders of repute in Ekiti State and for anybody in his mind, feeling that he could marginalize and obliterate these people’s political career just like that, is merely wishful thinking.

He said, failure to do the right thing at the right time under the pretence of diplomacy is what had led APC to its present situation in Ekiti State.

CSO emphasized the need to always speak the truth at all times, he is convinced that his group has always been very loyal to the party and acted in good faith. He said he detested a situation where two grades of people are created in the same party and a segment referred to as slaves who should work without being compensated and that this portends great danger in the nearest future for the party in Ekiti.
He also mentioned that the party is presently not heading towards the right direction and it may affect the future performance of APC in Ekiti State. He cited among others, the cases of some of his supporters in many of the Local Government Areas who have always been loyal and committed party members, but whose aspirations for State House of Assembly and other elective and party offices have been nullified, even after some of them had paid for nomination forms only because they belong to Segun Oni group.

Having sacrificed everything towards the stability, progress and success of the party and yet some people decided to rob off his legacy is just not feasible.

CSO reaffirmed all the narratives of Senator Tony Adeniyi. He advised APC against treating members as used and dumped in order to continually build a viral and strong party.
He counseled that there is need for all to quickly come together, brainstorm, look for solutions and way forward as everybody should be truthful and faithful in the development of Ekiti State and not just calling for the withdrawal of the case in court.

Chief Jide Awe profusely thanked and appreciated Chief Segun Oni for briefing them well of the causes of the issues on ground rather than merely focusing only on the effects.

Chief Ropo Adesanya, speaking on behalf of the 32-member committee thanked CSO and stated that they would go back and ruminate on the issues and later fix another meeting in order to sit at a round table towards resolving the issues raised as a family.

Dr Dare Ojo gave the vote of thanks after which the grace was said in unison.

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