Immediate past Deputy National Chairman (South) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Segun Oni, has given reasons for his action to challenge the candidacy of Dr Kayode Fayemi as standard bearer of APC for the July 14 Governorship Election in Ekiti, citing fear of annihilation of his group.
Oni had approached the court in Abuja seeking disqualification of Fayemi for ineligibility to participate in the APC Governorship Primaries, since Fayemi allegedly did not resign his position as Minister.
In a communique issued at end of meeting the leaders of Segun Oni Campaign Organisation (SOCO) in the 16 Local Government areas of the state, the group claimed that it had been abandoned by Fayemi’s camp.
In the released signed by the Director of SOCO, Dr Ife Arowosoge, the group said Fayemi and his team allegedly did not dim it fit to consult their principal on any critical matters in the party.
Part of the communique read: “After the May 12 gubernatorial primary election of our great party, the APC, our principal Chief Segun Oni, without any hesitation congratulated the declared winner, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi and immediately directed all members of his political family to work for the success of our party and its candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
“Our members obeyed this directive and switched into action immediately at the ward levels in strict obedience of our leader’s directive. Consequence upon the above, our group has since been making tremendous efforts at ensuring victory for our party and its candidate at the July 14, election.
“That to our greatest surprise, the John Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organization (JKFCO) has since from onset adopted the attitude of non-inclusiveness, ostracization, marginalization, and demonstration of open hatred for Segun Oni and his group. The insinuation for all these started before the primary, when it was reported that the main reason while Dr. Fayemi joined the race was to prevent a “stranger” like Segun Oni from taking over the APC. Their gospel belief is that Chief Segun Oni, the former Deputy National Chairman (South) for APC is a PDP member who is a stranger to the APC. Ridiculous as it sounds!
“That all efforts by Segun Oni and his group in all the 16 local governments’ area of Ekiti State to make Fayemi and his group treat us as one united political family has proved abortive. It has become more worrisome in that the Fayemi group has continued its acts of marginalization, maltreatment, harassment and intimidation of our members at our party rallies. For instance one of our member was recently seriously beaten and macheted at Ikole rally merely for being at the rally. This is part of the make-belief attitude from them that they can do it alone.
“It is instructive to know that Segun Oni group has the highest concentration of former political office holders in Ekiti State including Segun Oni himself; former Senators, former House of Representatives members, former Speakers, members of state House of Assemblies and other high ranking office holders, yet, they are not recognized by the Fayemi group. Now, they have taken the newly decamped PDP leader and his followers as a preferred and perfect substitute to Segun Oni and his group.
“We have it on good authority that all the incoming elective positions have been shared or allocated exclusively to the Fayemi group and the new PDP joiners without recourse to Segun Oni and his group.
“It is worrisome that the 15 member Apex Election Committee of JKFCO headed by Chief Alaba Abejide, is without a single place for any of the Segun Oni group members.
“Though we believe that it’s the prerogative of the candidate of the party to nominate his Deputy, we strongly and rightly feel that in the name of harmonious working relationship, Segun Oni and the leaders of his group should have had the right of discussion and agreement on the nomination of the Deputy Governorship candidate of the party.
“As our immediate reaction to all these stated anomalies, a meeting of the leaders of the Segun Oni Campaign Organization was held on 2nd day of June 2018 to discuss our fears and ways to mitigate them. The meeting unanimously agreed to a resolution that the Director General of the Campaign, Hon. Dr Ife Arowosoge was mandated to issue a release so that every stake-holder including our leaders at both the SouthWest and National levels of the party would have a clear opportunity of knowing our harrowing and tormenting experiences. Yet, the reactions from the JKFCO were nothing but abuses, other form of recriminations and further maltreatment of our leaders and members in all the local governments.
“That rather than seeing and treating Segun Oni and his group as partners in the quest for a resounding victory for our great party, APC in the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti, the JKFCO has been nursing the fleeting illusion that they could do it without the Segun Oni and his group who shall therefore be put in the cooler for the four-year tenure of Fayemi. Chief Segun Oni and his group at the state, local government and the ward levels, who have labored to rebuild and regenerate our party since the unfortunate defeat of 2014, and have moved across the mountains, plains and valleys of Ekitiland all these years, will not take their groaning alone any more.
“That it is not the Segun Oni group alone that is suffering marginalization and maltreatment in the hands of the candidate of our party but other leading contestants like Senators Babafemi Ojudu, Gbenga Aluko, Mr Kayode Ojo, etc., are almost in the same shoes with the Segun Oni and his group.”