The senator representing Ondo North senatorial district, Ajayi Boroffice, on Thursday added a new dimension to the conflict within the Ondo State All Progressives Congress, APC, alleging that a letter appointing Ade Adetimehin as the acting chairman of the party was forged.
In a statement signed by his media adviser, Kayode Fakuyi, the senator said the national leadership of the party did not appoint any acting chairman for the Ondo State chapter of the party, and as a result, Isaac Kekemeke, remains the state chairman of the party.
A letter dated November 17, 2017 addressed to Mr. Adetimehin and signed by the National Secretary of APC, Mai Mala Buni, titled Appointment of Acting Chairman, conveyed the appointment by the National Chairman of the party, John Odigie-Oyegun, of Mr. Adetimehin, as the Acting Chairman of the party.
The letter reads: “I write to convey the approval of the National Chairman of your appointment as the Acting Chairman of our great party in Ondo State with immediate effect.
“You will act in this capacity pending the determination by the National Working Committee (NWC) on the report of the Fact-Finding Committee set up by the state Executive Committee (SEC) on the allegation of anti-party activity and other charges levelled against the state chairman.”
The letter was in spite of the fact that Mr. Adetimehin, who was the deputy chairman, has been acting as chairman of the party since August, when Mr. Kekemeke was controversially removed by members of the state executive committee.
But Mr. Boroffice insisted that the letter now made public by the APC leadership in the state supporting the appointment of Mr. Adetimehin did not emanate from the national secretariat of the party.
“A letter which purportedly appointed the deputy chairman of our party as the acting chairman has also been widely circulated on the social media,” he said.
“On the circulated letter which purportedly appointed the deputy chairman of our party as the acting chairman, the letter is fake.
“In fact, the content of the fake letter has no constitutional backing. It reads more like an ordinary note than a party communication seeking to confer authority on anyone.
“It should also be noted that the National Chairman of APC has no such powers to direct any party official to author such letter. Only the National Executive Committee of the party has the powers to sack the state party chairman and appoint acting chairman.
“It is on record that the NEC of our party has not considered the matter and the NEC has not taken any position on the matter. The letter is fake in its entirety.
“Barr. Isaac Kekemeke remains the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State. If there is any allegation against the state chairman, the allegation should be investigated.
“However, nobody, no matter how highly placed, would be allowed to address such allegation with corruption and impunity. Fouling constitutional provisions of our dear party with an agenda to derive personal gains and satisfy bloated ego is corruption.”
Mr. Boroffice also said he said he attended the meeting held on November 27, at the instance of Mr. Kekemeke, where far reaching decisions were taken regarding how to move the party forward and where a vote of confide was passed on the Kekemeke-led State Executive Committee of the party.
The senator said as a the coordinator of the National Committee of Buhari Support Groups, NCBSG, in the south west zone, he had unflinching support for the decision of the party leadership to encourage aggrieved party members to become more active in party activities and also woo members of other political parties in the state to join the APC, particularly in preparation for the 2019 election.
He said there was a plot to link him to another party in Ondo State barely a few days after the successful stakeholders’ meeting.
“The coordinated plot to link Senator Boroffice to another party is diversionary and the futile plot is destined for perdition,” the statement said.
“The senator remains a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State. He did not at any time resign his membership of the party. He did not at any moment move to another party.
“As a grassroots politician and one of the founding fathers of APC in Ondo State, if he has reasons to move to another party, such movement would attract state-wide rallies and political carnivals.
“Therefore, the citizenry is advised to disregard any false report suggesting the senator left the APC at any time. It is utterly untrue.”
The senator also noted that reported disciplinary committee-led by Omo’ba Abayomi Adesanya is unconstitutional, adding that the fact that the committee breached the rules of fair hearing, the inauguration and composition lacked legality.
According to him, the south west leadership of the APC has set up a committee to investigate the allegation raised against the state chairman of APC in Ondo State. “Until, the committee completes its work and submit its report to the National Executive Committee (NWC), any decision taken on the matter will be subjudice,” he added.
Reacting to Mr. Boroffice’s statement, the Publicity Secretary of the party, Abayomi Adesanya, denied that the letter was fake, urging Mr. Boroffice to confirm the letter at the national secretariat of the party.
“The senator is an Alliance for Democracy (AD) member in Ondo and APC in Abuja, he has no standing to dispute the letter,” Mr. Adesanya said.
“That letter is authentic and anybody who is in doubt can call the national secretariat of the party to confirm it.”