Spokesman of the Lagos State All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon Seye Oladejo speaks on the crisis rocking the party.
Despite the issuance of certificate of return to elected state chairmen, the national headquarters seem to be silent about the inauguration, why?
There is no problem. We are just waiting for the necessary signal from the national headquarters for the inauguration of the state chapters.
Since certificates of return have been issued to state chairmen, the rest of it really is formality. You are aware that the reconciliation committee is rounding off with its assignment, so nothing is really pending. We are hoping that in the next few days, the inauguration will hold.
Has a date been fixed for the inauguration?
Not to my knowledge but we are expecting the national headquarters to fix a date for the inauguration any moment from now.
There are reports yet to be denied by the party leadership in Abuja that state excos and convention delegates would be excluded in the planned scaled back-convention? Has anything official been communicated to the Lagos chapter?
That remains in the realm of speculation. It’s mere speculation. There is nothing like that.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) both at the national and state levels seem to be drifting apart. An instance of this is Oyo state chapter where the state chairman, Omodewu inaugurated the state excos, the only chapter to do so nationwide. Do you foresee peace and genuine reconciliation before the convention?
The issues remain individual ambition. As you are aware, we are moving into the season of elections, so whoever feels his ambition will not be protected and supported tend to react in different ways.
But I am sure at the appropriate time, our people will be able to get their house together, settle their differences and approach the election with a common front.
With the exit of the Lagos4Lagos to PDP, the tendency you belong to in Lagos was affirmed the mainstream group
…(cuts in)There is no tendency in Lagos APC.
So, what about Oki’s faction?
You see in this business of politics, you must have pretenders and contenders. But they are not contenders because they exist only in their imaginations. Where are they?
If as you have said that Oki faction exists only in their imagination, what about the barrage of litigations instituted by Oki faction against the mainstream Lagos APC?
If they choose to go court, we equally have the right of defence. So, we will meet in court. If they abandon the mechanism the national body put in place for conflict resolution and they bring to the fore display of indiscipline as party members which show lack of commitment to the party ideals and principles, we will meet in court.
Why are Lagos APC leaders preaching peace but not walking and working the preachment in a way that could bring results that count?
I don’t know. Maybe you’ll give me instances of our party not walking its talk.
An example of this is Oki faction not being absorbed into the mainstream group?
Overtures have been made to virtually all the concerned parties and all the people who feel they have scores to settle with the party. So it’s for them to take advantage of this if they are truly committed to the party.
If they are not acting a script to disrupt the party from within, I think they should consider the reconciliatory moves made to them.
You witnessed how the Lagos4Lagos jump ship into the opposition party. But when I said they had an agenda, it looks like we were playing politics but eventually it was clear that they had an agenda.
So if it is not the case with this gentleman you are talking about, I think he should take the advantage of the overture that is being made by the newly inaugurated chairman for all the parties to reconcile so that we can move forward.
Some supporters of the presidential aspiration of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu boast of getting 12million votes for him in the South west. Considering Lagos has never delivered a million presidential votes since 1999, where are they getting the votes from?
You will agree with me that the political consciousness of the people will be coming out and a number of people will be of age. With the protest we have had in the past year, the political consciousness is on the high especially among the youths.
Also with the personality like Asiwaju Tinubu on the ballot paper, the tendency is there for a whole lot of people to go out of their ways to cast their votes for him. A lot of people that have refused to participate in the electoral processes are now saying they want to be a part of it. So there is a possibility of getting 12million votes. And as a party too, we are also trying to get to our creative and innovative best to bring out the votes and ensure we record the kind of votes that have never been recorded in the anal of our political history in the state.
Vice President Yemi Osibajo is rumoured to be running for the presidency likewise Asiwaju Tinubu, will this not tear apart the party considering that both have their political base in Lagos?
Well when we get to that bridge we’ll know how to cross it. But I am not sure we should be discussing the aspiration of VP Yemi Osibajo who has not officially declared his aspiration.
You will also recall that during the week, there was a statement that trended on the social media about the VP declaring his aspiration after the national convention in February. His official spokesman, Laolu Akande issued a statement that anything relating to the VP will emanate from his office and there is nothing like that.
So I am not too sure that it will be fair on the VP to start speculating on his ambition and also criticising such. I don’t think that is really right. Until it moves from the realm of speculation to the realm of reality, that will be the only time for us to start debating the appropriateness or otherwise of such aspiration.