Factional members of the All Progressives Congress(APC) in Osun State stormed the streets of Osogbo on Tuesday to demand the removal of the party’s state chairman, Gboyega Famoodun, following the party’s defeat in the state governorship election on July 16.
Senator Ademola Adeleke polled 403,371 votes to defeat the incumbent governor of the state, Gboyega Oyetola, who polled 375,027 votes in the gubernatorial election.
However, according to a statement issued by Famoodun’s media adviser, Kola Olabisi, the protesters were supporters of the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, whom he accused of working against Oyetola in the election.
The protesters, led by Oluwaseun Abosede, chanting “restructuring,” took off from Odiolowo Area and marched through Olaiya Junction to Ogo-Oluwa Area within Osogbo metropolis, before heading to the state House of Assembly, where they were received by the Speaker, Timothy Owoeye.
Armed with placards and banners with different inscriptions such as “Restructure APC now,” “APC lost Osun because of Famoodun and Oyetola,” “Osun APC needs restructuring,” among others, the protesters were denied entry into the party secretariat by armed police operatives.
Speaking to newsmen at the entrance of the APC state secretariat in Ogo-Oluwa, Abosede insisted that mismanagement of the party affairs by Famoodun, who he accused that sidelining Aregbesola and other critical stakeholders in the party, caused the defeat suffered by the party at the governorship poll.
He said, “The issues, to summarise them, boil down to glaring mismanagement of the party by Governor Gboyega Oyetola and the party chairman, Gboyega Famoodun. The chairman has totally demonstrated lack of capacity to manage the party and this was reflected in the result of the July 16 governorship election.
“Under the leadership of both Governor Oyetola and Famoodun, the APC degenerated and assumed the dangerous trend of having factions, which later caused catastrophe and grief. Governor Oyetola, right from inception, embarked on a divisive move which transmuted the party into two parts.”
After receiving the letter containing their demands, Owoeye assured them of his readiness to take the necessary steps to reposition the party.
Famoodun, while reacting to the protest, described the action of the protesters as shameful, callous, primitive, selfish, wicked, misplaced and inconsiderate.
The APC chairman also accused the protesters of working for the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke, at the poll and urged them to seek patronage from the person they supported at the poll.
Famoodun said, “When I heard that the supporters of the immediate past governor of our state, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, were protesting, I thought my memory was playing me wrong as they cannot insulate themselves from whatever might be the current plight of the APC in Osun State.
“Assuming but not conceding that there are challenges within the party, protesters should be told that they lack the moral right to either suggest or offer any likely solution as it is on record that they massively and collectively worked against Oyetola, the APC governorship candidate in the just-concluded election in line with their series of threats.
“One would have thought that the appropriate place for them to canvas for the restructuring of any party is Senator Ademola Adeleke’s Ede country home, which they voted for with flaunted pride.”