A major crack on Monday appeared in the newly registered All Progressives Congress in Ogun State, as former governor Olusegun Osoba and all the federal lawmakers representing the state in the National Assembly shunned the official inauguration of the party in the state.
Similarly, only eight members of the state House of Assembly, including the Speaker, Adekunbi Isola, were present at the party’s formal inauguration.
Osoba, who is also a national leader of the APC, and other national and state House of Assembly members loyal to the former governor stayed away from the Ake Palace Ground, Venue of the event.
However, one of the federal lawmakers absent from the event, Abiodun Akinlade, representing Yewa South/Ipokia Federal Constituency, said he could not attend because he had another important political event to attend in his Yewa zone.
Akinlade, who is said to be interested in the governorship position in 2015, in a statement issued by his Personal Assistant, Tope Adelakun, said apart from the political meeting he had to attend in his constituency, he was also being occupied by the preparations for the events to mark the remembrance of his late mother.
“As a political leader, who believes in organisation and working according to schedule, he has a responsibility to prioritise his attendance of events,” the statement partly read.
Internal wrangling within the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria over the control of the party structure in the state had resulted in the division of the then ruling party into two factions, with Osoba and Amosun leading the two different camps.
The APC official inauguration was said to have been attended by mainly members of the party believed to be loyalists of Governor Ibikunle Amosun, as well as those from the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, the Congress for Progressive Change, market women, students, transport union members and artisans.
Also, some notable chiefs and party stalwarts of the Peoples Democratic Party, who have defected to the APC, including Chief Dayo Abatan, Chief Iyabo Anisulowo, Fatai Sowemimo,Dare Gbolahan and Bolaji Aretola, attended the ceremony.
However, only three chiefs of the party, including the governor, addressed the crowd one after the other at the event.
In his reaction to the absence of Osoba and the lawmakers from the party’s inauguration, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, said that being a national leader of the party, it was not compulsory that the former governor attended the event, which was a state affair.
Olaniyonu, however, said Osoba and the other national leaders of the APC would definitely be in attendance at the forthcoming national inauguration of the newly registered party, scheduled for Abuja.