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3 ex-AD govs back fresh convention
WALE FOLARIN, Ibadan and
VINCENT EGUNYANGA, Abuja
governors of South-West states who were elected on the platform of Alliance for
Democracy (AD) rose from a meeting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital yesterday
expressing support for the clamour for a new convention for the crisis-ridden
They also berated pan-Yoruba
socio-political organisation, Afenifere, saying by supporting a faction
to the AD crisis, the body of Yoruba leaders had lost focus. Afenifere
had thrown its weight behind the Moji Akinfenwa faction.
But, addressing party supporters in Abuja
at the commencement of its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, Akinfenwa
said Afenifere’s position on the crisis had vindicated him as a leader
trying to steer the Yoruba away from narrow ethnic politics.
Present at the former governors’ meeting
were Chief Bisi Akande, the other factional leader in AD and erstwhile governor
of Osun State, Chief Niyi Adebayo, former governor of Ekiti State; Alhaji Lam
Adesina, ex-governor of Oyo State and several other AD leaders.
Speaking with newsmen, the ex-governors
said they stood by the holding of a new convention for AD as the plank to
resolving the party’s crises, a position rejected by the Akinfenwa group and
But, Akinfenwa, in Abuja, said he had
always believed that AD was a national political party and not an ethnic party.
He said he made a lot of enemies for
himself, especially in the South-West zone, because as the former AD leader in
the Senate in the last dispensation, he had refused to make the party an ethnic
Akinfenwa said involvement of Afenifere
in the crisis was like a father’s position to his two sons engaged in a
"Now the father, after listening to the
two sons has made a decision. Unfortunately the reaction of the younger to the
decision was unpalatable.
"If we continue to allow personal
interests and political ambition to override the general interest of the masses,
the party will really suffer.
"From all indications, some members of the
Akande group are after that, though they will not succeed," he said.
Akinfenwa, however, extended hands of
friendship, brotherhood and comradeship to "our colleagues and friends in the
Tinubu, Akande group."
He warned that they must extricate
themselves from "the hate mongers and blackmailers who are hell bent on
destroying our great party.
Both the northern and South-East caucuses of the party
sent solidarity messages to the NEC meeting.