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Friday, August 27 2004

Vol 17 No.30

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  • New Page 6

    3 ex-AD govs back fresh convention

    WALE FOLARIN, Ibadan and VINCENT EGUNYANGA, Abuja

    FORMER 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 party.

    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 Afenifere.

    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 one.

    Akinfenwa said involvement of Afenifere in the crisis was like a father’s position to his two sons engaged in a conflict.

    "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.

    © 2004 @ Champion Newspapers Limited (All Right Reserved).
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