suspension a huge joke, says Jakande
By Tunde Alao and Yewande Otinuga
State Governor and a senior member of All Nigeria Peoples
Party (ANPP), Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, has described his
purported suspension from the party as an "irresponsible joke"
Jakande, who was "suspended" by a faction of the party
loyal to the National Deputy Chairman, Chief Lanre Razaq, at
its congress held at the weekend, said the so-called
suspension was a ploy to destabilise ANPP because of the
hidden agenda of some elements.
The ANPP chieftain said he was fully involved in the merger
between UNPP and APP, adding that even the choice of the
party's logo and its name was not without his knowledge.
The veteran politician, who spoke with The Guardian
in his Ilupeju residence declared: "The logo of the new party,
the manifesto and the name of the party were arrived at with
my full knowledge. So, it is amazing that a Congress which was
not recognised could announce my suspension".
On the allegation that he wrote to the police to implicate
Alhaji Rasaq in an alleged financial impropriety matter,
Jakande said it was a "wicked lie" orchestrated by his
detractors to attract sympathy to themselves and their
As a top shot of the ANPP, Jakande wondered it could be
possible for anybody to suspend him from the party in which he
is fully involved, and actively working for its success.
However, the feuding factions of the party held separate
congresses in which two different chairmen emerged for the
party at the weekend.
While the faction loyal to the former governor held its
congress at 23, Afolabi Leslie Close, Ilupeju, the faction led
by the National Deputy Chairman of the party, Chief Lanre
Rasaq, held its version at Ajah.
At the congress held by the faction backed by Jakande,
Chief Adetunji Oyebolu, who was purportedly suspended along
with the Second Republic Governor, emerged as the chairman.
Jakande however, averred that the congress held at Ajah,
which was attended by Razaq and Minority Leader, Lagos State
House of Assembly, Mr. Bola Gbabijo, is "illegal".
At the Ajah congress, Alhaji Egbodoku emerged as the
chairman of the faction loyal to Lanre Rasaq.
Egbodoku told the delegates at the congress that the
suspension of Jakande, Mr. A Oyebolu, Mrs. B.T. Hussein and
Mr. Bayo Elias became inevitable, in view of their anti-party
Alhaji Egbodoku, who was re-elected during the election of
new executives, said the fusion of the APP and UNPP became
imperative to enable it wrest power from the ruling Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP).
While addressing the congress, Rasaq said the fusion of APP
and UNPP is in the best interest of the two parties.
"Today, we desire a stronger political platform to wrest
political power from the PDP. As such, all of you the elected
members should prove your acceptability at the grassroots
level", he said.
He added that the era of lobbying to get into office as it
happened in the military era has gone. Today, he said, it is
what the people at the grassroots level say that matters.
He urged members to be disciplined and work hard to prove
their mettle during the national convention of the party
coming up on July 26, where national executives of the party
would be elected.
In the same vein, another party stalwart, the Admiral Lanre
Amosu (rtd), said the formation of the ANPP was not meant to
be a political opposition to the ruling PDP, but rather a
viable alternative to the occupants of the Presidential Villa.
He said the party desires a peaceful transition to the
central seat of power where the ANPP will dislodge the
incumbent in next general elections.
"The irreversibility of the UNPP and APP fusion was
predicated upon the fact that there is need to expand the
scope of the political horizon, to save Nigeria from
mismanagement, indecision and inept governance as represented
by the ruling party, whereby Nigerians will have a new lease
The secretary of the party, Alhaji Emiabata Balogun, while
speaking on the anti-party activities of the suspended
members, said Jakande wrote a letter on the official
letterhead paper of the APP, presenting one Mr. Oyebolu as the
authentic APP chairman in Lagos State. Jakande's action, he
added, created crisis at the Surulere chapter of the party.
"Jakande, despite this act of illegality, used his position
to employ the service of thugs to seal up the party
He also allegedly petitioned the Police that the National
Vice Chairman of the party, Chief Lanre Rasaq, diverted a sum
of one million naira, meant for the party in the South-West
for his personal use, an event, which the party scribe
described as "malicious and untrue."
The party, however, resolved to reconsider the suspended
members if they promise to abide by the laid down rules and
regulations of the ANPP.
Among the principal officers elected at the state congress
were Alhaji Jamiu Egbodoku, as Chairman, Chief Ayinde Becroft
as Deputy Chairman and Ajibade Emiabata Balogun as Secretary.
Alhaji Shittu Lawal was elected Treasurer, while the post
of Publicity Secretary went to Mr. Adebola