On the first day of this year, I released a statement on the political situation in Oyo state. That New Year’s Day address called attention to the intramural tensions and lack of unity that affecting the state chapter of our party. Advocating the urgent need to forge a common front through reconciliation, I stated:
“We must as a party move on from past setbacks and disappointments so that we may affix our eyes on a brighter future for the party and the state. Let us heed the calls of our leaders to come together, work together, mobilize and strategize together. As it is now, we all must take a clear stand. The days for petty calculation are over. You are either in or outside the party. One cannot claim to be inside the party and fail to align with all efforts to resolve the issues that have arisen to affect the operations of our party”.
Despite the extraordinary events that have beset us in the intervening months and perhaps because of these subsequent new challenges, the call to unity and for reconciliation remains our great imperative. The APC in Oyo state can only progress if we pull together. Disunity is just another way of defeat. We fight against each other at our own collective peril.
Ambition is part of the body of politics. However, unbridled ambition serves only to tear that body down. Undue ambition and resultant fractiousness will cause to collapse the very thing we seek to build. The current tendency of trying to build individual nests and of running various political plots and schemes will fail to achieve what is sought. These things will only cloud and fog the air so much that none of us will be able to see our way through. Not only will the party be impaired. many of our individual objectives will be dashed also because the state chapter of the party will lack the strength and cohesion to carry us through to the needed ends and to the desired victories. There are many good and illustrious people in our state party. With this pedigree of members we should not know the uncertain condition in which we now find ourselves.
Part of the problem is due to the high quality, high octane membership we have. People of such talent and experience are unjustly denied due respect and consideration in party deliberations and decisions. However, some of our members have crossed the subtle line between commanding due respect as opposed to seeking to take undue command of the party. They have done so perhaps innocently and without being fully conscious of what they were doing and that it was alienating other key members and tearing at the fabric of internal unity. In the sincere attempt to make the party what it should be they inadvertently stepped across this important boundary. We need to take a step back and repair the damage this process has caused.
The notion of entitlement or personal ownership of the Oyo APC will keep the party stuck as if caught in wet cement. No one of us owns the party. We all do. The party is an institution of collective membership but also collective ownership.
The only banner we should raise is the APC banner. Any idea that some informal and nebulous sub-faction should rule and is more important than the party itself must be tossed out the window. To exalt some small group over the larger is against the democratic spirit of the party and it will fate us all to a troublesome and adverse future.
Either you are an APC member or you or not. There are no conditions or caveats that govern us. The different political tendencies in the party must now discard their adversarial colorations so that we may coalesce and strengthen the party. Currently, Oyo APC is less than the sum of its individual parts. We must reform how we interact so that the party becomes greater than the sum of those individual parts.
We know what the organizational hierarchy should be within the party. Attempts to usurp or ignore the democratic spirit and letter of our party constitution and established norms will fail.APC Oyo is beyond the Ibadan crowd or Ogbomoso crowd or Oke Ogun crowd or any crowd for that matter.
Together we win. Separate and tendentious we lose.
The APC State Executive must embrace a new more inclusive and collegial mentality else they drive the party aground. The fragmentation of the party and the unfair treatment of members associated with a rival faction must stop. A party does not become strong by crushing internal opposition, it becomes strong be reconciling it. And only a strong unified party will win the majority of elections it faces. The idea of handing the party over to a few individuals to the detriment of others will spell doom. You might win the battle for supremacy in the party but may well lose the greater war which is the general elections.
Unless we bind our wounds and rebuild, we will lose respect and focus as a party. This will allow a lesser party to take the victories and the chance to govern this beloved state that should rightfully be with us.It is time for all political tendencies to come together in Oyo APC.
I repeat what I said then, “The ongoing efforts by our south west political leaders – Chief Bisi Akande, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu among others to establish unity and reconcile all members of the state APC is to be lauded. All of us must hold to the promise of a stronger APC that is able to reposition Oyo in the regional and federal political Spectrum as a pace setter among the various states”.
We must act with greater cohesion and strength of purpose. No matter what detractors say the APC government have a track record of achievement that this state has never before experienced.
The future is ours but we can well lose the future if we persist with parochialism, self entitlement, jostling and vindictive behavior. Party leadership must be earned through prior exemplary service to the party and through loyal contribution to the development of the state. Respected leadership cannot be commandeered. Being a wannabe, a former this, or present that will not suffice. True Leadership is made of better stuff. We seek the qualities of character, dedication, selflessness, wisdom, fairness and vitality. All else is insufficient.
– Mr. Sunday Dare. Honorable Minister of Youth and Sports Development.
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