Nigeria: Tinubu's Supporters Accuse Ekiti of Persecution

21 June 2021

Ado-Ekiti — The South West Agenda for 2023 (SWAGA), a group rallying support for the presidential ambition of a former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, has condemned the perceived hostilities of the Ekiti State government towards members of the body in the state and called on the national leadership of the party, headed by Yobe State Governor, Mr. Mai Mala Buni, for his intervention.

The group urged Buni to arrest the situation, by calling on the Ekiti State Government to order to ensure a united house that could sustain victory in coming political contests.

The group said these in a reaction to the suspension slammed on two members of the party in Ayede Ekiti, Oye Local Government Area, Mr. Kayode Adetifa and Mr. Jide Oso, over their membership of SWAGA.

It added that the action was allegedly taken by the state government taking punitive action against SWAGA members before Tuesday's inauguration of the state's chapter was capable of igniting crisis in the party.

A statement yesterday by SWAGA's Chairman in Ekiti State, Senator Tony Adeniyi, cautioned the Ekiti State Government against actions that could inhibit the chances of the party in the coming elections.

Adeniyi expressed gratitude to the people of Ekiti State for their loyalty to Tinubu, the show of love for SWAGA and the impressive turnout for the inauguration, despite the odds.

Adeniyi said : "I condemn the ongoing victimisation of members of the group across the state and the recent refusal of the government to allow SWAGA to erect its billboards in the state despite observing due protocol.

"SWAGA is a group within the APC, rooting as well as canvassing Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to show interest in the coming presidential race and also mounting support for the party's electoral success in coming elections.

"We are abashed by the unfriendly reception of SWAGA, a wing canvassing the leader of our party, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to contest the forthcoming presidential election for the general good of our party and Nigeria. As we speak, some members of our party who are supporters of SWAGA are going through series of frustrations and victimisation by an APC government that is supposed to embrace and support them for the enormous patronage, credibility and acceptability that SWAGA is lending our party.

"And as a result of these strange beats, we are calling on the national body of our party to look thoroughly at the lingering political hide-and-seek of our government in Ekiti State and call this Hitler of our party to order.

"A government that allows the billboard of the opposition party to thrive but will not stand the one erected by its own party is at war with itself and must be hurriedly rescued by stakeholders in APC."

But absolving the state government and the party of masterminding the suspension, the state Publicity Secretary of APC, Hon. Ade Ajayi, said the two were disciplined by party leaders at the ward level, for factionalising the party, adding that the suspension has nothing to do with SWAGA.

Ajayi, who is also from Ayede Ekiti, said the report from the ward indicated that the two were defying the party's orders and dividing the party through their actions.

"They were not suspended because of SWAGA. But they have been dividing the party and all efforts to rein them in failed.

"They were invited to defend themselves; they confirmed it and party supremacy had to come to play. Nobody is bigger than the party," he added.

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