Priscilla Ofunre, Ado-Ekiti
The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Ekiti State, appears to be far from over, as it has been greeted with another development as a faction of the party lifted the suspension on a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Bimbo Daramola.
A letter signed by eight Ward executives and 26 other leaders of Ire Ward II, in Oye Council area and addressed to the local government and State Working Committee, said they took the action to save the APC from internal implosion, in view of the immense popularity Daramola mustered in the Ward.
Those who signed the letter were, Vice Chairman, Adebayo Kotila, Organising Secretary, Daramola Kunle, Assistant Organising Secretary, Dada Olabisi and Welfare Officer, Florence Oguntuase.
The list included Assistant Legal Adviser, Felix Aderibigbe, Assistant Youth Leader, Tope Omoseebi, Ex Officio I, Ojo Jegede ,ex Officio II, Femi Omotoso and 26 other party leaders.
But responding to the lifting of the suspension, Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Hon. Ade Ajayi, described the action as ‘illegal’, while saying it was illicitly done by those not recognised by the party.
The APC, in Ire ward II had, last year, suspended Daramola from the party for alleged anti-party activities, which had kept him away from the party.
But lifting the suspension, the ward leaders said, “Ihe imposition of the suspension on Hon Bimbo Daramola ab initio was null and void, because it didn’t follow due process.
“He has to be reabsorbed into the party, because of his relevance and we are writing the local government and State executives to continue to give him all privileges as a bonafide member of the party.
“The lifting of the suspension is with immediate effect.”
Justifying their action, the Ward leaders said Hon. Daramola’s suspension has generated a lot of ripples in APC and that they deemed it as ill -conceived and antithetical to the reconciliation efforts of the Mallam Mai Mala Buni-led caretaker committee.
“His suspension was carried out by some misguided members of the party for selfish interest. The members that carried out the suspension didn’t follow due process and the party’s constitution.
“Again, Daramola was not given fair hearing and his suspension not in the best interest of the party.”
Responding, Hon. Daramola described the action as ‘pleasant’, saying it came as a surprise to him.
According to Hon. Daramola, “It saddened my heart that my own ward would claim it had suspended me when I was not called to defend myself. I didn’t believe I was suspended in the first instance.
“The person who claimed to have suspended me didn’t live in our Ward. There were a lot of discrepancies and irregularities in the suspension and I salute my people for standing up to correct it.”
But the APC spokesperson, Ade Ajayi, branded those who lifted the suspension as lacking the locus standi to carry out such action.
“The SWC don’t recognise those who lifted the suspension. Such action must be ratified by the council and the State. They didn’t follow due process and it is null and void.
“We are not against lifting of suspension on any erring member, but it has to follow due process”, Ajayo said.