EKITI, Nigeria – The crisis of confidence rocking the Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has widened as a faction yesterday lifted the suspension slammed on 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 includes: Assistant Legal Adviser, Felix Aderibigbe, Assistant Youth Leader, Tope Omoseebi, Ec Officio I, Ojo Jegede, ex Officio II, Femi Omotoso and 26 other party leaders.
But responding to the lifting of the suspension, the APC State Publicity Secretary, Hon Ade Ajayi, described the action as illegal, saying it was illicitly done by those not recognized 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: “the 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 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, Daramola described the action as pleasant, saying it came as a surprise to him.
“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 stand to carry out such action.
“The SWC doesn’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”, he stated.