ONDO POLITICS: End of the road for Rep member?
Mon, 4 Jun, 2012
By Durojaiye Alfred
The Labour Party member representing Akure South/Akure North in the House of Representatives, Mr. Ifedayo Abegunde, was sacked by a Federal High Court sitting in Akure on Wednesday for defecting to another party. Is this a journey to political oblivion?
The decision by Mr. Ifedayo Abegunde, who was elected to represent the people of Akure North/Akure South Federal Constituency at the National Assembly on the platform of the Labour Party, to dump the party and join the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was not strange to keen watchers of political developments in the state going by the antecedents of the federal lawmaker.
Abegunde, a two-term member of the House, was first elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2003, shortly after he relocated to the country from the United States (US).
His party did not field him again when his four-year term expired in 2007 because of his alleged anti-party activities. He sought solace in the LP where he was offered a ticket to return to the House in 2011.
Few months after he secured his seat, Abegunde dropped the bombshell by resigning his membership of the LP, citing an imaginary crisis in the party. He immediately joined the ACN and indicated his interest in the October 20 governorship election on the platform of his new party.
However, the LP leaders in his constituency immediately conveyed an emergency meeting where they faulted his action and resolve to recall him.
The party chieftains who attended the meeting included political appointees, local government executives and ward executives.
They described the defection of Abegunde as a blessing in disguise to the party.
Notable among the people who attended the meeting, which lasted several hours, were: the lawmaker representing Akure North State Constituency in the House of Assembly, Mr. Akindele Adeniyi; the Commissioner for Culture Tourism, Mr. Deji Falae; and the Chairman of the State Scholarship Board, Mr. Oluremi Edu.
Others were; the Chief of Protocol to the Governor, Mr. Dayo Awude; former Chairman of the state Water Corporation, Mr. Dapo Filani; and the Chairman of Akure North Local Government, Mr. Femi Ofakurin.
Adeniyi noted that, contrary to the insinuations by Abegunde and his associates, LP remained indivisible in Akure North local government area.
Adeniyi, who had earlier moved the motion for the recall of Abegunde on the floor of the Ondo State House of Assembly, said the action of the federal lawmaker was morally wrong.
Falae and Awude urged members of the party to remain focused and united ahead of the governorship election.
Swiftly, members of the state House of Assembly passed a resolution asking the leadership of the House of Representatives to stop further recognition of Abegunde.
The legislators, at a special siting early in the year, specifically sought the recall of Abegunde, popularly known as ‘Àbena’ because he had dumped the LP and defected to the ACN.
Three lawmakers from each of the three senatorial districts of the state spoke on the development and unanimously submitted that the leadership of the House of Representatives should send Abegunde packing from the National Assembly with immediate effect.
The Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Samuel Adesina, subjected the motion to a vote and majority of the lawmakers voted in support of the recall.