UNEASY calm remains pervasive in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State since the party resorted to a consensus announcement of its Chairmanship and Councillorship candidates for the forthcoming local government election in the state.
At the event held on March 23, at Lafia hotel, Ibadan, leader of the party, Governor Abiola Ajimobi had said that the party’s candidates announced were arrived at after a scrutiny of three candidates submitted by the party leadership in each of the 33 local government areas and 35 local council development area in the state.
Before the Secretary of the Oyo APC, Mr Mojeed Olaoya reeled out the names, Ajimobi had stated that the party had adopted indirect primaries as enshrined in section 20A, Subsection
1,2,3,4 of the APC’s constitution, to select its candidates.
However, in various conversations with Tribune Online, some sections of the party disapprove of how the March 23 process, insisting that direct primaries should have been conducted for the emergence of “the people’s candidates”.
Describing the process as undemocratic and unfair, those concerned party members, from ward to local government, state and federal level, assert that Governor Ajimobi may have put the future of the party in jeopardy, by selecting only those candidates he considers loyal to him.
According to those members, though Ajimobi had asked the leadership of the party at each local government or local council development area to forward three names each, many of those announced were those who did not purchase the APC nomination form or had membership cards.
As against Ajimobi’s assertion when the candidates were announced that there was no SENACO/LAMIST division in the party, those party members hold that the select candidates were those on the SENACO divide.
Those concerned members, it was gathered, are set to file a petition cum sue Governor Ajimobi challenging the “consensus” said to have produced the APC candidates for the local government election.
“The governor asked the party to forward the names of those who purchased form to contest the election but you ask if those announced were made up of those who purchased the form. There are several of those announced that did not purchase the form to contest at all,” a party member said.
“All we wished for was a free, fair and transparent primary because we felt the need for every aspirant to be given a level playing ground. Some people purchased form while the governor handpicks some people. The governor should allow the people decide the aspirant that is most popular in their local government. Those selected were premeditated and those they already had in mind,” another party member said.
“It’s a lie to say that there was a consensus on the candidates. Before they arrived at those names, who were those consulted? Is that the definition of consensus in a democracy? How do you get a consensus when you select one from three names sent when there is SENACO or LAMIST. The governor just picked people that he thinks are his loyalists. People are just keeping quiet but nobody is happy,” another APC member said.
At Lafia hotel, Ajimobi may have foreseen the possible rumpus that may follow the announcement of the candidates when he asked members who were discontent to write their petition and forward it to the state party leadership.
He had further asked APC members to allow peace, unity and fear of God supersede their probable misgivings about the candidates selected.
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