Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Twenty among the over 30 governorship aspirants on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State have declared their support for the party to select three among them to face primary election for the party’s candidate to emerge for the 2019 governorship poll in the state.
The decision was contained in a joint resolution of the governorship aspirants for the 2019 general elections at a meeting, which 21 among them held with APC party leaders at Quarters 81, Government House, Agodi, Ibadan.
But only 20 among them signed the resolution, while a former governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, who was at the meeting, did not sign the resolution.
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Alao-Akala hurriedly left the meeting venue when the communiqué was being prepared. However, Minister of Communication, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, was not at the meeting.
The aspirants that signed the resolutions included a legal luminary, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN); a former deputy governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Chief Adebayo Adelabu; a Senior Partner in KPMG Professional Services in Nigeria; Olasunkanmi Tegbe; a former Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Babalola Owolabi; Chief Executive Officer of Costain West Africa Plc, Mr. Ayo Karim; and Director, Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited, Dr. Olusola Ayandele;
Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Lekan Alli; Executive Assistant on Administration to the governor, Mr. Soji Eniade, who is a former Head of Service; Commissioner for Health, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan; Commissioner for Land, Housing and Survey, Isaac Omodewu; and a frontline journalist, Kehinde Olaosebikan, were among the signatories.
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But at a stakeholders’ meeting held at the APC Secretariat, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, on Tuesday, a motion was moved and duly seconded that indirect primaries be adopted to elect candidates for the party ahead of the general elections. The aspirants at all levels had earlier adopted indirect primaries.
The meeting, presided over by Governor Abiola Ajimobi, and state chairman of the party, Chief Akin Oke, resolved that the governorship aspirants should prune down their numbers and nominate three among them that would go for the indirect primary.
The governorship aspirants had, at their meeting, at the weekend, agreed that all aspirants should “Concede and agree that although the Constitution of the party provides for three methods for nominating the party’s candidates for any election, and have resolved that the indirect primaries or consensus method should be adopted in selecting the party’s governorship candidate for the 2019 general elections and the decision of the party shall be final and binding on all the aspirants.
“The party leadership should shortlist and select three persons out of all aspirants.
“The party shall either select one of the three shortlisted aspirants as the party’s gubernatorial candidate for the 2019 governorship election, or direct that an indirect primary be conducted at which only the three shortlisted aspirants and none of the other aspirants shall participate.
“The aspirants irrevocably agree and accept that the outcome of the indirect primary or consensus shall be binding and shall not be contested or challenged by way of appeal, petition or litigation.
“The aspirants shall sincerely and diligently work, contribute, and cooperate with the party to ensure the success of the party at the 2019 general elections, particularly the governorship election.”
Addressing the meeting, on Tuesday, Governor Ajimobi, who commended the maturity and commitment of the aspirants towards the selection of the party’s flagbearer, charged them to continue to work towards the unity and progress of the party.
In the words of Governor Ajimobi, “I want to plead with you again that much as we appreciate competition, much as we appreciate commitment and support for the party, much as we appreciate your willingness to serve the people, our prayers are that all of us should do it in a rancour-free environment.
“The aspirants have exercised commitment and decency to enhance the unity and progress of the party, goodness and socio-economic development of the state.
“I plead with you, let us begin to talk to ourselves. The gubernatorial aspirants have told us that any three we pick among them, should go for indirect; it’s agreeable to them,” he said.