THE crisis precipitated by the adoption direct primary option for the conduct of primary election to select the standard bearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Osun ahead September 22 governorship poll worsened on Tuesday as 12 gubernatorial aspirants rejected the decision.
The development followed the resolution of the APC in Osun West Senatorial District, which outrightly rejected the Monday’s ratification of the direct primary by the National Working Committee (NWC) led by the newly elected chairman of the ruling party and former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Addressing the press conference in Iwo, the chairman of APC in Osun West Senatorial District, Hon Amobi Akintola said “the unexpected declaration of direct primaries by the NWC of direct primaries by the NWC of APC yesterday (Monday) has started sending the wrong signal to the teeming party members in Osun, especially and in particular the West Senatorial District of the state”.
Governorship aspirants sighted at the press conference include the Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Hon Najeem Salaam, the Secretary to the Osun State Government (SSG), Chief Moshood Adeoti, Mr Yusuf Saka Layonu (SAN), Hon Gafaar Amere, Engineer Mumuni Olabamaji, the chairman of Osun State Local Government Commission, Chief Peter Babalola, Mr Dayo Oyebanji, among others.
Similarly other party bigwigs from the zone, including former Speaker, House of Representatives, Mrs Olubunmi Patricia Etteh, Senator Mudashiru Hussein, who is the Commissioner for Cabinet Matters, Senator Mudasiru Hussein, Hon Ayo Omidiran and political appointees of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, including his special adviser on Information and Strategy, Mr Semiu Okanlawon also attended the programme.
Reading position of the party in zone to thousands of members, who thronged the party secretariat, Amobi contended that with the party’s decision on direct primary, electoral fortune of the APC may be threatened, saying “the only way to win Osun come September 22, 2018, is to zone the gubernatorial slot to Osun West Senatorial District based on the principle of justice, equity and fairness”.
While advancing reasons against the adoption of direct primary, he maintained that “APC party membership registration has never been updated since 2014. There is no verifiable database of APC members from unit level, nor at electoral ward or state level as it is obtained in INEC voters register. There are no ascertained APC party members in Osun State as INEC captures all eligible voters in the state”.
According to him, “adoption of open primaries will lead to chaos unimaginable magnitude which would definitely weaken the party strength, resolution of which might not be achieved until the 2019 general election.
It should be stressed at this point that there are more than the aforementioned reasons why Osun State should not be lost to the opposition in the pursuit of the ulterior motivated request of some powers that be who have lavishly enjoyed our strong and unwavering support for upward of decade”.
“It is evident that Osun West Senatorial District has not produced governor since 1999 and is the focus of about 90% of Osun indigenes to produce the next governor.
The NWC under the leadership of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole should be courageous enough to conduct Osun 2018 gubernatorial primaries as were done in the sighted example through delegate system in Ondo, Edo, Bayelsa, Lagos, Ekiti and APC presidential primaries which produced President Muhammadu Buhari in 2014”, Amobi asserted.