Ahead of Saturday’s governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Oyo State that have been attract intrigues and tension soaked situation in the camps of the 8 out of 30 aspirants that purchase form, Governor Abiola Ajimobi may publicly tell party members who to queue behind.
It should be noted that, Ajimobi’s ‘prayer’ to have an indirect primaries became a reality when the National Working Committee of the party give a nod to it. “Ajimobi,” sources hinted, “was afraid of direct primaries especially because of the members of the Unity Forum, majority of whom had defected to the newly formed African Democratic Congress, ADC. With direct primaries, he believed that they have their membership cards and can come back to spoil things for him and vote for someone that is not preferred by the governor. That was why he was on the neck of the national working committee of the party to approve indirect primaries for Oyo.”
Oyo Insight had reported how 8 out of the over 30 aspirants obtained the N22.5m nomination forms in her publication. They are Engr. Joseph Tegbe, Oloye Bayo Adelabu, Chief Niyi Akintola, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, Dr. Olusola Ayandele, Dr. AbdulAzeez Adeduntan, Dr Owolabi Babalola and former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala.
Though OYO INSIGHT learnt exclusively that the governor has started mobilizing support for the candidate, he is said to be ‘too careful’ about it. One of Tegbe, Adelabu and Akintola, all indigenes of Ibadan, the state capital, would eventually be anointed and selected for the party ahead of Saturday primary.
“Ajimobi is trying to manage the trio. He wants to manage the pre and post election outcomes. Though he has an anointed candidate in mind, he wants to do it in a way that others wouldn’t feel cheated.” that is according to an insider to the governor.
Earlier this week, Ajimobi’s ex health commissioner, Adeduntan advised the party during a radio interview against using someone whose indigeneship of Ibadan is doubtful, adding that any attempt to impose an unpopular aspirant as APC candidate would spell doom for the party in the 2019 general election. He, however, added that he would not leave the party even if he doesn’t get the ticket.
That same day, former Governor Alao-Akala held a meeting with his former boss and ADC leader, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja. The meeting, which Oyo Insight gathered, was not unconnected with the 2019 election. Alao-Akala knows the governor is not looking at his direction, the source told OYO INSIGHT. It is, however, unclear what Alao-Akala would be aspiring for if he eventually joins ADC.
Only few days ago, Ajimobi had called some party chieftains to tell them about his ‘anointed.’ He had said he was more concerned about the emergence of a flag bearer that is loyal to the people and the development of the state rather than loyalty to him.
But at Monday’s emergency meeting with APC state executives in his office, he said that the emergence of a candidate that is acceptable to Oyo electorates and members of the APC had become more expedient in the wake of the rancour that trailed the selection of the gubernatorial candidate in Osun state.
The party spokesperson, Dr Azeez Olatunde quoted the governor as saying that he had no preferred candidate but was resolved to aggregate the chosen candidates of the different stakeholder groups and ensure that the party presented a common front, with little wrangling, after Saturday’s primaries.
“We considered that there was a lot of rancour about the selection of a candidate in Osun state and we don’t want the hullabaloo that trailed the selection of a candidate in Osun.”
Olatunde went on to say that “Though we know that whichever candidate emerges, some other candidates will express displeasure. We are trying to reduce these grievances by consulting widely and the governor is trying to make the process transparent enough.” as reported by Oyo Insight.
“The governor is conducting the several meetings to prevent rancor, internal wrangling. He does not want to be accused of any imposition and he is trying to consult widely.”