Come September 24th , eight gubernatorial aspirants on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in Oyo state will be slugging it out through indirect primary.
The seven aspirants were those who collected nomination and expression of interest forms ahead of the 2019 general election after efforts by Governor Abiola Ajimobi and party leaders to pin down the number of those who will participate in the primary to three failed.
Among the aspirants who had purchased the forms are Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu,
Owolabi Babalola, a medical doctor and former Commissioner for Health in the state during the administration of former governor Abebayo Alao-Akala, Joseph Tegbe, a Senior Partner in KPMG Professional Services in Nigeria and Adebayo Adelabu, a former deputy governor of Central Bank of Nigeria,
Others are former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, Adeniyi Akintola, a legal luminary and Commissioner for Health, Azeez Adeduntan, an international surgeon and Olusola Ayandele, an Ibarapa East Local Government-born industrialist who also doubles as Project Director at Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited.
For the past few weeks, there were moves to have three aspirants as the ordained consensus candidates for the primary election billed to take place later this month but before the deadline,the eight have gone ahead to pick the forms.
This is coming despite the persuasion and 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 to prune down to three aspirants.
It was gathered that the governor had promised to pick three forms after which the aspirants must have met in line with resolution signed by 21 of them and decided on the three consensus candidates.
According to sources, as the time the purchase of the form will close, the governor did not purchase the forms which prompted the eight to quickly purchase their forms. The remaining aspirants were likely caught in web.
The likes of Isaac Omodewu,the commissioner for lands ,former Head of service,Soji Eniade and Lekan Alli ,Secretary to state government who had shown interest since and been rumoured were likely to be among the consensus candidates could nit make it.
Governor Ajimobi at the onset appealed to the aspirants to possibly step down and avoid waste of resources.
According to him,it would be wrong to encourage the governorship aspirants to waste N22.5 million on nomination forms without emerging as the candidate.
While saying that all the aspirants are qualified and have good credentials, noted that there was need for consensus candidates out of the over 30 of them jostling for the Agodi government house.
This called for a meeting penultimate week for a meeting of all aspirants and party leaders.
At the meeting ,it was agreed that the aspirants should meet and pick three for primary and feed back the governor and elders of their decisions which they could not reach a compromise.
There was a resolution signed by twenty out of thirty aspirants pick three.
However, only 20 signed the resolution, while a former governor of the state, Adebayo Alao-Akala, who was at the meeting, did not sign the resolution.
Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, was not part of the meeting and signing of the resolution
Among the aspirants that signed the resolutions were Secretary to the State Government, Lekan Alli; Executive Assistant on Administration to the governor, Soji Eniade, who is a former Head of Service; Commissioner for Land, Housing and Survey, Isaac Omodewu; and a frontline journalist, Kehinde Olaosebikan
Others included a legal luminary, Adeniyi Akintola, Adebayo Adelabu; a Olasunkanmi Tegbe; a Chief Executive Officer of Costain West Africa Plc, Ayo Karim; and Director, Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited, Olusola Ayandele;
As part of efforts to get things right, another stakeholders’ meeting was held behind closed doors at the APC Secretariat, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, on Tuesday in which a motion was moved and duly seconded that indirect primaries be adopted in Oyo state to elect candidates for the party ahead of the general elections
At the meeting, presided over by Governor Abiola Ajimobi, and state chairman of the party, Akin Oke, also emphasised the need to prune down the governorship aspirants and nominate three among them that would go for the indirect primary.
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.
While commending maturity and commitment of the aspirants towards the selection of the party’s flagbearer, the governor while addressing stakeholders, charged them to continue to work towards the unity and progress of the party.
“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”. He stated.
“The aspirants have exercised commitment and decency to enhance the unity and progress of the party, goodness and socio-economic development of the state.
Akinremi Feyisipo, Ibadan.