The All Progressives Congress in the Osun West Senatorial District has kicked against the direct primary adopted by the national leadership of the party for the July 19 election to pick the party’s governorship candidate.
The Osun West APC insisted that the best option for the primary remained the delegate system of the primary.
The Chairman of the APC in Osun West, Mr Akintola Amobi, who said this at a press conference on Tuesday, stated that the delegate system of the primary was the only means through which the party could win the governorship election.
He stated that open primary would lead to chaos and crisis which might not be resolved until after the 2019 general election.
Amobi said, “The only way to win Osun come 2018 governorship election is to zone the governorship ticket to Osun West Senatorial District based on the principle of justice, equity and fairness. That delegate system mode of governorship primary should be adopted in the conduct of party primary slated for July 19.”
Another frontline governorship aspirant, Mr Najeem Salam, who is the Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, said that he was against the direct primary mode of the election but stated that he would participate.
Salam in a text message to our correspondent said, “I am against the direct primary election but if our party headquarters decides to use it, I will still participate in the primary because I am sure of victory.”
Also, the Secretary to the Osun State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone through his media aide, Mr Kayode Agbaje, said, “We are not favourably disposed to direct primary election but that is not to say that we will boycott the election. They should be fair to all the aspirants in order to avoid bitterness.”
However, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Lasun Yusuf, has warned the national officers of the APC coming to conduct the party’s governorship primary in Osun State against any form of manipulation to favour any of the 17 aspirants.
The deputy speaker spoke to our correspondent in Osogbo on Tuesday through his Special Adviser, Prof. Aderemi Ajala, who is also the Administrative Secretary of Lasun Yusuf Campaign Organisation.
Ajala said, “We are confused just like other aspirants are confused about the modalities of the conduct of the primary election. The aspirants are confused because there is no direction on which modality will be used for the primary election. Be that as it may, our party, the APC, does not belong to any individual but to all of us. So, whatever decision that has been reached at the level of the National Working Committee, we believe that they have done so in their wisdom and in the best interest of the party.
“By that, we agree with them but with a proviso that, have we prepared enough for a direct primary election which will be held in about 72 hours from now? We need to take into cognisance that there are lots of logistics that need to be put in place.”
However, 70 Senior Special Assistants appointed by Governor Rauf Aregbesola have expressed support for the direct primary, saying it will eliminate corruption and allow the most popular person to emerge as the candidate of the party.
The political appointees of the governor, who addressed journalists on Tuesday under the aegis of Forum of SSAs led by the Chairman, Alhaji Bashir Lawal, said direct primary would give credibility to the candidate.