Ranks of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Southwest is divided over the emergence of Chief of Staff to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Adegboyega Oyetola, as the party’s candidate for the September 22 gubernatorial election.
Leadership gathered that the disharmony may affect the fortune of APC in the election, as some aggrieved members have vowed not to support the candidate.
Leadership also gathered that two governors from the geo-political zone, and the Ekiti state governor-elect, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, were opposed to Oyetola’s nomination.
Although, the governors did not support a particular aspirant during the primary, they were opposed to the choice of Oyetola, due to his biological relationship to National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The governors are particularly unhappy that the July 20 governorship primary was deliberately skewed to favour Tinubu’s preferred aspirant.
Sources familiar with the development hinted that the governors were skeptical about the sudden decision of the party to adopt a direct primary system, as against the delegate system.
According to Leadership source, One of the governors and Dr. Fayemi had met PresidentMuhammadu Buhari over the matter prior to the primary.
They suspected that the direct primary was adopted to make the election clumsy and allow manipulation, thereby persuaded the President to intervene.
However, President Buhari declined the request.
Checks also reveal that Chairman of the Primary Election, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara state did not fully participate in the exercise.
Yari who claimed that he had other engagements on the election day allowed his secretary, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege to conduct the primary.
“Do your investigations, look for the facts behind excuses, how can the returning officer in a Primary election claim to be busy with other things, and allow Omo-Agege, who recently stole mace from the National Assembly to conduct the election. What kind of election can such an individual conduct? I will tell you straight, Yari refused the dictates of certain powerful individuals in the party, so he decided to stay away to protect his own image,” a party chieftain stated.
Meanwhile, party loyalists in the state are jittery over the division created by the party’s primary.
Also, deafening silence of the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yussuff Lasun who was first runner-up in the election, observers say is not a good signal.
Already, the erstwhile Secretary to the State Government, Moshood Adeoti, Secretary who accused the party of manipulating the exercise, had since defected to the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and emerged as the party’s governorship candidate for the September election.
Adeoti had alleged that a lot of things were done to reduce the primary to a mere endorsement of Oyetola.
“The primary was arranged, skewed and designed to favour Alhaji Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola, the cousin of the National Leader of our party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” Adeoti’s campaign organisation said in a statement.
Leadership further gathered that some party stalwarts are disposed to Adeoti’s candidacy and may support to the former SSG to win the election and return to the APC with the victory.
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