Stakeholders in the Ogun State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) had a stormy session yesterday over modalities to be adopted for the party’s primary election in the state ahead of the 2019 general elections.
While some agreed to go for consensus primaries at the stakeholders’ meeting held yesterday in Abeokuta, others resolved to hold direct primaries should the consensus arrangement fail to produce the party’s flag bearers for the general election.
At the meeting, presided over by the APC state chairman, Chief Derin Adebiyi, the incumbent governor, Ibikunle Amosun also declared his intention to contest the Ogun Central Senatorial position come 2019 general elections.
Attendance at the stakeholders’ meeting included the immediate past deputy governor of the state, Prince Segun Adesegun, Senator Gbenga Kaka, the three APC’s Senatorial chairmen in the state, former and incumbent political office holders, wards and local government party executives as well as other party members among others.
However, the atmosphere at the meeting became tensed when the leadership of the party ordered the Senator representing Ogun Central, Dr. Lanre Tejuoso, to walk out of the venue of the meeting or apologise to the party for the embarrassment caused the state over his still birth defection from the party.
While attempting to defend himself, the APC state chairman, Adebiyi maintained that news of Tejuoso’s defection had gone viral and that only the thing the party expected from him was to tender an unreserved apology or stop parading himself as a member of Ogun APC.
After a minor altercation between the embattled senator and the state leadership of the party, Tejuoso tendered an apology, regretting the way he had expressed his views about happenings in Ogun APC which was considered to have been expressed in a manner that offended the party.
Meanwhile, discussions over which modality to adopt in conducting the party’s governorship primaries also pitched the state governor, Amosun against APC politicians from the Ogun East Senatorial district who differed with the governor over zoning of the party’s governorship ticket.
While Amosun maintained that APC had zone its governorship ticket to the Yewa-Awori people of Ogun West Senatorial district, APC politicians from Ogun East Senatorial district argued that there was no time the party took such decision.
The governor explained that he had met with the leaders and elders of Ogun West Senatorial district and asked them to present a consensus candidate that would carry the flag of the party during the general election.
He maintained that dissenting voices against the APC’s zoning stance should respect the principles of “Party Supremacy” and that in the interest of justice, fairness and equity, agitating APC politicians from Ogun East Senatorial district should support the Ogun West governorship agenda.
Former deputy governor, Adesegun however, disagreed with the governor’s position, stressing that there was no time Ogun APC resolved to zone the 2019 governorship ticket to Ogun West Senatorial district.
Adesegun maintained that there must be a reason why APC would have to zone its governorship ticket to Ogun West and not just on the whims and caprice of an individual.
Another stakeholder, Senator Kaka called for the party’s register before any decision on zoning the governorship ticket could be taken.
Kaka also demanded that the governor should equally meet with leaders and elders of Ogun West Senatorial district before any consensus would be reached over the party’s governorship ticket.
Responding however, Governor Amosun said he would not meet with any elder and leader of APC in Ogun East Senatorial district.
He said the governorship forum had already agreed to consensus primaries for the forthcoming general election except for Osun and Lagos States who choose to go for a direct primaries to pick party’s candidates for all elective positions.
Emphasizing that he would not support any APC governorship agenda from Ogun East Senatorial district, Amosun challenged politicians from the zone to test their might through the direct primary option should they feel dissatisfied with the party’s decision on zoning the governorship ticket to Ogun West Senatorial district.
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