How party primaries deepened Osun PDP, APC crises

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Uba Group

Uba Group

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

The outcome of the National and State Assembly primaries of the ruling All Progressives Congress and the major opposition, Peoples Democratic Party has worsened their crises in Osun State.

Some aggrieved members of the parties felt cheated in the primaries while others accused the leaders of their respective parties of scheming them out and ganging up against their interests.

For the PDP, there were hues and cries on the outcome of the primaries, particularly in Osun West and Osun Central Senatorial districts. Aspirants of the Osun State House of Assembly ahead of the 2023 general elections accused the party leadership of shortchanging and rigging them out of the race.

The lawmaker representing Ede South State constituency, Hon. Olaniran Akanfe Atidade who lost his re-election bid after losing at the primaries conducted by the party yesterday said the leaders of the party ganged up against him.

Atidade in a post on his Facebook page on Sunday said “To God be the glory. I tried but the gang up won.” It was gathered that Olayiwola Taofik clinched the ticket and became the candidate of the party to represent Ede South State Constituency.

Also, another aspirant for the parliament accused party leadership of compromise, saying internal democracy has been murdered in the PDP.

“The race is concluded, but we lost due to compromise on the part of PDP leadership in Ife. Internal democracy has been murdered in Nigeria political parties and it is regrettable,” he said anonymously.

Some irate members of the PDP in Ejigbo protested the alleged rigging of the Ede Federal Constituency primary election of the party in favour of the incumbent representative, Hon. Bamidele Salam.

Salam had contested the ticket with an Ejigbo born engineer, Ayodele Asalu, popularly called Asler, whom members of the party in Ejigbo were rooting for. Salam had 70 votes while Asler pulled 60 votes.

Some angry members who are mostly youths were seen destroying bill boards of the candidate of the PDP in the July 16, 2022 governorship election in the state, Senator Ademola Adeleke. The irate youths also tore stickers on some branded vehicles of the PDP gubernatorial candidate.

“Some aggrieved members of the parties felt cheated in the primaries while others accused the leaders of their respective parties of scheming them out and ganging up against their interests”

“If someone is going to win, let him do so without rigging. Ejigbo was rigged out by the people of Ede. We are going to remove and burn all Ademola Adeleke’s billboards,” some angry youths were heard saying in a video obtained by our correspondents where Adeleke’s campaign billboards were damaged.

In the same vein, there were controversies on the outcome of the primary of the party in Ede South State Constituency. Olaniran Atidade, currently representing the constituency, lost his second term bid, as he was defeated in the primary by Taofeek Olayiwola, a legal practitioner.

However, supporters of the lawmakers have alleged that the primary was rigged in favour of the winner, threatening to leave the PDP for another party.

But the acting chairman of the party, Mr Adekunle Akindele debunked the allegation saying a level playing field was provided for all the aspirants.

He said, “the exercise was largely peaceful. Though materials came in a little bit late, because of the previous information we heard from Wadata, that the election has been shifted, the materials came in late but we are able to dispatch them to various local governments. The reports we have been getting shows it has been largely peaceful. Results are coming in as it is.”

On allegation that some people were schemed out of the exercise, he said, “that’s not true. We tried as much as possible to provide a level playing ground for all the aspirants. We tried that even in some areas that we thought might be compromises, we sent the electoral panel there to monitor the process.”

“CBN"

The case is not too different from what greeted the primaries of the APC as a faction of it, loyal to former governor of the state and incumbent Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, accused Governor Gboyega Oyetola and Chairman of the party, Prince Gboyega Famodun of hoarding the House of Assembly nomination and expression of intention forms for aspirants loyal to The Osun Progressives (TOP).

“This forced some aspirants, who belong to our tendency, to obtain their nomination and intention forms from the National Secretariat in Abuja,” a statement issued by TOP Chairman, Lowo Adebiyi said.

“By virtue of the recognition granted the fraudulently constituted Famodun led state executives of the party, they made life a hell for the aspirants at the screening, as they were made to wait all day, not minding their arrival time. We note that the act was deliberate as it provided the Pastor Ize Iyamu screening committee the opportunity to easily identify those to be maliciously disqualified and for effect, their forms were kept aside in the Osogbo Secretariat as we speak.

“To show how much intolerant they are, Oyetola and Famodun called a meeting of aspirants where the governor made it clear that he was not going to allow any aspirant from the Osun Progressives, TOP, to be picked as he is doubtful of their loyalty to him and not necessarily the party,” Adebiyi added.

He said none of the aspirants in the group loyal to Aregbesola has clear cut information on what was to be done “in an exercise they have committed huge sums individually, including payment of N2million into the party’s account.

“We at the Osun Progressives TOP feels the process has been made lopsided against members of our caucus and the outcome is not likely going to be fair to them.

“Therefore, it is our belief that the National Chairman will do well to intervene in the interest of the party which has shown our caucus much disorientation because we see issues in perspective different from Governor Oyetola’s.

“We note that Governor Oyetola has taken his bitterness and hatred too far against our caucus and we note that it is democratic to have caucus within any political party that will synergies some members’ common interest.

“Governor Oyetola should note that except that he is elected governor, no party member is in any way less useful than the other. Also, he should note that his governorship is time bound and that some day, he would returned to ordinary member,” he noted.

But the State Secretary of APC, Kamarudeen Alao said every arrangement capable of making the exercise a hitch free was put in place and said a level playing ground was also provided for all aspirants.

Also, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Political affairs, Sunday Akere, said APC decided to adopt direct primaries to save cost and ensure more transparency that is devoid of manipulation.