Ogun APC adopts consensus primaries for elections

Sekinat Salam Opebiyi, Abeokuta

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The Ogun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC has agreed to go for consensus primaries to enable it chose candidates for all elective positions in the forthcoming 2019 general elections.

The decision was taken at an extended stakeholders meeting of the party in Abeokuta, the State capital.

The meeting also resolved to holding direct primaries should the consensus arrangement fails to produce the party’s flag bearers for the general election.

The party chairman in the State, Derin Adebiyi, who presided over the meeting, told the stakeholders to signify their support for the decision to raise up their hands and stand-up, a situation which they all complied to.

Ogun APC stakeholders signify support for the decision by raising up their hands.

However, the party at the end of the meeting issued a communiqué which was read by the Publicity Secretary of the party, Wole Elegbede.

The communiqué reads: “The Ogun State APC shall have consensus primary into all elective positions in the 2019 general elections. That where the consensus fails, a direct primary shall be used to choose candidates for such positions”.

Tension
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 defection from the party during the defection of some senators some weeks back.

While attempting to defend himself, the APC State chairman, Adebiyi maintained that news of Tejuoso’s defection had gone viral and that the party expected him to either tender an apology or stops parading himself as a member of Ogun APC.

Senator Tejuoso, however, apologised amid loud ovation.

Zoning
Meanwhile, discussions over which modality to adopt in conducting the party’s governorship primaries also pitched the State governor, Ibikunle Amosun against members 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 period when 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.

Amosun maintained that dissenting voices against the APC’s zoning stance should respect the principles of “Party Supremacy” and that in the interest of just, fairness and equity, agitating APC politicians from Ogun East Senatorial district should support the Ogun West governorship agenda.

Disagreement
Former deputy governor, Segun Adesegun, however, disagreed with the governor’s position, stressing that there was no time Ogun APC resolved to zone the year 2019 governorship ticket to Ogun West Senatorial district.

Another stakeholder, Senator  Gbenga 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.

Governor Amosun, however, said he would not meet with any elder and leaders of APC in Ogun East Senatorial district.

“The governorship forum had already agreed to consensus primaries for the forthcoming general election except for Osun and Lagos State who chose to go for a direct primaries to pick party’s candidates for all elective positions.”

“I would not support any APC governorship agenda from Ogun East Senatorial district, i 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.”

“The party decision is supreme; any contrary action is aimed at dividing the party,” he stated.

The governor, thereafter, declared his intention to run for the Senate in the 2019 election.

Amosun, who was elected to the Senate in 2003, became the State governor in 2011 and was elected for the second Term under the All Progressives Congress in 2015.

The governor also promised to announce the Ogun governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the 2019 election on Thursday September 6, 2018.

He urged all the governorship aspirants from Ogun West to meet and present one consensus candidate, insisting that he would not change the party’s decision to zone the governorship ticket to the zone.

The governor stressed that the party was not afraid of any mode of primary, appealing to the party faithful to go for direct primaries.

His words: “I am not afraid of any mode of primary.  I am for consensus and if consensus did not work, we will go for direct primary. For us in Ogun State we are for President Muhammadu Buhari and people say it will help Buhari, if it will make everybody to be involved, so be it.”

The meeting has in attendance immediate past deputy governors State, the three APC’s Senatorial chairmen, serving senators and house of representatives member, former and incumbent political office holders, wards and local government party executives as well as other party members among others.

Sammie Idika