By Shina Abubakar
The fallout in the recently concluded ward primaries in the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the local government elections in the state of Osun might eventually snowballed into a fully blown internal crisis if not properly managed, as well as the PDP which has failed to offer alternative platform for its members to actualise their political ambition.
Investigations conducted by OSUN DEFENDER showed that many of the party loyalists were afraid that the bitterness created during the primaries has further widen the bickering in the party rather than creating a platform to calm frayed nerves among warring members.
Findings revealed that factional interests led officials saddled with the responsibility of conducting primaries to allegedly manipulate the process in favour of candidates with minority delegates in some of the wards where primaries were conducted.
It was gathered that in some wards where over two candidates appeared for screening, the screening committee recommended that only one candidate emerge successful without making public the criteria for such decisions at the detriment of other candidates.
In Ifelodun local government for instance, the recently resolved crisis, which had lingered on for over two years, has resurfaced as a result of the outcome of the local government primaries in the council area.
It was gathered that candidates of a certain group were favoured across the council areas against the other group.
As at the time of filing this report, it was gathered that members of the other group in the town were of the view that the crisis will re-enact, full blown, with the action of the group which they felt was not checked by the party leadership.
Similarly, it was alleged that some party members from Irewole Local Government Council Area who protested against the attempt by some party caucus to allegedly impose certain candidates, who belong to a group in the party were arrested, prosecuted and remanded in Ilesa prison for about 24 hours.
Also, party members from Obokun Local Government Council Area stormed the state party secretariat last Tuesday protesting what they described as impunity by the Kehinde Lamolu-led state officials who oversaw the conduct of the primary in ward 1 of the council. The protesters claimed that Jide Agbaje won the consensus arrangement by the party elders, the primary conducted among the party executive members and later the expanded primary by the ward polling a total of 304 votes out of the 463 accredited voters against Albert Adeyemi in the presence of the state officials.
However, Chief Emmanuel-led protesters said the party Executive Committee was informed by an aspirant of the decision of the state officials that one Tobi Ogundipe has been announced as the candidate at a meeting in Osogbo without the consent of the ward executives and to worsen the matter, the anointed candidate is not a member of the party.
Also, the medium gathered that the supremacy battle among some bigwigs in Iwo Local Government has further created tussle within the APC in the local government as aspirants belonging to one of the camps were not given consent form nor screened for the party’s primary
The situation was too different in Boluwaduro, where the incumbent Executive Secretary lost the primary conducted by the ward executive committee but the winner Mr Stephen Dosunmu was not allowed to take part in the screening exercise of the party.
The crisis generated by the outcome of the party in Irepodun local government council area is almost dividing the town along party line, as a monarch in the council was said to have been castigating a commissioner for instigating party machineries against some indigenes of his town.
In a similar development, the PDP’s camp is not an alternative platform for aspiring politicians as the factional crisis that ought to have been resolved is taking a new twist as members who are willing to contest the forthcoming local government election in January are desperate to ensure that the crisis is done with even if it means shutting out the gladiators.
A faction of the Party in Osun State has rejected the arrangement by the national leadership of the party to harmonise and share positions among the two factions in the state PDP as the party congresses in some wards were inconclusive.
The Chairman of the faction with majority of members, Mr Soji Adagunodo disclosed that the harmonisation arrangement was unacceptable because it does not reflect the will and wish of the majority of members of the party in the state.
Adagunodo explained that the arrangement for the sharing of party executives in the Local Government Areas as discussed during the harmonisaation at the PDP National Headquarters in Abuja last week cannot stand and insisted that free and fair congress should be conducted to resolve the matter.
This, according to a source close to the party secretariat is a source of worry to members who believe they have the capacity to win election in the council poll scheduled for January next year.
Some of the PDP members do not want the party to boycott the election believing that the fallout of the APC primaries could work in the PDP’s favour and launch the party back into the heart of the electorates
across the state.
From the two major parties in the state angry members are abound waiting for any opportunity to present itself, especially if the political parties fail to address the crisis threatening to tear the parties apart.
However, the Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Barrister Kunle Oyatomi disclosed that no members of the party were angry to the extent of wanting to leave the party because they love the APC, its leaders and the Governor, as well as its achievements.
He disclosed that what happened is a reflection of the popularity of the party in the state and it is an integral part of any democratic settings, where individuals protest when things did not go their way.
“ To protest the outcome of a primary election is part of democratic process worldwide, but I am assuring you that no member of APC is trying to dump it for another party because there is no alternative to APC in the state and in Nigeria as a whole”, he added.