THE All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State of Osun has refused to make official announcement of its candidates for the 2023 State and National Assembly elections, three weeks after the party’s primaries.
APC had on May 26, 27 and 29 held its primaries for aspirants contesting for State House of Assembly, House of Representatives and Senate respectively.
The primaries generated controversies, leading to protests by party members from across the state.
OSUN DEFENDER noted that there was no security officers, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials, accreditation, election materials, party register, result sheets, among others in every local government where the purported primaries took place.
In some wards where the direct primary took place under a high compromised system, the votes scored by each of the aspirants were recorded on a plain sheet of paper.
However, the party, under the leadership of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, was yet to announce the winner of the primary elections, a development that is agitating the minds of thousands of the APC members.
Intrigues and suspense have crept into the presentation of the APC candidates for the State and National assembly elections as there was no official result or pronouncement from the party on who the candidate is in each of the state and federal constituencies and the senatorial districts.
But OSUN DEFENDER reliably gathered that the party has submitted names of the National Assembly candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
For the senatorial election, the party returned the Senate Spokesperson, Senator Ajibola Basiru (Osun Central) and presented Hon Ajibola Famurewa (Osun East) and Mr. Amidu Tadese (Osun West), denying the incumbent Senator, Engr, Adelere Oriolowo a second term.
Oriolowo was reportedly dropped by Oyetola led APC because of his perceived loyalty to the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
The medium learnt that of the current Osun APC six House of Reps members, only Hon Yinusa Amobi (Ayedire/Iwo/Olaoluwa), Hon Taiwo Oluga (Ayedaade/Irewole/Isokan) and Hon. Babatunde Ayeni (Ijesa South) were returned.
The party dropped Hon. Rasidi Olalekan (Ifelodun/Boripe/Odo-Otin) and Hon. Bukola Oyewo (Osogbo/Olorunda/Irepodun/Orolu), while Hon. Femi Fakeye of Ila/Boluwaduro/Ifedayo did not show interest in contesting.
Oyewo, popularly known as Bukoy was replaced with a fresh politician, Abosede OgoOluwa in Osogbo Federal Constituency while Afolabi was replaced with Chief Moshood Oluawo in IBO federal constituency.
The current Commissioner for Tourism, Dr Adebisi Obawale, was presented to INEC as the APC candidate for Ila federal constituency.
In Ijesa North federal constituency, Mr Seun Odofin, an aide to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, was nominated while Mrs Lateefat Giwa, was presented in Ede/Ejigbo/Egbedore federal constituency.
However, OSUN DEFENDER reliably gathered that APC is yet to submit any name for the House of Assembly election.
Apart from the aspirants who were unopposed in their various constituencies, uncertainty still pervades the final submission of House Assembly candidates in the state.
The party, it was gathered, deliberately refused to make known to the public the names of candidates chosen for the State and National Assembly elections.
According to sources in the party, Governor Oyetola and the APC leadership in the state are afraid of reverberating effect of protests that will come from each of the constituencies after the announcement of the candidates.
The sources confided in OSUN DEFENDER that there would not be any official announcement of names of candidates for the 2023 general elections till after the July 16 governorship election.
A credible source in the party told the medium that the Governor is trying to minimize protest vote from party members who will feel cheated in the selection of House of Assembly candidates during the governorship election.
The source said: “The refusal of the party to announce candidate for the House of Assembly and National Assembly elections coming up next year is a strategy to manage the grievances of the APC members, so that it will not affect the coming governorship election.
“The idea is that the party wants to keep the aspirants and their followers guessing and hopeful till the governorship election comes. They don’t want the aggrieved members to mobilise for protest votes against the governor in the coming election.
“The strategy is that if the party does not make official announcement on names of the candidates, members of the party will continue to work for the victory of the governor, believing that their preferred aspirants would be chosen.”
In a similar expression, a leader of the APC in Irepodun local government, told OSUN DEFENDER that the party is trying as much as possible to manage the controversies which the primary elections have generated in the state.
According to the APC leader who craved anonymity, Governor Oyetola is confused on the House of Assembly candidates, saying that was why the party is yet to forward any name to INEC.
The APC leader said: “Governor Oyetola is confused on the House of Assembly candidates. That is where the party has serious problem because it is a grassroot matter. There is no much problem on the National Assembly candidates; but people are so much interested in the House of Assembly.
“As I am talking to you, the party has not submitted any name as candidates for the House of Assembly. The governor knows that there is going to be problem for him in his election if the party announces the candidates’ names because the primary held was just a kangaroo.
“You know people will have time to mobilise themselves for protest votes against the governor on July 16 if the party announces names of candidates for the House of Assembly now; and the party does not want that.”
OSUN DEFENDER noted that the last day for the submission of House of Assembly candidates is July 15, while the governorship election holds on July 16.