Chief Akin Oke
All Progressive’s Congress
Party Secretariat, Oke Ado, Ibadan
OPEN LETTER ON THE NOMINATION PROCESS FOR THE APC LOCAL GOVERNMENT PRIMARIES
I am sure you are conscious of the fact that all eyes have been on you since February 2nd , 2018 when the OYSIEC Chairman announced the new date of May 12th, 2018 for the much awaited local government election in Oyo state. The whole world is waiting for the free, fair and democratic party primaries which you have always been promising your party members or you will succumb to the deceptive, manipulative and satanic intention of governor Ajimobi.
It’s no more a news that you have used your headship and leadership of the party to conspired with the governor for over six and a half years to avoid conducting local government elections. You cooperated with him in his “ divide and rule” tactics of instituting court actions which were now used as excuses to delay elections. You have not been able to draw a line between the government and the party in Oyo State. This is a great disservice to the party that entrusted a lot in your hands.
I can understand your predicaments but they are self-inflicted. We have had many people from Ogbomosho in party politics and government in this state. they have been on the side of the truth, they have been bold, courageous and dogged fighters. Your uncle, Aare Ona Kakanfo Samuel Akintola stood for what he believed in and fought to the end. Your friend, Former Deputy Governor to Olunloyo, Alhaji Mohammed Olatunji (SAN) of NPN days was straightforward till his last breath. As speaker of old Oyo State House of Assembly, your brother, Akin Onigbide (SAN) was upright and your other brother, former governor Adebayo Alao Akala was bold and upright. The courageous Brig. Benjamin Adekunle (Black Scorpion), Chief Ayantayo Ayandele, Chief Sunday Adewusi ( Former IG of Police). Although Obas don’t play politics, Kabiyesi Oba Oyewunmi Ajagungbade has never deviated from his political belief and he has always been taken the bull by the horn even at a time one of his prominent subjects was adversely affected. Chief Akintola Oke where is the Ogbomosho in you?
Those who are close to you politically have always been quoting you that appointment to caretaker of local governments is a “prerogative of the governor” but when it comes to nomination for the elective offices , It’s the responsibility of the party and you will not shy away or compromise in the nomination process via a democratic process . Will this amount to empty boasts?
I know I don’t have to remind you that the basis of APC formation was a resolution to entrench Internal Democracy within the party. The CPC group led by General Muhamadu Buhari and Chief Tom Ikimi made the then AC N Leaders like: Jagaban Bola Tinubu , Pa Bisi Akande and other leaders to agree that all nomination processes within the party must be by constitutional guided free and fair party primaries.
Although the APC constitution does not rule out candidates’ nomination by consensus, this can only happen if the candidates agreed to that among themselves. When its enforced or the candidates are coerced, compelled, forced or deceived to agree to it as it is been preached by governor Ajimobi, it amounts to nothing but imposition. Anybody who does not believe in free and fair primaries should look for another party outside APC. What makes you and the governor think that the negotiation for consensus which you have not been able to achieve in the last one year can now be peacefully enforced within a week?
Based on the agreement and in strict compliance with APC”s Constitution, the National Convention was held on December 10th, 2014 where General Muhammadu Buhari emerged as our Presidential candidate , Governorship Primaries held across the country on December 3rd, 2014 ( Ajimobi emerged as Oyo State governorship flag bearer after polling 4,662 to defeat Ayo Lam Adesina who polled 22), Senatorial Primaries held on December 8th, 2014 (Sen. Soji Akanbi scored 2189 to defeat Femi Olaore who had 330 for Oyo South Senatorial district). House of Representative Primaries in December 8th, 2014 and State Houses of Assembly Primaries held on December 2nd, 2014. All these elections were held by the party executives at the respective levels who have been constitutionally appointed to form the electoral colleges.
Any attempt to impose candidates or gerrymander the nomination process is just like looking for trouble where there is none. At the conduct of all the primaries mentioned above, there was no death, violence or major disruption to have necessitated any consideration of seeking alternative means of candidate selection. In most of the local governments in Oyo state, the candidates have been made to sign undertaken of violence free and friendly primaries.
People know you to be a man of conscience and integrity. If this is true, how will you tell those who paid and collected forms over one year ago to step down for another person after spending millions to mobilize supporters over the years. You have always been promising fair and credible primaries. Please sir, permit me to remind you of your words with Channels TV in January 6th, 2017: “The screening of aspirants have come and gone. The process has so far been fair and credible. What we are waiting for is the reports of the committee that conducted the screening. It is after the screening that aspirants will know whether they are cleared or not. After this, the primary will be conducted in the party”.
Imposition of candidates and lack of internal democracy brought PDP down to its present state. In 2007, Primaries was not conducted in Action Congress (AC) governorship nomination where Prof. Taoheed Adedoja was imposed. Hence, Ajimobi led his supporters to ANPP. At the end of the day, Ajimobi lost and Adedoja lost. In 2011 out of 9 aspirants, Ajimobi was imposed although he was successful but we lost most of the other aspirants like Senator Lanlehin to other political parties.
In the present scenario, if all candidates that are not favoured with the proposed imposition react like Ajimobi did in 2007, majority of party members will defect to other parties and the bandwagon effect will be carried to the very important 2019 election. Once the people decamp, the party will be left with SENACOs and their accomplices only since the Ajimobi’s concept of consensus is actually a SENACOLIZATION of Oyo State APC.
Democracy is a game of numbers. Only the weak and unpopular aspirants look for consensus or imposition. The strong and popular ones will like to have their chances determine by elections. The surest way to destroy the party is to impose candidates. Then the legacy of Lam handed over to you will be completely destroyed. You have built a good name over the years. You have integrity. Its over to you to squander them or build on them.
Alhaji Busari Bayo Balogun