Ogun LG polls: Cold war as APC aspirants battle for tickets


As the July 24 local government elections draw nearer, aspirants under the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) In Ogun state are currently at loggerheads as they jostle for the candidacy of the party.

Findings confirm that leaders of the party across the 20 local governments of the state are now divided over their choices of chairmanship and councillorship candidates.

Governor Dapo Abiodun had convened a meeting of APC stakeholders in the state at the weekend to discuss the matter.

Our correspondent gathered that the meeting was to prevent the internal wranglings in the party from escalating and to correct the impression that Gov Abiodun had already given ‘automatic tickets’ to some aspirants.

At the meeting, the governor was said to have ‘disowned’ some ‘ready-made lists’ prepared by some factional leaders, assuring all aspirants of a free and fair process.

The APC spokesperson in Ogun, Tunde Oladunjoye, while referring to the meeting confirmed that the governor agreed with party leaders that candidates should be chosen by consensus, direct primaries or indirect primaries.

“The leaders have assured the governor that the process of reaching consensus is ongoing and by Wednesday, they will come back with the list of agreed candidates in the local government. We expect that some local governments will come back with one candidate, while those who have more than two or three will go for direct primaries,” Oladunjoye said.

At the moment, aspirants are already lobbying party leaders to outsmart their opponents.

There are screening committees in the various local governments, whose duty is to reduce the number of aspirants to either two or three, in areas where consensus arrangements have failed.

In Abeokuta South, party leaders are being accused of plots of going for the ‘highest bidders’.

Some aggrieved party members, led by one Balogun Ololade, had earlier protested that leaders in Abeokuta South were making efforts to ‘sell’ the tickets to money bags, insisting on direct primaries.

Our correspondent learned that almost all the 236 wards of Ogun State have one issue or the order over who represents the party in the forthcoming elections.

In Ipokia Ward 1, an APC councillorship aspirant, Qudus Orobiyi, was reported to have settled for a ticket in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

DAILY POST learnt that Orobiyi’s decision to defect to the PDP was because a leader of the party had told him and other aspirants not to bother themselves, saying the ticket had already been allocated to the immediate past councillor of the ward, Rasheed Bankole.

It was gathered that many other indignant aspirants are ready to ‘port’ to other parties like Orobiyi, should leaders impose candidates on them.

Already, the Chairman of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in Ogun State, Olaposi Oginni, has called on “disenfranchised” APC aspirants to come and actualise their ambition on the platform of the NNPP.

“The New Nigeria People’s Party condemned in totality, the flagrant disobedience to the constitution of the APC in relation to the Local Government primaries in the state.

“The New Nigeria People’s Party is hereby appealing to credible personalities who were denied genuine opportunities to serve the good people of Ogun State at the grassroots level, to quickly make NNPP their next destination of success in the coming elections.

“We are calling on the APC leadership to be very careful in their reckless activities that failed to be in tandem with the stipulated laws and constitution of the APC not to forget the Zamfara catastrophe in a hurry,” Oginni said in a statement on Sunday.

The APC in Ogun State is made up of many political heavyweights, including new defectors like former Governor Gbenga Daniel; former Speaker, Dimeji Bankole; a three-time governorship candidate, Gboyega Isiaka; former Deputy Governor, Salmot Badru and others.

At the moment, the party is reportedly polarised between those who see themselves as the original owners of the party and those seen as newcomers.

Our correspondent reliably gathered that some pioneer members of the party are not pleased with the fact that those who just joined the APC are dragging tickets with them.

But, Gov Abiodun’s insistence on a free and fair candidate selection process has sent shivers down the spines of those parading themselves as the Ogun APC ‘feudal lords’, our correspondent was told.

Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) has said parties are to conduct primaries between May 5 and May 27, 2021.

The APC said its forms were sold at N200,000 for chairmanship aspirants and N50,000 for their councillorship counterparts.

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