As the September 22 governorship election in Osun State draws close, some concerned members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, have petitioned the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and other NEC members over alleged ‘doctoring’ of delegates list by the State chapter of the party and plans by the incumbent Governor, Rauf Aregbesola to impose a preferred candidate against the popular choice by the people and party.
The group, in separate letters dated February 15, 2018, obtained exclusively by Newsclickng.com noted that if the imposition plans by the governor materializes, the party was already on its way to losing the governorship election.
Recall that before this letter, some other groups had earlier in a report published by Newsclickng.com accused the National leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of mounting pressures on Governor Aregbesola to impose his (Tinubu’s) cousin and Chief of Staff to the governor, Gboyega Oyetola as the party’s flagbearer in the forthcoming governorship primaries.
The group in the letters signed by Hon. Ganiyu Muraina and eleven other top stalwarts alleged that the governor in collaboration with the state chairman of the party, Prince Adegboyega Famodun had earlier imposed candidates in different elections which the party lost to opposition parties.
They made reference in particular to the governor’s imposition of candidates in the House of Representatives elections, State House of Assembly election and the recent Osun West Senatorial elections, all of which the party lost to the opposition.
“In preparation for 2018 elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced its timetable, despite this; political situation in our party (APC) in Osun State fails to justify the conduct of failed elections.
Certain trends, including ‘doctoring’ of the 2014 authentic delegates list from the congress held which the party, in connivance with the state government has taken so far, suggests an attempt to impose a candidate on the party.
This trends are dangerous to our party, considering how our party lost in Osun State in previous elections conducted in the state, where preferred candidates of Governor Rauf Aregbesola were imposed on the party and were roundly defeated.
For instance in 2015, Governor Rauf imposed Hon. Nathaniel Agunbiade and Rotimi Makinde to run for House of Representatives representing Obokun/Oriade and Ife federal constituencies respectively. Both of them lost the elections.
Again in 2016, our party lost a seat in the State House of Assembly following Governor Aregbesola’s imposition of Hon. Tilewa Sijuwade to run for a bye-election into Ife Central state constituency.
In 2017, following the death of Sen. Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, (a candidate of our party before his death), representing Osun State West Senatorial district in Nigeria 8th republic House of Senate. In that election, despite repeated warnings, Governor Rauf Aregbesola again imposed Sen. Hussain Mudashiru, and our party lost again in an embarrassing manner,” the letter partly reads.
The group warned that as the 2018 governorship election approaches, the party is already embarking on dangerous moves that might spell doom for it.
It noted amongst other things, the controversial local government elections which did not take place since 2010 that Governor Aregbesola was elected till January this year which has continue to generate ill-feelings statewide. It also mentioned the issue of embargo placed on intra-party campaign and expression of interest for governorship race; massive alteration in the list of APC local and ward executive officers, amongst others.
The group urged the timely intervention of the national chairman and other key national executives of APC at the national level before things get out hand.
Efforts to reach the governor and the Osun state chairman of the APC for comments on some of the allegations by the group was unsuccessful at the time of filing this report.