Efforts by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State to ensure that the 26 All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirants jostling for the Agodi Government House agree on the choice of three among them from whom one would be accepted as the standard flag bearer, failed to work yesterday, as some major contenders were absent.
The governor met with executive members of the APC at the Oke Ado party secretariat, Ibadan where about 15 of the gubernatorial aspirants were in attendance, but some who were also expected to be part of the decision were absent but sent apologies through the party Chairman Chief Akin Oke.
They included: Former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala. who was in Abuja to submit his guber form; Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), former deputy governor of the state, Iyiola Oladokun, and Dr. Isaac Owolabi (former Health Commissioner). Minister for Communications, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu, was equally absent but was said to have claimed to be out of the country.
Of all the aspirants, report had it that aside Alao-Akala who had obtained his nomination form, Shittu was also rumoured to have obtained the form, while none else said to have obtained the form which INEC had announced will close today.
Those present included: Chief Moses Adeyemo (Deputy Governor), Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Alhaji Olalekan Alli, former SUBEB Chairman Professor Soji Adejumo, Mr. Soji Eniade (former Head of Service), Dr. Morounkola Thomas (Ajimobi’s political aide), Alhaji Kehinde Olaosebikan (former CPS to late Governor Lam Adesina), Dr. Azeez Adeduntan (Health Commissioner), Mr. Adebayo Adelabu (ex- CBN Deputy Governor), Mr Kareem Ayodeji, Mr Joseph Tegbe of KPMG, Dr. Olusola Ayandele, Mr. Isaac Omodewu, Senator Soji Akanbi, and Mr. Kola Ashanke.
Though Ajimobi appealed to the various aspirants to be sincere with themselves, as according to him, “It was agreeable that three of the guber aspirants should be settled to go for indirect primaries. Of the 32 seats in the House of Assembly, 216 were aspiring. Some have gone to obtain forms, no problem. But if any other want to go and waste their money, no problem too. But my belief is that those who cannot afford the nomination fee know themselves. Let us do it with the spirit of family members.
“Yoruba proverb has it that if a fish dances in the river, a good trader in such article must know how much such fish costs. Even when two boxers meet in a ring, a reasonable and sensible boxer must be able to know what his chances are,” Ajimobi said.
After the indirect primaries resolution had been formally agreed upon with motion moved by Kareem Ayodeji and seconded by Hon. Segun Taiwo, the governor held a secret meeting with the gubernatorial aspirants with the objective of agreeing on three from whom the standard flag bearer would be chosen. After the meeting, however, New Telegraph gathered that there was no consensus among the aspirants when Joseph Tegbe, Adebayo Adelabu and the incumbent SSG, Olalekan Alli were said to have been zeroed on.
To some observers, “How would Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), Alao-Akala, Dr. Owolabi and Shittu who were not at the meeting agree with such decision in which they have been excluded? That cannot work. I don’t know how this debacle can be unraveled”, a politician said.
The governor also held secret meetings with Senate and House of Representative’s aspirants, but the resolution was also not disclosed. However, the general feeling was that many were not ready to give way for the others.
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