Oshiomhole, Osun APC youths differ on direct primary for gov candidate
• Hoodlums attack APC group, journalists
All Progressives Congress (APC) youth leaders in Osun State have locked horns with the party’s national secretariat over the preference of direct primary election to the delegates system in picking its candidate for the coming governorship election.
The youths, in a petition addressed to the national secretariat of the party, kicked against purported moves by the National Working Committee (NWC) to adopt the direct primaries option.
The youths, who enjoined the party to retain the tradition of picking its candidates using the delegates system, also pushed for an aspirant from Osun West Senatorial District to fly the party’s flag in the September 22 ballot.
The petition was signed by 27 youths, including seven from Osun Central and 10 each from West and South.
“We, the undersigned Osun All Progressives Congress Forum of Local Government Youth Leaders, call the attention of national leaders to the current insinuation being championed by a smaller unit of the party to organise an open balIot system otherwise known as Option A4.
“Our position is clear; the party should go ahead with the delegates system to pick the gubernatorial candidate as done in Kogi, Edo, Ondo, and Anambra states, and recently in Ekiti State,” the group stated.
But the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, defended the party’s adoption of direct primaries.
He told reporters at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, after meeting with the NWC, that the decision was aimed at giving card-carrying members of the party a voice in whoever emerges the flagbearer.
Oshiomhole maintained that direct primaries option would stem the tide of money politics and godfatherism plaguing party politics in the country.
“We have decided that in order to ensure popular participation, and to deepen democracy in Osun State, and in line with the provision of our party’s constitution which allows for either direct or indirect primary, the governorship election primary in Osun will be conducted on the basis of direct primary. What that means is that every card-carrying member of our party will participate in the process of nominating the flag-bearer of the party.
“This, for us, is the most democratic way to conduct election and in line with what our critical stakeholders from that part of the country want, and we are quite happy to oblige.
Meanwhile, hoodlums on Monday attacked members of APC Integrity Group and reporters at the venue of a news conference in Osogbo, the state capital.
Eleven out of the 16 members of the State Working Committee (SWC) had called the press conference to announce the suspension of the chairman, Gboyega Famodun, and secretary, Rasak Salinsile, over alleged plot to manipulate the primaries in favour of a particular aspirant.
APC legal adviser, Goke Ogunsola, with the vice chairman Isah Adesiji; assistant secretary, Rasheed Bakare; and leader of local councils chairmen, Rufus Awotidoye; accused Famodun of sidelining members of the executive committee on critical issues, including the primaries.
They therefore asked the chairman and the secretary to step down for the vice chairman and assistant secretary to act in their capacities.
But as soon as the conference was over and attendees were stepping out from the venue, about 20 hoodlums invaded the premises, attacking everybody on sight.
Reporters invited to cover the event were not spared.