…Says not afraid of direct primaries
Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, on Wednesday, laid to rest the speculation of his senatorial ambition, as he declared that he would contest for the position of Ogun Central Senatorial seat in 2019.
The governor equally said that contrary to the news making the rounds that he was jittery to allow direct primaries by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, he was ready to back direct system to choose the candidates of the party for next year’s general elections.
He added that though, he preferred the consensus system during the primaries, he insisted was ready to abide by the decision of the party if it adopts direct system of primaries to allow every eligible, if consensus eventually falls through.
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Amosun spoke at the stakeholders meeting of the APC organised, in Abeokuta, by the party on the system of primaries to be adopted by party in the system.
The meeting was attended by members of the state executive committee of the party, Senator Lanre Tejuoso, former senators who represented Ogun East and Ogun West respectively, Adegbenga Kaka and Akin Odunsi, former deputy governor, Segun Adesegun, Speaker of the State Assembly, Suraj Ishola Adekunbi, APC National Financial Secretary, Tajudeen Bello, among others.
Governor Amosun disclosed that almost all the state governors, including him, under the platform of APC, had at the Governors’ Forum meeting, spoke in favour of the indirect primaries, maintaining he was ready to face the direct system to prove that he had nothing to fear or hide.
He explained that the party has up-to-date register of its members, and warned that the party would not tolerate any group or individual bringing any membership register, with the aim of disrupting the party.
The governor, who reiterated his support for Ogun West to produce the next governor, hinted that a consensus candidate among the gubernatorial aspirants from the zone, will be made public on Thursday.
He, however, explained that his decision to support Ogun West was simply to ensure fairness, equity and justice in the state, especially when the party had also zoned the governorship slot to the zone.
Amosun said he was bewildered by the Ogun East agitation for the governorship, after APC leaders in the zone had earlier agreed to support Ogun West, saying “anyone who wants to defy the party should go ahead”.
In their respective remarks at the meeting, Kaka, Adesegun, Odunsi, called for a consensus that would carry all the stakeholders in the party along and not marginalise any zone, particularly Ogun East.
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Reading the communique, signed by APC State Publicity Secretary, Wole Elegbede, at the end of the meeting, the state chairman of the party, Derin Adebiyi, read: “That the APC in Ogun State shall have a consensus candidate for elective positions in the 2019 elections.
“That where where consensus fails, a direct primary will be used to choose a candidate for such position”.