From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State has been postponed over perceived security threats, probably till Friday May 27, 2022.
Though the exercise who initially billed to commence by 10am on Thursday, the electoral panel led by Senator Tokunbo, Afikuyomi, and his committee members, as well as five among the six governorship aspirants did not arrive at the venue of the primary at Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, until around 4pm.
It was gathered that the panel members, the aspirants and party leaders had held a crucial meeting at Premier Hotel, for many hours. The aspirants, according to sources, could not reach agreement on the delegates’ list, which many of them had not seen prior to the meeting. It was reported further that the list was not handed over to any of the aspirants, but the front page of it was only shown to the stakeholders afar off.
One of the aspirants, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), as gathered, requested for the list so that he and other aspirants could know those that are in the delegates’ list, which was purportedly rejected by the committee. It was there he said openly that he would pull out of the primary if he was not allowed to see the list. He later addressed a press conference in Ibadan, where he announced officially that he has pulled out of the primary, describing it as a charade.
The five governorship aspirants, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, Senator Teslim Folarin, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan, Akeem Agbaje, and Alao Oyedele, also left the venue with their supporters. The party leaders and security personnel also left the venue. As at 8pm when Daily Sun’s reporter left the venue, the stadium was empty.
The chairman of the APC governorship electoral committee, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, and Chairman of APC in the state, Isaac Omodewu, refused to grant interview to journalists on the development.
But Afikuyomi had said before the postponement that the exercise would not commence until non–delegates that were at the venue moved out of the venue . He asked the five aspirants to address their supporters to vacate the venue, which they did. But all the non-delegates refused to go out.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner for the state, Mutiu Agboke, a team of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to the venue. The team also left when it was said that the primary has been postponed.
Akintola had said during the press conference “I will not be participating in the primary. It has been screwed in favour of one particular aspirant and I will not be a party to the charade.”
Former Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, said the committee might have postponed the primary because of unfavourable situation, adding that the postponement was necessary to prevent bloody clash between supporters of winner of the primary and the runner up.