A member of the House of Representatives, Abdulkabir Abdekunle Akinlade, has been picked as the consensus candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2019 governorship election in Ogun State.
The decision to pick Akinlabi was taken on Wednesday night at a marathon meeting of party leaders and stakeholders, mostly from Ogun West senatorial district, in Abeokuta.
The decision however did not go down well with another aspirant on the APC platform, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who declared the decision as unilateral and undemocratic.
Dapo Abiodun made his feelings known in a statement by the Director of Media of his campaign organization, noting that he and many other aspirants were not carried along or invited to the meeting where the decision was taken.
It would be recalled that Governor Ibikunle Amosun had, while announcing his decision to contest for the senatorial ticket of the party for Ogun West Senatorial District on Wednesday, said a consensus candidate will be announced on Thursday.
Reports however have it that Akinlade, who represents Egbado South/Ipokia Federal Constituency, was chosen from among 10 gubernatorial aspirants who had earlier signed a pact with the elders of Ogun West Senatorial District.
Elected to the House of Representatives in 2015, Akinlade, 49, was formally a Senior Special Assistant to Governor Amosun on Taxation and Revenue between 2011 and 2014.
The choice of Akinlade was announced by Chief Ajibola Olagbaye, who is the chairman of Ogun West Elders Council, with APC gubernatorial aspirants from Ogun West as well as leaders, elders and stakeholders of the senatorial district in attendance.
Reacting however, the Dapo Abiodun Campaign Organization (DACO) said the decision is a total misrepresentation of facts being sponsored by the state governor, Senator Amosun.
Insisting that a consensus candidate can only be talked about where only one aspirant is available, Prince Abiodun noted that the development can only throw the party in the state into confusion.
The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a misleading media report and total misrepresentation of facts, being sponsored by the governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and his puppet State Exco indicating that there was an agreement by some unidentified stakeholders to select the next Ogun APC governorship candidate through a concensus arrangement.
“This development is basically aimed at hoodwinking the general public, thereby throwing up confusion into the political environment of our dear state, especially within the APC.
“We received this news with rude shock and wonder why the proponents had chosen to tow a political path that is undemocratic, unjust and unfair to all other governorship aspirants within the party, as they were not duly consulted before such decision was reached by the governor and his political group. A consensus only obtains where there is only one aspirant which would still have to be affirmed and ratified by voting .
“The national body of our great party has made itself clear on the issue of primaries , and instructed that all the states being ruled by APC must adopt the direct primary election method and in a situation where such is not feasible, a resolution of any other alternative primary election process should be forwarded to the national body for proper ratification and adoption.
“Such resolution is expected to be taken by critical stakeholders, which includes all governorship aspirants, without excluding any.
“At this time and age, it is somewhat amusing that Senator Ibikunle Amosun will gather some aspirants of just one Senatorial district and unilaterally decide and announce a purported and sham consensus.
“It is worthy to note that at no point did Prince Dapo Abiodun and many other stakeholders of our dear state receive any official or unofficial invitation to attend the said stakeholders meeting where this issue was discussed.
“We hereby call on our supporters and the general public to completely ignore and disregard this make-believe political narrative being sponsored from within the government of Amosun against Prince Dapo Abiodun and a few others.
“Finally we would like to reiterate our full commitment and support for any primary election process that falls within the guidelines which was stipulated by the National Working Committee of our great party APC.”
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