"APC must jettison zoning, pursue merit, good governance" | Nigeria News Today. Your online Nigerian Newspaper f

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Former Vice Chancellor, Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, Kwara State, Professor Abdulrazaq Aderemi Abubakare, has said that despite the clamour in some quarters that the governorship position in Osun State be zoned to the Osun West Senatorial District, where he hails from, that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) should look out for the best among its aspirants to present as candidate, so as not to sacrifice merit in the governance of the state.


The Iwo-born university don, while speaking over the weekend, made the appeal saying he is more concerned with ensuring that the good legacies of the current administration under Governor Rauf Aregbesola is built upon by the next governor, than lending his support to some sentimental demands that are based more on geographical consideration than merit and capability.

He said the task of taking Osun to greater heights must not be put in the hands of incompetent people as Aregbesola prepares to leave Government House. He challenged the ruling party to look beyond the clamour for zoning and decide who its flag-bearer will be, based more on competence, loyalty, track records and the ability of each aspirant to work as a team player if given the opportunity to govern Osun.

Abubakre, who described the outgoing governor as an excellent administrator who is determined to bring about the much needed change in Osun, said though he is a proud son of Iwo and by extension the Osun West Senatorial District, he will not watch and see the ruling party make a dangerous mistake in its choice of candidate for the all-important 2018 governorship election.

“Aregbesola is an excellent performer. He is a brilliant administrator who came determined to bring about the much needed change in our dear state. He has forever changed the parameter of governance in Osun State. Before he came, Osogbo, the state capital, was more like a glorified local government headquarters. But he saw the need to change that and what we see in Osogbo today are testimonials of his achievements.

“Here is a governor who spends the larger chunk of his security votes on securing the lives and properties of the people of the state; and look at what he has done in the educational sector of the state. The schools he built can only be emulated by other states; none as we speak can beat the standard of the architecture of our schools in Osun. The facilities too are world class.

“He has also not neglected human capacity development. In spite of the financial difficulties he encounters, he sent people abroad to be trained and developed so they can come back and serve Osun better. Those are the legacies of this administration we must put into consideration when choosing a successor for Aregbesola. And to get the very best, we must look beyond the need to zone the governorship ticket of the ruling party,” he argued.

He also said all the zones in the state were given equal opportunities to prepare themselves for the 2018 governorship contest and as such, it will be unfair to ignore a zone or aspirant that is better prepared for a zone for an aspirant less ready for the job. “Let us look at a zone which currently has the number three man in the state as its own person. Shouldn’t such a zone or person be well prepared for the contest?

Prof. Abubakre also warned that given the performance of the APC in the West Senatorial District during the last senatorial re-run election, it may not be wise for the party to give its governorship ticket to a candidate from the area. ‘The PDP won across the senatorial district showing that the people here prefer the opposition party to the APC. Will it not be wise for the APC to also go to the central senatorial district where it has always won with a landslide?

“I say this because the current governor is from Osun east and it is only fair another zone takes the slot. That is the type of zoning I can support. And there are many good candidates in the central senatorial zone too. I know of the current Chief of Staff to the Governor, Gboyega Isiaka Oyetola. He is one man that has shown that he is ready to carry on Aregbesola’s legacies. We can trust him with the job.

“I have heard some people describe him as Lagos based. Here is someone who built his country home in Iragbiji as far back as 2002, long before he got involved in politics. Was Baba Akande not living in Ibadan before he became governor? Was Bola Ige living in Esa Oke before his election? We all have where we work outside our hometown. I am in Ilorin now. So, such description lack basis and should be disregarded in the interest of merit and good governance after Aregbesola,” he said.

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