Few hours to the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election in Osun state, the party is mired over its decision to use direct primary to pick its candidate for the September 22 election.
Some of the aspirants are alleging that the primary has been schemed in favour of a particular aspirant. They also alleged that they were yet to receive the party’s register that would be used for the exercise which would hold in all the 322 wards in the state.
The party boast of popular aspirants who can navigate the ship of the state upon the exit of Rauf Aregbesola, the governor. Commenting on this, Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the APC, said all the aspirants jostling for the state’s governorship position are “good to go”. Also noteworthy is the fact most of the political actors surrounding the governor are gunning for the Okefia government house.
As card-carrying members of the party storm out on Friday to elect the candidate that will fly its flag in September, here is a highlight of the popular ones in the robust list of aspirants.
Salaam cut his teeth in politics as an undergraduate of political science at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun. In 2007, he was elected to the state house of assembly, but the election was annulled after two years and he lost a re-election. He was, however, elected to the house of assembly in 2011 where he became the speaker.
As a second-term speaker, he has maintained a cordial relationship with the executive arm of the state, which his critics say has made him a rubberstamp of the governor.
While making his declaration at the party secretariat in Osogbo, the 53-year-old politician said he would consolidate on the achievements of the governor with his political experience.
Oyetola is the chief of staff to the governor. He is contesting a political office for the first time. There are insinuations that the 63-year-old technocrat is the governor’s favourite.
The University of Lagos-trained insurance broker is said to be among the prominent Nigerians who founded the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1998, and was a chieftain of the party before he moved to APC.
Adeoti started his political career as a councillor in Iwo, a major town in the state, to the state party chairman and now the secretary to the state government.
The 65-year-old, fondly called ‘Sheu’ by his admirers, said his primary interest is to make success out of everywhere the governor had failed.
Babalola is the current chairman of the local government service. The former chief of staff to Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former governor of the state, defected to APC in the buildup to 2014 governorship election.
While declaring his intention for the governorship seat, Babalola said he is the most prominent among the aspirants because he is not only a party loyalist but someone with the experience and capability to govern the state.
Yusuf, deputy speaker of the house of representatives, is one of the leading aspirants for the APC governorship seat. The Ilobu-born politician was once a youth leader in the Unity Party of Nigeria UPN and the state public relations officer of the Alliance for Democracy (AD).
Lasun had accused the state government government and the party chairman of threat to his life since he declared interest in the governorship race.
Other aspirants are Kunle Adegoke, a lawyer and Bashiru Ajibola, the state attorney-general and commissioner for justice.