An All Progressive Congress Party Chieftain, a former Apex leader and a member of the G10 in Ifelodun Local Council Development Area, Hon Sunday Ayodele, says the ruling party has no right to stop any aspirant chosen by the different caucuses in the party from contesting in the Party primaries except the persons concerned did not meet up with the party’s requirements.
He said whatever arrangement the caucuses had cannot be overturned by the party executives because it is an internal affair within the caucus. He explains more, ‘’ we cannot overturn the primaries of these caucuses because it is their internal arrangement and it does not concern the party. If such a person obtains the party’s expression of interest form, we will simply look through the party’s guideline, if it comes out. If the person qualifies and has the structure that can back him through the primary he can go ahead.
The only disadvantage is that if an aggrieved person, who feels cheated by the outcome of the selection process in their caucus, decides to run outside the convenience of the caucus, he may not get support from his Ward executives and the local government executives’’.
Ayodele said that as a party Chieftain, there is little they can do under such situation to stop such individual from running or allow the individual to influence their decision no matter the person’s financial status. He added that for the credibility of the party, it’s always important that the party and the executives keep away from any internal arrangements among the various caucuses.
‘’Whatever method any caucus uses in picking their aspirant, it will not be binding on the apex leadership. All the different caucuses’ aspirants would still need to qualify in order to contest in our party primaries. At the end of the day, its only one person from any of the caucuses that will qualify to represent the party in the general election based on our guidelines’’, he stated.
According to him, the Ajidagba Campaign Organisation has picked Dr Ralph Oyedun Leye, while the Hon Kolawole Taiwo group has picked Nurudeen Koleosho, but how about Hon Olufemi Okeowo who is not from any of these caucuses. However, the party still recognizes Okeowo as a serious contender in the upcoming primaries, and nobody in the party can deny him the opportunity of contesting just because he did not emerge from any of the caucuses.
The APC Chieftain said that though the PMG group, are yet to settle the issue between Hon Wahab Adigun and Alli Balogun, but Hon Jamiu reliably had told me that he is still aspiring and both of them are still qualified to contest in the party primaries. Despite agitations from aggrieved members, the party executives will only allow those that meet up the registration guidelines and the other requirements to contest. He however added that no caucus has the right to stop anybody from contesting.
Ayodele revealed that the same guideline will be used for all the aspirants including especially for councillorship. ‘’Like in my ward, we have about 10-12 Councillorship aspirants, but what concerns me, as a party member, it is their right to contest. The leaders will do their own, but the party will have the last say’’ he noted.
He however pleaded with the different caucuses not to use the party leaders to legitimize any internal arrangement they have made as this will rub off on the credibility of the party leaders.