February 21, 2019
Commentary Politico Top Stories

Osun 2018: How choice of candidate unsettling APC

…SSG, Adeoti prepares to resign

There are strong indications that rumpus within the the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun state is imminent over the choice of who flies the party’s flag in the September 22, governorship election.

Doubts emerged on the capacity of the party to retain the state after election, following the kind of power-play among chieftains of the party.

The glaring disparity of choice of candidate appeared to have evoked sentiments swayed along loyalty lines, portraying the chances of the party to resist the push of reclaiming power by the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the gubernatorial contest to seem marginally slim.

In a seemingly battle for the ticket of the party, two factions – that of the Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, and those adamant on producing a candidate with more local appearance have emerged, with both locked in a subtle tussle to outmatch each other.

The Aregbesola camp, it was gathered, is favoured to the aspiration of a cousin of APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Chief of Staff to the state government, Gboyega Oyetola, while those on the other camp are disposed to that choice, weighing the implication the choice will bear on the electoral fortunes of the party.

The scheming by both camps, which had been linked to the 2018 governorship ticket of the party, also has its splits extended to even the ward levels.

After long anticipation, the APC in Osun state on Monday lifted restriction on public campaigns by members and 27 aspirants have since given their intentions to pick the party’s ticket.

However, onlookers believed only four (4) aspirants may eventually battle the party ticket and considered other aspirants as a subtle distractions in the politics of delegates.

Some of the aspirants, it was gathered, were pushed into the race to whittle-down the delegate target of an identified aspirant, a source and strategist within the party told SAHEL STANDARD.

He added that this will give advantage to the aspirant behind such scheming in the party’s primary, saying “I can’t entirely rule that out.”

The source, who craved anonymity responded to a question on whether the ticket of the party (APC) in Osun state is among four aspirants.

According to him, “This is politics and anyone who knows how best to play it wins. There is a serious permutation and alliance going on and we hope the party arrives at the most acceptable candidate.”

It was further learnt that party leaders are in dilemma on who to back for the party’s ticket as they are caught up between Oyetola, who is believed to be favoured by Aregbesola and an aspirant with more local appearance.

One of the aspirants believed to be popular among party members and leaders, is Moshood Adeoti, the Secretary to the Government of Osun state, although, his candidature doesn’t resonate well with Aregbesola.

Adeoti submitted his letter of intention to seek the party’s ticket on Thursday and he appeared confident of flying the party’s banner at the September 22 poll.

Though, he attempted to play down insinuations that Aregbesola is not favourable to his choice as the party’s candidate, Adeoti, it was learnt, is preparing to leave his position anytime soon.

One of his close aides told our correspondent during an interaction that Adeoti is aware of the attempts by Aregbesola to diminish his influence and chances for the top office in the state, saying he (Adeoti) is convinced that continuing in his current position will not help his cause.

He added that Adeoti is disappointed with the governor’s stance on his aspiration, which is audible enough, recalling the role the outgoing SSG played for Aregbesola to emerge as governor.

The aide further told our report that Adeoti may communicate his decision to leave the government on Monday in order to fully focus on picking APC’s ticket and subsequently become the governor of Osun state.

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