Governor Ibikunle Amosun and his loyalists in the Ogun State All Progressives Congress (APC) may have finally bowed to the directive of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) for states to conduct direct primaries in selecting candidates.
This followed the alleged rejection of the list of consensus candidates adopted by the governor by the national leadership of the party in Abuja.
Amosun, who had backed the emergence of Adekunle Akinlade as the consensus governorship candidate of Ogun APC, was said to have travelled with local government party chairmen to meet with the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Sources within the party told our correspondent that the governor and his associates had gone to submit the list of his favoured candidates at the national secretariat.
The delegation was, however, reportedly asked to comply with the resolution of the recent meeting of the APC National Executive Committee (NEC) on primaries, which stipulates that primaries shall be conducted where more than one aspirant signifies interest through purchase of Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for any elective position.
But in a swift reaction yesterday, the state Publicity Secretary, Chief Wole Elegbede, denied claims that the party sent any list of consensus candidates to Abuja.
Elegbede, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said the list of candidates being circulated was only generated for the purpose of the media.
He said: “What happened is that individual consensus candidates are to fill their forms. When they fill their forms, they will go and send it to the national secretariat individually. The list that was generated for the purpose of the media. We didn’t send any list to the national secretariat.”
On the issue of direct primaries, Elegbede said: “Direct primaries will not take place in all constituencies.
“There are some constituencies that have agreed on the candidates that they are going to use; so there is not going to be direct primaries in those areas.
“In the constituencies where the aspirants did not agree and then, many of them went to the national secretariat to go and take forms, then there will be direct primaries in those constituencies. We are not ruling out direct primaries at all.”