Oyo and Lagos States are among the epic centres across the federation as the ruling party, PDP holds its governorship primaries today. The Oyo State chapter of the party, just like Lagos had witnessed supremacy crises as factional leaders lay claim to the control of the party and therefore should determine who becomes the party flag bearer in the 2015 general elections.
In Oyo State, the crises were exacerbated by the irregularities that characterized the ward congresses held in the state which failed to produce a clear winner. The Street Journal can authoritatively report that the contest would be between former Governor of the State, Adebayo Alao-Akala and former Senate Leader, Tesilim Folarin in Oyo State in spite of preponderance of aspirants that are vying for the ticket from the pace setter state.
Given the resolve to use statutory delegates for the primaries in Oyo State, there are strong indications that the coast is now clear for Folarin to carry the day, all things being equal.
Folarin, it’s common-knowledge, has the state party machinery under his control coupled with the unflinching supports he enjoys from the the NWC and the Senate.
The Street Journal can authoritatively report that Alao-Akala enjoyed the support of the presidency, as President Goodluck Jonathan preferred a rugged candidate who has the prerequisite wherewithal to give Senator Isiaka Ajimobi of Oyo State a good fight. It was gathered that the president’s strategists had zeroed it on Alao-Akala the only candidate from amongst the pack that can give APC a run for its money at the poll.
This permutation, however changed when the Senate president stepped in with his transparent support for Folarin against Alao-Akala who was believed to have blocked the former Senate Leader’s re-election in 2011.
It was gathered that in solidarity for all past senators vying for elective positions, the Senate president has thrown his weight behind them, irrespective of their individual political value.
The Street Journal however gathered that sequel to the failed attempts to arrive at a consensus candidate at the various truce meetings held in Abuja with the front-line aspirants, it was resolved that only statutory delegates would be allowed to vote at the primary in Oyo State.
It was gathered that the decision put paid to the two conflicting court injunctions obtained by members of the party from the same judge of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that the results of the ward congresses be used by the party for its primary elections.
With this development, the three delegates from each of the 351 wards across the 33 local government council areas of the state, who would have participated in the primary election, have been shut out.
It would be recalled that the results of the ward congresses held in the state along other states of the federation on November 1 this year led to controversies, in which a re-run was ordered on November 24, in which no acceptable result could be produced
What however looked like a breakthrough from the impending chaos was the court ruling by Justice E.S. Chukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Friday which ordered that a particular list of delegates elected at the controversial re-run ward congress of November 24 be adopted for usage for the party’s primary elections.
A spanner was however thrown into whatever might have been the success of the court ruling as another ruling preceding that obtained by another party member ordering that only delegate list signed by the Yinka Taiwo-led executive of the party should be upheld, was made public barely 24 hours after the Friday ruling.
The said earlier ruling, which was actually obtained on October 27 this year, barely three days to the November 24 ward congress, was given by the same judge, Justice Chukwu. Going by it, there wouldn’t have been any legal backing for the list being ordered for usage because it was not signed by Yinka Taiwoled executive council of the party as earlier ruled by the same judge
However, the situation is not in any way different in Lagos State where Senator Musiliu Obanikoro is generally believed to be the anointed candidate of the Senate president, David Mark as against Agbaje who enjoys the support of the Bode George faction of the party. Agbaje is believed to be a more intelligent candidate that would be easy to sell to the electorate than Obanikoro who’s antecedents as former Chairman of Lagos Island Local government among others have continue to generate controversies.