Some members of the ruling People’s Democratic Party
PDP in Oyo State have expressed dissatisfaction against the move by the party leadership to adopt selection process in place of the planned election of candidates to fly the party’s flag in the coming council polls in the 33 local government areas of the state.
The party had on Friday announced through its spokesman, Alhaji Akeem Olatunji, the withdrawal of the list of Returning Officers for the local government party Congress stating the intention of the PDP hierarchy to adopt selection method.
Olatunji had said in a statement made available on Friday that the decision to select those contesting as candidates in the council poll was arrived at after careful consideration of the complaints received by the party.
The party leadership in Itesiwaju Local Government Area of the state on Sunday, in a statement signed by its Local Organising Secretary, Mr Lamuye Oni, said the selection approach showed illegality. It expressed doubt that Governor Seyi Makinde
could condone the decision of some leaders of the party to result to selection.
The statement read that members of the party were initially elated when assured that there would be openness in the system, stating that this led to the selection of Returning Officers across local government councils in the state.
It said party loyalists were taken aback when they learnt that the list of the returning officers had been withdrawn in a bid to adopt selection system.
According to the statement, those who fought for the stability and progress of PDP at the grassroots level would be deprived the opportunity of fair representation as only those who are close to the governor would be picked.
The statement read, “PDP is the most democratic in its doings and actions, It will never indulge in illegality, moreso, the Oyo State chapter, where we have Governor Seyi Makinde as party leader, who is progressive by nature and disposition, he will not fall for anything other than what the party constitution dictates.
“Solution to the perceived wrongs on the list of the Returning Officers is not selection of candidates for the coming local government election. Such idea is only coming from those who are weak in their respective councils and who only want to cover up with the tailor-made argument against the returning officers list.
“They bombarded our state party officers and proposed selection method which they believed to be a saving grace, knowing fully well that their closeness to the corridors of power will enable them have an edge.
“Selection of candidates for any election is obviously another method of imposition which will be counter productive as there are other party members who may not have the opportunity to be close to the governor, but very relevant and grounded in their domains believe that selection option will shortchange such people.
“It will be in tandem with democratic dictates and the nationally acceptable best practices to pick our party candidates through fair and free party primary, however, if there are solid cases against the party primary, such can be addressed objectively.
“For the party to accommodate other interests, each local government area should be allowed to use acceptable methods under the full watch of the state party leadership, but this should not be the criteria to wave away our party primary.”It urged the leadership of the party to allocate the local government vice chairmanship slots to women members and defectors that joined the PDP from the African Democratic Congress in bid to entrench unity and cohesion.