Members of the Osun state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) reportedly loyal to the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola have rejected the elected consensus candidates that emerged from the Saturday ward congresses of the party.
These party members across the 332 wards in the state had alleged that were excluded from the exercise and not carried along.
The exercise in 35 wards of Osun West senatorial district reportedly went smoothly with the same consensus arrangement but the same was not said of other wards.
Former Osun Speaker Hon Najeem Salam, who was at ward 4, Ejigbo, alleged the executives were imposed, not elected.
Salam, who happens to be a loyalist of Aregbnsola, said; “We have a political crisis in the State. The National does not set up the ward congress committee. The government in power has been cajoling people, harassing party members that are not in support of what they are doing within the party.
“Unfortunately, those that came to the state for sales of form are incommunicado. We only saw it online that they came for stakeholders meetings, people like me were not involved and some other eminent personalities within the party. We are not also involved to talk to them and address the issue on consensus.
“How would you know the stakeholders? Why would people that want to go to an election against another party in 2022 be afraid of the election within the party?
“With what the present administration is doing with the issue of ward congress, it seems they are not ready for the election in 2022.”
But contrary to these reports, the chairman of the National Congress Committee, Gbenga Elegbeleye, as well as the state governor, Gboyega Oyetola said the exercise was a success.
“Members conducted themselves in a very free and fair atmosphere; officers were elected in our presence. We saw pure consensus. They all agreed that these are the officers we want, to handle the affairs of the party in our wards, and there is no crisis about that,” he said.
Aregbesola is a former governor of the state, who has been at loggerheads with his successor, Oyetola. For years, both APC Osun leaders have sustained their political rivalry and built party factions aligned to their separate interests.
They are widely-known enemies.