Oyo state PDP has adopted a parallel primary in some Local government areas of the state towards the forthcoming Local government election scheduled to hold in the state in the coming months.
The party primary experienced some sorts of mixed reaction from different quarters of the party as some members expressed open anger, others LGs witnessed peaceful coordination while others embraced parallel primaries.
According to the Nigerian Tribune, a top-level source in the party alleged: “The venues were changed; it was a fight for the soul of the party. In fact, it was a ploy to rig elections that led them to change some venues and we know. There are some local governments where there were no parallel primaries.”
In Saki west local Government, there were two parallel congresses. One was held at Saki West Local Government by where the sitting caretaker chairman, Engr. Mudashiru Busari was elected and Engr. Sarafadeen Omirinde, a loyalist of Senator Hosea Ayoola Agboola was elected at Saki Parapo venue.
The scenario of Saki-West Local Government was nearly turned bloody on the arrival of member of NURTW.
At the Saki Parapo City Hall, the event was short as delegates engaged in YES vote to produce Engr. Sarafadeen Ominrinde.
At Atisbo Local Government, Dr. Mudashiru Raji Adepoju a loyalist of Deputy Governor was elected at congress held at Local government secretariat while Hon. Fasasi Adeagbo, loyalist to former Senate Deputy Whip was elected at a congress held at Baptist Secondary Grammar School, Ago-Are.
The returning officer chosen for the exercises, Hon. Amzat Akeem Akintunde while reacting said “in other to satisfy the yearning of the people all the wards chairmen decided to allow him to direct the exercise.”
According to him, 218 delegates were expected to choose their candidate, but only 137 wards delegate unanimously voted Dr. Raji as their candidate.
At Saki-East Local Government, Ago-Amodu, there was peace during the exercise with all the security personnel were in attendance.
Chairman of People Democratic Party (PDP) in the local government, Mr. Bamikunle Ayinla said four candidates were shortlisted for the exercises.
They include Hon. Niyi Akande, Hon. Fatai Ayantoro from word 8, Hon. (Mrs) Ramat Adeniran and Abdulazeez Abijako.
The result showed that Hon. Fatai Ayantoro was elected having polled 197 votes, while Ramat Adeniran despite her absence polled 16 votes, Niyi Akande scored 15 votes and Abdulazeez Abijako 10 votes.
It took the timely intervention of security agents who quickly whisked away some non-indigene youths suspected to be hired thugs loaded in a Toyota Bus with registration number Taraba, JNG 129 HA with tinted glass with the aim of destabilizing the exercise.
Also, in Oyo West, there was allegation of violence against some power brokers in the area. Shortly before the election, the party replaced the presiding officer for the election, according to the state secretary of the party, Alhaji Wasiu Adeleke: “This is to bring to our notice Mr Tunde Ogunlana that was initially announced as the presiding officer has been replaced by Mr Oladimeji Babalola.”
In Ibadan North-West, like in some other areas, there was relative peace as delegates unanimously elected the caretaker chairman of the council, Alhaji Ramon Adepoju, as the candidate for the May 15 election.
However, the exercise was marred by violence in Lagelu Local Government Area with at least one person injured amid accusations and counter-accusations of the invasion of the venue by political thugs. One of the contestants was accused of hiring the thugs to disrupt the exercise.
In Ibadan North, the exercise was postponed indefinitely due to perceived irregularities. The party’s state youth leader, Mr Adekola Adeoye, who was a delegate of Ibadan North-West, said, “In Ibadan North-West, all the delegates unanimously elected Alhaji Ramon Adepoju. Three other aspirants had earlier stepped down for him before now.”
In Ogbomoso zone, there were parallel elections in Ogbomoso North, Ogbomoso South, Oriire, and OgoOluwa local government areas, except in Surulere where a source hinted that there would petition.
In Ogbomoso North, the home of former Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Honourable Mulikat Akande-Adeola, and a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party, Dr Saka Adegbite Balogun, there were parallel exercises. Held at two venues, the present caretaker chairman of the council, Alhaji Ibrahim Ajagbe, and the caretaker secretary of the Ogbomoso Central Local Council Development Area, Honourable Kabiru Akanji, emerged as candidates.
The two candidates traded words on the authenticity of their emergence. While Akanji maintained that the election that produced him held at the accredited venue, Ajagbe expressed confidence that the party structure, including all the delegates and executives of the area and Dr Balogun, a BoT member of the party, were present in their venue. While Akanji said: “Ours held at Liberty Event Centre, the accredited venue. I have emerged victorious in the exercise”, Ajagbe stressed, “We have the majority of the executives, the delegates in Ogbomoso North and they know that we are in charge. Dr Balogun was at our election; the party chairman in the area, Honourable George Ogunlade, was here too. We know that was some foul play. We plead with our governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, to look into this issue for the sake of our party in Ogbomoso zone.
“Our leaders at the state level should remember that former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, Senator Fatai Buhari, Senator Ayoade Adeseun, Mr Sunday Dare, Honourable Segun Odebunmi, among others are in our zone and we need to mend our wall ahead the 2023 elections. Those people that they want to use against Akande-Adeola are an army without soldiers.”
A source and an aide to Akande-Adeola, Comrade Ezekiel Agbomojo, said: “A lot of security agencies were present in their election.”
A stalwart of the party, who pleaded anonymity said: “In Oke-Ogun zone, parallel elections held. Everybody was announcing themselves and this is ridiculous. The party has gone.
“From Iseyin, they have sidelined the state chairman. 90 per cent of the structure belongs to the chairman. In Kajola, Baba O.K. Salam was also relegated. In Iwajowa, Farinto was not taken care of in the scheme. A similar thing happened across the zone. Baba Adetoro’s interest, I learnt, was also schemed out.
“This doesn’t speak well of a party that wants to stay in power. Minorities have taken over the majority because the returning officers danced to their tunes.”
The exercise went peacefully in Saki East with an affirmation of choice candidates common in several local government areas.
The exercise in Oke-Ogun was a power tussle between loyalists of the governor, those of the deputy governor, Rauf Olaniyan and Chairman of the Governor’s Advisory Council, Hosea Agboola.
The state governor however has called on party leaders in the state to embrace all warring members and seek out a level playing ground for every member by making sure all aggrieved members are pacified and included in the affairs of the Party noting that all members are necessary and important.