Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara state has been given the delicate task of supervising and conducting the gubernatorial primary election of the ruling APC in Osun state.
It holds on Saturday, February 19, 2022 .
The Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the party has reportedly named him as head of the committee that will conduct the primary election.
Sources at the national secretariat of the party also told pulsenews.com.ng on Thursday evening that he has actually been chosen as head of the Osun state APC Primary Election Committee.
Certainly no one has envied the Kwara state governor for being asked to handle this special assignment given that he would be heading a team that would be in charge of things under an already charged atmosphere.
The National Secretariat of the party had approved that the selection of its Osun state gubernatorial candidate would be done through ‘direct primary’ and this will require party members queuing up to vote in the 332 wards in the state.
APC members in the state had for two years now been divided along two primordial lines featuring two distinctive factions. It also has two people ;Prince Gboyega Famodun and Alhaji Razaq Salinsile laying claim to chairmanship of the party in the state .
Gboyega Famodun was however the one that was recognized and sworn in as Chairman of Osun state APC in Abuja a few days ago.
Those who belong to the Famodun-led faction are supporters of Governor Gboyega Oyetola while the people in Salinsile’s camp are supporters of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
The party members would be voting for a preferred candidate among the three aspirants; Governor Gboyega Oyetola, Hon Lasun Yusuf and Alhaji Moshood Adeoti.
While many had thought that it would be a straight fight between Adeoti and Oyetola , signs emerged on Tuesday night that Lasun, a one-time Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, has decided to participate in the gubernatorial primary election despite belonging to the faction led by Alhaji Razaq Salinsile that had apparently adopted the former SSG as consensus candidate.
While addressing some PDP members who congregated in front of his hotel in Osogbo on Tuesday night to either demand that the party’s scheduled Ward delegates congress be postponed or held, he had told them that he was still in the race adding that he would do everything humanly possible to win the Osun state APC gubernatorial nomination.
Chairman of the committee, Bauchi state deputy governor, Baba Tela and other members had lodged in LAM Hotel, Osogbo which belongs to Lasun.
The pervasive intra-party conflict in Osun state chapter of the All Progressive Congress, APC had since last year recorded worrisome developments.
The recent one being the shooting incident recorded in Orisumbare area of Osogbo, the state capital on Monday and this has confirmed the existence of a highly-charged atmosphere,
Recent comments by leaders of the two factions have further inflamed tensions and people’s feelings.
It has been a case of mutual suspicion and hostility
Aregbesola has stayed put in the state since his arrival in Osogbo last week and he has hit the campaign trail and has begun to do the needful to ‘market’ Adeoti. They were in Ikire on Thursday.
Barely 48 hours to the guber primary election, there have been accusations and counter -accusations.
Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon Funke Egbemode sounded the alarm on Thursday accusing some unnamed persons of arranging fake uniforms of NSCDC and Correctional officers which would be made available to those who would pose as officers and stand as willing people to foment trouble on Saturday.
‘We are in possession of an intelligence report indicating that some persons have stockpiled the uniforms of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps , NSCDC, and the Nigerian Correctional Service with an intent to distribute them to non-state actors for use during the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship primary election in Osun State scheduled for Saturday, February 19, 2022 .
We want to warn those behind this nefarious plot to jettison the idea as security agents have been put on the alert and mandated to deal decisively with anyone bent on causing violence and destruction in Osun state.
We also want to appeal to parents and guardians to rein in their children and wards so as not to lend themselves as tools in the hands of these merchants of death and instability, whose only stock in trade is violence and precipitation of crisis.
Osun is known for peace, and as a responsive and responsible government, we are ready to take all legitimate steps to guard the enviable status very jealously’ she submitted .
Events recorded in the recent days had shown members of the two factions having different opinions when it comes to assessing and evaluating the performance of two important security agencies; the police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC) .
While loyalists of Aregbesola have continued to accuse the state police command of bias those who are supporting the governor have also gotten no kind words for the NSCDC.
Some young people had converged on the state headquarters of the NSCDC on Tuesday to urge the security agency to avoid being used as a tool by the minister while Salinsile had also on Wednesday led other supporters of Aregbesola to the state police headquarters in Osogbo to submit a protest letter accusing the police chief Wale Olokode of compromise, partisanship and unprofessional conduct.
Mr Sola Fasure, who is Aregbesola’s media aide, has also described the protests staged by the students accusing NSCDC of being used by the minister to cause havoc , and other protests as an attempt to blacken the image of the former governor.
‘Our attention has been drawn to a sinister plot by an array of one-man pseudo non-governmental organizations, hurriedly put together and plotted by the leadership of the State Government in Osun on Tuesday evening. Their agenda is to precipitate crisis, cause chaos in Osun and disrupt the APC governorship primary election they are poised to lose.
They will then heap the blame on the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, and call to question his integrity and leadership capacity.
We would not have ordinarily responded to this infantile antic but for well-meaning members of the public who may be worried about the resort to violence by well-known non-state actors sponsored by the current administration in the State of the Virtuous.
It is on record that on Monday whilst returning from a well-attended political sensitization rally in Ilesa, known hoodlums attacked the convoy of the Minister as he approached the popular Old Garage junction in Osogbo.
His convoy comprising well-trained officers of the Department of State Security, The Nigeria Police Force (charged with protecting the minister) and other security personnel drawn from the Paramilitary services, professionally responded to the daring attackers who were armed with diverse sophisticated weapons.
Having failed to achieve their mission of killing the minister on Monday, the sponsors of the evil plot have now resorted to smearing his name, hoping to achieve through the back door, what they can’t get fairly on the field.
For the avoidance of doubt, the minister is aware of his constitutional role as a member of the governing cabinet, a leading light of the ruling All Progressives Congress and as the Minister of Interior, charged with providing security for the nation.
However, the Minister, just like other Nigerians, also has the democratic right of association as enshrined in our constitution. This, in our opinion, doesn’t deserve the murder of any Nigerian, talk-less of a serving minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The State Government of Osun in particular has mounted a campaign of calumny against the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) because they were providing security for some citizens in Osun while they hold meetings and warded off attacks against them.
But they were blackmailed in this same manner into withdrawing their protection, only for the group to be attacked afterwards by thugs loyal to the government.
The public should therefore disregard the rent-a-crowd pseudo-NGOs. They are clearly misguided’ he said.
Ahead of the gubernatorial primary election, it has become certain that there would be complaints, accusations and counter-accusations and whoever would be heading the committee must be able to show ability to work under pressure and such a person must also refuse to get distracted come what may.
Being a taciturn person, the leadership of the party may have considered Governor Abdulrazaq as a perfect fit for the assignment hence the decision to name him as head of the committee.
All eyes are currently on the Kwara state governor and his actions and steps will come under the spotlight as he handles the ‘delicate assignment’ of conducting the Osun state APC gubernatorial primary election.
Deputy President, Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege served as Chairman of the Primary Election Committee in 2018. Interestingly, all the current three gubernatorial aspirants were also among the aspirants in 2018. Omo-Agege handled the assignment a few weeks after the mace-snatching incident at the National Assembly complex .
For news, adverts and events coverage… 07036688365 or 08102323437
Follow us on Twitter: @pulsenewsng