No fewer than 13 aspirants have signified their intention to lead the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ibadan South-West Local Government Area (LGA) of Oyo State.
Mr Lowo Obisesan, an APC Chieftain, told newsmen on Friday in Ibadan that the council was one of the LGAs where the elections would be keenly contested.
Obisesan is a former Commissioner for Environment in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the APC LG congress is scheduled to take place nationwide on Saturday, Sept. 4.
“As at the last count, 13 members of the party in my local government have signified interest in contesting the chairmanship position of the APC.
“They have been meeting with leaders and members of the party in the 12 wards of the local government. They are determined to go to the polls on Saturday.
“This is democracy at play. It is going to be keenly contested and I am happy about this. Nobody will force any chairman on anybody. We are back to a democratic era in Oyo APC,“ he said.
Obiesan said that at all levels, the party has decided to give the party back to the people who would in turn decide the kind of leadership they want.
He said that the party in Ibadan South-West LGA paraded eminently qualified candidates jostling for seats, describing the development as unprecedented.
The APC chieftain said that among the array of aspirants were architects, engineers, school principals, to mention but a few of them.
Obisesan said that the LG council would be well placed considering the calibre of seasoned professionals and technocrats to be paraded as party executives.
He said that there would be no consensus candidate as all the candidates have refused to step down for one another.
According to him, allowing the best candidate to emerge through a free and fair contest is the beauty of democracy.
The party chieftain said that it was evident that APC is the party to beat in Oyo State, saying they would continue to consolidate on the effort of the party leadership which had paid off.
The APC chieftain said that the rebuilding process embarked upon by leaders and members of the party was yielding positive results.
Obisesan said that the successes recorded in the last ward congress had increased their membership.
“Rivals, who were hitherto skeptical of the outcome of the repositioning drive of the Oyo APC, are now more than convinced to join us now.
“They have in the last one month been coming in droves. This you can verify. Our membership drive is a continuous effort that is still ongoing,” he said.