The All Progressives Congress in Oyo State has warned its members, particularly aspirants jostling for party tickets in the forthcoming local government council election and their supporters, to desist from any conduct capable of bringing the party into disrepute or cause its leadership to lose focus.
This warning came against the backdrop of a protest rally staged at the Oke-Ado State Secretariat of the Party by a group of persons believed to be APC members and supporters acting on the suspicion that there were plans to compromise on the choice of conduct of party primaries for many aspirants eyeing chairmanship and councillorship seats of the 33 local government councils and 35 local council development areas of the state in the poll slated for May 12, 2018.
Reacting to the development in a statement issued on Monday by its Public Relations Officer, Olawale Sadare, APC described the allegations of planned imposition of candidates as a figment of the imagination of the protests and their sponsors urging members of the general public to regard it as cheap blackmail antics employed to cause unnecessary tension in the land.
“We are indeed embarrassed at the level which decorum was thrown into the air by this set of people, some of who we could identify as APC members in the state. Peaceful and purposeful protests are some of the essentials of democracy but when cheap blackmail is involved, it becomes condemnable.
“The allegation of planned imposition of candidates is not only a hoax but also something that should not feature in the present scenario. The state executive committee of the APC led by Chief Akin Oke has earned itself a reputation for upholding the sanctity of internal democracy as enshrined in our party constitution while the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has also demonstrated personal commitment to the ideals of the party.
“In the build to 2015 general election, Oyo APC ranked among the best state party chapters where candidates emerged through transparent, free, fair and credible primaries. Neither the governor nor any other person influenced the choices made by delegates and we have not deviated from this path of rational conduct.
“Meanwhile, the seeming delay in the release of guidelines by the party was caused by the new development explained to all stakeholders by OYSIEC at a meeting last Wednesday when indications emerged that the recent delineation of wards exercise done in the state would be implemented at the May 12 poll.
“The implication is that additional wards have been created but they have not been made public. It then became imperative to wait on OYSIEC which had promised to release the map and necessary documents this week to guide all participating political parties. But as at now (Monday), nothing has been heard from the electoral body.
“It is also important to set the record straight on the issues raised by the protesters. There was never a time we received a protest letter or any other letter from individual or group concerning the need to conduct primaries since we know what to do at a time like this to satisfy all parties without running foul of the constitution of our great Party.
“Lastly, we are appealing to all aspirants and their supporters to desist from acting on unfounded rumours and unsubstantiated allegations coming from fifth columnists as we guarantee the announcement of the guidelines that would usher in free, fair and credible primaries as soon as we get updated by OYSIEC on the issue of ward delineation.” The statement concluded.