Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ifelodun/Odo-otin/Boripe federal constituency of Osun State yesterday protested against the alleged imposition of Olalekan Afolabi as the party’s candidate for the House of Representatives election.
The aggrieved APC members alleged that state Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, imposed Afolabi on the party against the wish of the members, adding that there was no primary election before the emergence of Afolabi as the candidate of the party.
The protesters who moved round major streets of Ikirun, headquarters of Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state called on the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to reverse the alleged imposition and allow primary election to hold in the federal constituency.
The aggrieved APC members, who carried placards with various inscriptions including ‘We say no to imposition’, ‘Afolabi is a member of ADP and not APC’, ‘We want primary election in our federal constituency’, APC will fail if this imposition should stand’ among others, called for a fresh primary election in the federal constituency.
The protesters who were members of the Mosadek Vanguard, a group within the APC in the state, said the only way for the APC to win the House of Representatives election in the federal constituency is to
present the most popular candidate whom they say is Alhaji Moshood Adekunle Oluawo, who they said has the majority of the supporters in the federal constituency.
The aggrieved APC members who chanted various solidarity songs also waved tree branches in their hands to register their protest.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, a former Chairman of Ifelodun Local Government Area, Mr. Adebisi Gbolagade, said the choice of Afolabi as the party’s candidate would lead to failure for the APC in the election.
He said: “The man imposed on us voted for the ADP in the last governorship election. He is not a member of the APC. He left APC for ADP before the last governorship election and he is yet to formally return to the party. Until Afolabi returns formally to APC, he will be considered as a member of the ADP.”
Gbolagade observed that many of the supporters of the candidate presented by the leadership of the APC are currently in ADP, saying; “The best candidate for the APC is Oluawo since the leadership of the party in the three local government areas that make up the federal constituency have conceded the position to Ifelodun Local Government Area.”