By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The crisis rocking the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in Oyo state on Saturday took a new dimension with the emergence of two governorship candidates for the party.
While a former Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Dr Akin Onigbinde (SAN) emerged the governorship candidate of the Alliance for Democracy in Oyo state at the party’s governorship primary election held at A-Three Hotel, Along Iwo Road-Ojoo Expressway, Ibadan, Engineer Oyedele Hakeem Alao emerged as the AD governorship candidate at another primary held at the Green Springs hotel in Ibadan
The A Three hotel primary was organised by the Chief Michael Akinropo led state executives and witnessed by AD national leaderships, southwest leadership and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as well as delegates.
However, the Green Springs hotel primary election was organized by the Chief Akin Alamu led Oyo AD Caretaker Committee, attended by the party’s National Secretary, Pastor Akin Fasogbon, Chief Charles Famuseye, Honourable Babs Oduyoye ,three INEC officials and AD delegates from across the state.
At the parallel primary, the two governorship candidates, six Senatorial candidates, 18 House of Representatives candidates and the 64 House of Assembly candidates emerged through the nomination and affirmation .
Speaking at the Green Springs hotel primary election, AD National Secretary, Pastor Akin Fasogbon declared that as far as the party’s National Secretariat was concerned, only one person was contesting the Oyo state governorship primary election.
“Only one person is contesting the Oyo governorship seat in Oyo state. Engineer Hakeem Oyedele Alao is the only person that signified his intention to be the AD governorship candidate in Oyo state”, he said
AD National leader, Honourable Babs Oduyoye then nominated Engineer Hakeem Alao as the AD governorship candidate and the nomination was seconded by Mrs Adeniyi.
At the A Three hotel primary, AD
National Legal Adviser, Mr Kehinde Aworela while speaking disclosed that AD constitution does not in anyway recognise caretaker committee but affirm Onigbinde and other candidates for other elective positions as duly recognised flagbearers of party for the 2019 general elections.
Present at the A Three hotel primary are delegates from all the 351 wards in the state, state executives and about over 15 national officers of the party and the AD national officers that monitored the exercise include, the National Vice Chairman/Southwest Chairman, Otunba Tayo Onayemi, National Vice Chairman South South, Mr Keneth Brown Ebughe, Chairman Congress and Primary Committee who also doubles as the National Welfare Officer, Mr John Okafor, Assistant National Secretary, Idris Musa Mohammed, National Deputy Legal Adviser, Mr Ken Emekowa, National Auditor, Mr John Onoku, Assistant National Organising Secretary, Mr Abubarkar Germans and National Women Leader, Abigirl Aina.National Ex-Officio, Mr Steve Omodogbe, Osun state chairman, Mr Olapade Fakunle, National Legal Adviser, Mr Kehinde Aworela, National Ex-Officio, Hajia Sadatu Bello, National Organising Secretary, Roland Kiente and Deputy Nations Treasurer, Ahmad Sagir amongst others.
Addressing the delegates at the Akinropo’s primary, the Chairman, National Congress Planning Committee for Oyo state party delegates Congress and party primary, Mr Okafor said the national leadership of the party was shocked at what he described as the private decision of some individuals to set up caretaker committee, noting that any other primary held outside of the one witnessed by the national leaderships is a nullity.
“We are all shocked at the private decision of Mr Joseph Avazi and the National Secretary, Mr Akin Fasogbon to create a caretaker committee to run the affairs of Oyo state. Apart from the fact that our party does not know or recognise a caretaker committee structure in our party, it has no place in our constitution and if any decision of such magnitude were to be taken, it cannot be taken by only two persons pretending to be chairman and secretary NWC and NEC all roles into one. The party cannot be greater than the whole. Neither NWC nor NEC was privy to such a decision.”
Oyo AD Chairman, Mr Akinropo noted that the party used to be a united house until Azazi and Fasogbon sowed the seed of discord, adding that the illegality would soon be resolved by the court, noting that the matter of caretaker committee is already laid before it.
National Legal Adviser, Mr Aworela distance the party of its national leadership from any other purported primary by any individual or group, noting that the party which is known for its integrity and uprightness will not allow any form of illegality in its fold.
In his acceptance speech at the A Three hotel primary, Dr Akin Onigbinde thanked the national leadership, state executives, local government executives and all the delegates for the confidence reposed in him to fly the flag of the party come 2019 governorship election, assuring the people of the state that the party still has all that it takes to bring the state back on track and restore its pace setting glory with both human and infrastructural development that would impact on the people.
In his acceptance speech at the Green Springs hotel primary, Engineer Hakeem Alao promised to redeem the pace setter status of Oyo state “in a bid to ensure prosperity for Oyo state indigenes and residents”