By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Uncertainty is now pervading the air in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State over a last minute stoppage of the party’s primaries for the selection of candidates for the May 12 local councils polls in the state.
The state Chairman of the party, Chief Akin Oke had last Friday announced that the APC primaries for the 33 Local government and the 35 Local Council Development Areas in the state will hold this Monday,February 19, 2018.
Sources close to the party claimed that the “temporary” halting of the conduct of the primary election might not be unconnected with the outcome of a parley reportedly held in London at the weekend between Governor Abiola Ajimobi, a former governor of the state,Otunba Adebayo Alao -Akala and former Senate leader,Senator Teslim Folarin .
The sources added that the decision on the “temporary” halting of the Oyo APC primaries was among others arrived at to give room for resolutions of issues arising in some parts of the state as well as to guide against conflict of interest in the selection of candidates especially the Chairmanships at the LGs and LCDAs levels.
According to our sources, a larger portion of the councillorship seats for the 33LGs and the 35LCDAs in the state have been filled unopposed by loyalists of APC stalwarts across the 3 Senatorial Districts in the state leaving only few others with the Chairmanship unresolved .
Some of the aspirants in the proposed primary were said to be in fears over the “sudden” postponement of the election having mobilized their supporters for the primary with some of them blaming the sudden development on alleged ploy by some powers that be within the APC at imposing their surrogates on the party.
But the Oyo state APC Chairman, Chief Akin Oke while speaking with the New Nigerian on phone on Sunday declared that the local government election was only postponed and not canceled as been speculated .
Chief Oke stressed that APC ” is presently in a tight corner over the delimination of wards” in the state but that the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) has just released it.
He emphasized that the party will now take the advantage of the postponement to talk to APC members on the need to have a peaceful, free and fair local government elections in and across the state.