Ahead of the September 22 governorship election in Osun State, a stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and founder of Itesiwaju Movement, a socio-political group in the state, Dr. Oluwole Alabi, has advised the people of Osun State to consider merit, integrity and professionalism in the choice of Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s successor at the poll.
Alabi, a gynaecologist, who doubles as the Chairman of Oranmiyan Foundation in the Republic of Ireland, who sated this in a statement he entitled; “Osun APC Primaries: Everyone is a Winner,” a copy of which was made available to our correspondent. He said beyond the primordial sentiments of candidate’s region, party affiliation and sympathy for family, are the consideration for the image and future of the state.
He commended the leadership of APC for adopting primaries in the candidate’s selection process, saying the new development is against the old practice of ‘consensus,’ which he noted had denied majority of party members opportunity to have input in the candidate’s selection process.
He said regardless of the hitches identified, the process must be encouraged by all lovers of democracy, and pleaded with all other aspirants to jettison personal interest to support the winner of the contest, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola.
He described Oyetola as a “consummate professional and Insurance guru,” who he noted possesses the mental and administrative capacity to protect the fortunes of the state, especially in the face of the dwindling finances.
He said; “In spite of the dwindling financial fortune of our dear state, the infrastructural landscape has changed for the better. The magnificent school structures littering every part of the state and the impactful school feeding programme attest to the reform in our education sector. The improved security network, the moral rebirth and agricultural revolution, among many others, are all good legacies Ogbeni Aregbesola will be bequeathing to his successor come this November.
“We cannot, therefore, afford to hand over this state to any ‘circumstantial leader’ who would ‘dance’ our fortunes away, or those working to plunge us back into the days of violent cultism and insecurity without any record of achievements.”
On the choice of direct primaries by the party, he advised APC to entrench the culture and grow it to perfection, saying it would discourage the practice of monetisation and vote buying, the development he noted has subjected Nigeria’s democracy to ridicule.
He added; “It must be placed on record that our parent party, the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and like those before it, had promoted ‘Consensus’ as a candidate selection process, and this culture continued under the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which produced the incumbent Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. Some of the reasons advanced by our leaders were to promote cohesion and discourage rancor that usually follow such elections.
“We would recall that yours faithfully campaigned vigorously ahead of 2015 general election and aspired to represent Irepodun/Orolu/Osogbo/Olorunda Federal Constituency. We worked day and night and demanded that primaries be conducted, be it direct or indirect, to give the people the responsibility of selecting who would represent them. But the party appealed to us, and adopted ‘Consensus’ to return the then incumbent.
“As loyal party members, we accepted the decision in good faith by placing the interest of the party and that of our dear state above personal interest. We worked for the success of the party at the poll, and we were rewarded with victory. The story was the same across the state.
“We are, therefore, happy that our great party endorsed direct primaries involving every card-carrying party members to select our flag bearer ahead of the September 22 election. This was against the old practice of ‘Consensus’ and the call for the use of primaries by delegates. Regardless of the hitches identified, this is a welcome development, and must be encouraged by every lover of democracy. Like every new development, perfection cannot be achieved overnight, but we must continue to work hard to grow it.”