The National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Party, (APC), Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu has spoken on the crises that trailed the primaries conducted by the party in Ogun State, insisting that there is no going back on them.
He speaks further:
“It is a straight forward case. If we speak to the merit of this case, the whole world saw it, the visuals were everywhere, where the Ogun State governor gathered some aspirants, stakeholders and said clearly, there won’t be primaries and right there he pointed at who the next Governor, Senator, House of Representatives candidates would be. He named himself the next Senatorial candidate.
Even if they have accepted those people, it is against the procedure, especially for a governor to open say a thing like that.
It was clearly stated the party gave two options which is the direct and indirect primaries and you are to have stakeholders’ meetings where majority are to decide.
In the case of Ogun, after that exercise failed after they tried to handpick who will be what, they sent a letter that they have agreed on direct primary and the party has no choice than to endorse what you want.
On the day they all came for screening including the governor, he suddenly left with other aspirants and returned back to Abeokuta; gathered some people and sent back to the NWC that they wanted indirect primary and the other aspirants said we were all here together, that they didn’t know when this change was made.
Meanwhile, someone had gone to court and the court had barred the State executive from anything to do with the party but we all saw on national television where the State Governor and the State executive, actually conducted their own primary and the process threw up the Governor’s preferred candidate. it was the SSG in Ogun State, who was reading the result until it occurred to him that he had no power to announce the names, so he handed over to the state chairman of the party who for also shouldn’t have done that – he is statutory barred, the court had told him not to participate in the primary. Secondly, the state chairman has no power to conduct primary that power resides with the NWC.
So whatever the governor did was self-help and there is no provision for self help in the party’s constitution. Eventually the NWC panel that was constituted to conduct the primary went to Abeokuta and did the primary. The governor’s preferred candidate chose not to participate in that exercise. So the party stands by the result of that primary it conducted in Ogun state.
The governor has done his best to get validation for his self-help. That is not possible. The first thing he did was to start saying things that made it look like something wrong has happened when nothing of such has happened.
Secondly, he took some monarchs to meet the president. I am surprised because someone like him, with due respect to him should have understood the nature of the president we have, that no matter how close you are to him, he will listen to you but he will ask for the rules to be followed.
So, the next thing we had was he looking for who to blame, and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Chief Segun Osoba readily came to his mind and he blamed them for that. The question to ask is whether they were the one who gave directive to him to organise his own primaries or they were the one who instructed him not to participate in the primaries or his candidate not to participate in primaries the party organised.
If he didn’t do all of that has not been that and there has not been that consciousness to self appraise and ask himself, have I done the right thing? Am I asking for what is fair? Am I not putting the party in a position to ask them to do what’s wrong? Those are the questions we expect Governor of Ogun State to ask himself. He needs to self appraise, look at the actions he has taken and come to that conclusions that he’s taking the wrong route”.