Gboyega Oyetola, the Chief of Staff to the outgoing Osun State Governor, has emerged the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the September 22 governorship election in the state.
Mr. Oyetola, who had been tagged the “anointed candidate” of Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, polled 127,017 votes to defeat his closest rival, Lasun Yusuff.
Mr Yusuff, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, scored 21,975 votes.
The chairman of the electoral panel, Governor AbdulAzeez Yari of Zamfara, who was represented by a senator, Ovie Omo-Agege, while announcing the result, urged other aspirants to support the winner to make sure the main election is won by the APC.
PREMIUM TIMES reported the withdrawal of many other aspirants from the race.
The Secretary to the State Government, Moshood Adeoti, through his campaign organisation, had alleged that the primary was a mere endorsement of Mr Oyetola, whom he described as a cousin of Mr Tinubu.
Mr. Adeoti’s campaign said the entire facilities of government in Osun State were used in favour of Mr Oyetola. Mr Adeoti withdrew from the race on the day of the primary.
Another aspirant, Kunle Adegoke also said on a TVC programme on Thursday that the party leaders used the direct primary to “favour a particular aspirant of their choice, somebody that is an anointed aspirant of their choice.”
A senator, who withdrew from the primary on Friday morning, Babajide Omoworare, said his withdrawal “is with the ultimate view of ensuring party cohesion and for All Progressives Congress to secure victory at the September 22nd governorship election in the state.”
Meanwhile, reacting after the primary, Dayo Oyebanji, also an aspirant, condemned the adoption of direct method by the leadership of the party, describing its adoption as fraudulent.
Mr Oyebanji called on the national leadership of the party to revert back to the delegates “because of the inherent complications and difficulty the direct method has possessed.”
The APC faced stiff criticisms from aspirants since its chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, announced the use of the direct primaries system, which requires all party members to vote.
Twelve of the 17 governorship aspirants criticised the decision, saying there was no comprehensive register of APC members across Osun State.
The APC used the system for the first time in recent years. The recent APC governorship primary in Ekiti was done through voting by delegates, mostly party officials and government appointees.