Governor Abiola Ajimobi has assured members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state that the party leadership would not impose candidates in the May 12 local government election.
The governor made the disclosure on Tuesday in Iseyin at an empowerment programme organised by Abdulfatai Buhari, the senator representing the Oyo North Senatorial District on the platform of the APC.
He said that the party leadership in state would abide by the decision of the majority on the process to select party’s candidates.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some members of the party in the state had on Monday besieged the party’s state secretariat in Ibadan with placards, alleging plans by the leadership to impose candidates.
“We won’t impose candidates for the forthcoming local government election. I am appealing to you at every local government council area to come together and work in unity so that we can present a common candidate.
“There are types of primary election, which could be direct or indirect. The direct type allows party members to come together to choose, while the indirect allows the election through delegates.
“I want you to talk to yourselves on your choice, I will be okay by your decision,” he said.
Mr. Ajimobi lauded members of the senatorial district on the choice of Mr. Buhari as their representative, saying his qualities reflected in the standard of the empowerment programme he organised.
Mr. Buhari, in his remarks, said that the effort was to ensure the people of the senatorial district benefit dividends of democracy.
The lawmaker said it was the second of such empowerment programmes, apart from the various other projects executed in the district.
He assured the people of quality representation, saying he had been very active in the performance of his legislative duties in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
NAN reports that among the items distributed were cars, motorcycles, refrigerators, sewing machines and other equipments.
Meanwhile, the party in the state has warned aspirants against blackmail, noting that such would do nothing good to the party.
The party gave the warning in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Olawale Sadare, and made available to journalists in Ibadan on Tuesday.
It described the allegations of planned imposition of candidates as a figment of the imagination of the protesters and their sponsors.
The party urged the public to regard it as cheap blackmail antics to cause unnecessary tension.
“We are indeed embarrassed at the level which decorum was thrown into the air by these set of people, whom we identify as APC members in the state.
“Peaceful and purposeful protests are some of the essentials of democracy, but when cheap blackmail is involved, it becomes condemnable.
“The allegation of planned imposition of candidates is not only a hoax but also something that should not feature in the present scenario,” it stated.
The APC said that its state executive committee led by Akin Oke has earned itself a reputation for upholding the sanctity of internal democracy as enshrined in the party’s constitution.
It said that the governor has also demonstrated personal commitment to the ideals of the party.
According to the party, “the delay in the release of guidelines by the party was caused by the new development explained to all stakeholders by OYSIEC at a meeting last Wednesday.
“The stakeholders meeting indicated that the recent delineation of wards exercise done in the state would be implemented at the May 12 poll.
“The implication is that additional wards have been created but they have not been made public.
“It then became imperative to wait on OYSIEC which had promised to release the map and necessary documents this week to guide all participating political parties.”