A former governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba, on Wednesday, warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state not to be complacent and ensure there is unity in the party ahead of the general election in 2019.
Osoba, who gave this warning at a stakeholders meeting of the party, held at his Ibara GRA, Abeokuta home, equally said the party must learn its lesson from the situation of the governorship election in Osun State, insisting the party could not afford to go into next year’s poll in disunity.
The meeting was attended by some top echelons of the party including Senator Akin Odunsi, chairman of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Bode Mustapha, former Chairman, Teaching Service Commission in the state, Bukola Onabanjo.
Also, gubernatorial aspirants including Dapo Abiodun, Senator Adegbenga Kaka, Jimi Lawal and Abayomi Hunye as well as other aspirants such as Ganiyu Hamzat, former deputy governor in the state, Segun Adesegun, three members of the House of Assembly, Israel Jolaoso, Aina Akinpelu and Dare Kadiri, were in attendance.
The former governor, who served as the chairman of constitution drafting committee of APC, disclosed that he was yet to come to terms with how Osun election turned out so far.
According to him, “if people of Osun State could vote massively for a particular governorship candidate, who did not participate in the election debate, did not campaign with any programmes and even have issue with his school leaving certificate, then, we have to be careful in Ogun”.
He, however, urged members of the party in Ogun to close ranks and prevent agents of the opposition to infiltrate their ranks.
Osoba, who said the meeting was to preach unity among members of the party ahead of the presidential and gubernatorial primaries, scheduled for Friday and Saturday respectively, stressed the party in the state would conduct direct primary to elect all its candidates, as directed by the National Working Committee of the party.
He noted that the NWC remained the only organ empowered by the constitution of the party, to issue directive on the mode of primary to be conducted by the state chapters of the party, while the submission of list of party’s candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was vested with the national chairman of APC.
The ex governor, who recalled that he emerged through a direct systems primary in 1991 and 1999, argued that delegate system was always fraught with legal challenges, submitting that “our party must prevent a situation whereby a candidate who has already won an election would lose his or her position through litigation”.
Osoba, therefore, urged APC members to troop out with their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) on Friday in their respective wards, to participate peacefully in the presidential primary of the party.
He also warned gubernatorial aspirants of the party, not to dabble into who emerges as senatorial, House of Reps and State Assembly candidates of the party, but face their aspirations alone.
Meanwhile, he appealed to the gathering not to politicize the drone incident which occurred at his home on Tuesday, saying the matter should be put to rest as it was being investigated by the office of the Department of State Service (DSS), to unravel the real mission of the flyers of the drone