Primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) preparatory to the local government elections in Oyo state, earlier scheduled to hold tomorrow (Monday) will no longer hold.
The party had last week asked all its registered members to, on Monday, converge onwards’ headquarters across the 33 local government areas and 35 local council development areas to nominate their aspirants from which delegates will select candidates for Chairmanship and Councillorship seats.
Speaking on Sunday, the party’s publicity secretary, Mr Olawale Sadare, said the decision of APC to shift its primaries to a yet-to-be-announced date was because the party was yet to get documents relating to the new delineation of wards from the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC).
He also pointed to fillers that the OYSIEC would further extend its timetable to enable parties to carry out processes to nominate their candidates for the election.
OYSIEC had earlier revised its timetable owing to complaints by political parties and stakeholders on the issue of delineation of wards in the 33 local government areas and 35 local council development areas, but mandated parties to conclude their primaries by Wednesday, February 23, 2018.
Speaking further, Sadare maintained that candidates of the party for May 12, 2018, local government elections will emerge from a process of primaries or by consensus, allaying notions that the APC would only handpick candidates.
“We have not cancelled the process, but fillers from OYSIEC indicate that they have again shifted the deadline given to political parties to complete the process of nomination of their candidates, that is, party primaries.
“They cited the fact that they have not given us the new outlook of wards delineation of wards. With the delineation, we will now have more than the original 351 wards.
“Parties do not have the documents regarding the delineation of wards and OYSIEC admits that it is entirely their fault. So, they are now extending the deadline to enable parties to have access to these documents so as to guide parties in the conduct of primaries.
“I’m aware we now have over 600 wards in the state and without these documents, parties may not be able to carry out the process of nominating councillorship candidates.
“If what I heard from OYSIEC this morning is anything to go by, our primaries will no longer hold tomorrow (Monday) because we do not have the documents that will enable us to do the exercise successfully.
“They have asked us to come for the documents and that will guide us. Invariably, there is no way we can hold the primaries tomorrow but we will issue a statement on when the primaries will now be held.
“This situation is not peculiar to the APC. I am aware that no political party that can state that it has successfully nominated all its councillorship aspirants into the new wards because we do not have the document yet.”
“There is no way we will handpick candidates. The constitution of our party is so apt on the mode of selecting candidates for any election. We have two options which are direct or indirect primaries and we shall explore those options. The consensus is another option, which is constitutional. So, in places where they cannot reach consensus, we resort to primaries,” Sadare said.