By Jide Afolabi
The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in Osun would this weekend, barring unforeseen circumstances elect or select – as the case may be – their governorship candidate for the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Members of the party have indicated interest in contesting the July 7 primary, in fact, they have not only declared their intention but they have gone ahead to obtain the intention forms.
Among the leading aspirants is the current Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Lasun Yussuf, Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, the Chief of Staff to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Dr. Najeem Salaam.
Others are a legal icon, Barrister Kunle Rasheed Adegoke, Commissioner for Finance, Bola Oyebamiji, Chairman, Osun Civil Service Commission, Elder Peter Babalola, Dr Ezekiel Oyebola Oyemomi, Hon. Adelere Oriolowo, Dr Isiaka Owoade, Hon. Gafar Amere and former Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon. Sunday Akere among others.
While some of these aspirants began campaign early, the modus operandi adopted by the party’s leadership in the state appears strange and has been raising suspicions by party faithfuls including the aspirants.
The party only few weeks ago lifted ban on campaigns by aspirants in what many analysts called a “delay tactics” by the governor in conjunction with the state party executives with a view to weed out the nonconformists within the structure.
It has become a public knowledge that the state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has a candidate, his Chief of Staff, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola although, recent development in the so called “Legacy” camp indicates a fracture in the hitherto firm, solid and compact structure.
Some of the governor’s foot soldiers in recent time have openly supported the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Bola Oyebamiji. Even some of Ogbeni foot soldiers including Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr Ajibola Basiru, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Kolapo Alimi, Commissioner for Regional Integration, Mr Bola Ilori, Special Adviser to the Governor on Taxation, the Director, Department of Social and Grassroots Mobilisation and Guidance, Office of the Governor, Comrade Bayo Ojo are not exempted from this alleged open defiance.
On the other hand, the likes of the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Adelani Baderinwa, Commissioner for Innovation, Science and Technology, Engr. Remi Omowaiye, Commissioner for Sports and Social Security, Comrade Biyi Odunlade and others are staunchly canvassing for the Chief of Staff’s aspiration. It is therefore crystal clear that there is a crack in the former Ogbeni’s Wall of Jericho.
There has been rumour that the party may adopt a direct primary. While many party faithfuls are stoutly opposed to this, a few are canvassing for it. Some have even argued that there’s precedence for it in the state, noting that the incumbent governor emerged in 2014 as the party’s candidate through a direct primary.
They appears to have forgotten that this is 2018. They have also failed to learn from history. Just last year against all entreaties, the party inadvertently nominated Senator Mudashir Hussein as their candidate in the Osun West senatorial constituency bye-election. The result was evident; APC did not just lose, it lost all but one local government in the zone. That is the product of imposition, injustice and willful subversion of the rules.
Is direct primary legal? Yes, it is. However, it is often adopted as a last resort or as a result of a less contested election. Who could have beaten an incumbent Aregbesola in 2014? But 2018 is different. All APC aspirants today, has a chance to win the party’s primaries. Unfortunately, direct primary is often canvassed by sitting leaders (in this case, Aregbesola and his supporters) to harass and intimidate delegates to vote for their anointed candidates.
If the party eventually chose to go with direct primary, the party is undoubtedly on its way to Golgotha.
Accounts in Matthew 27:33; Mark 15:22 and John 19:17 reflects that Golgotha is interpreted to mean kraniou topos, “the place of a skull.”
Golgotha is traditionally interpreted as reflecting Syriac (Aramaic) golgolta, as it were Hebrew gulgōleṯ “skull”), was, according to the Gospels, a site immediately outside Jerusalem’s walls.
It was a spot where skulls were to be found lying about and probably, therefore, a public place of execution. This tradition apparently originates with Jerome (346-420 AD). “Outside the city and without the gate there are places wherein the heads of condemned criminals are cut off and which have obtained the name of Calvary – that is, of the beheaded.”
One can therefore conclude that Golgotha is a place of death, shame, reproach, despise and defeat. In 2016, APC understood what Golgotha meant when the party lost to little known Ademola Adeleke of the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
The election made the brave afraid; the strong weak; the brainy fool; APC analysts and intelligentsias confounded and made the proud APC to eat the humble pie. That’s the agony of defeat!
If APC decides to willfully subvert its law, bend its rules and impose a candidate through the direct primary, the party may just be on its way to the Golgotha.
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