A governorship aspirant under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Peter Babalola, has advised the party not to pick candidate outside the Osun West Senatorial district in the Sept. 22 gubernatorial race.
Babalola gave this advice on Wednesday at the party’s Secretariat in Osogbo, where he declared his intention to contest.
Babalola who was a former Chief of Staff to Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola said picking candidate outside the West Senatorial District would not be fair to the people of the district.
He said the party’s candidate must also be a Christian because the state has been ruled by three Muslims while only one Christian could be mentioned.
Babalola who is also the Chairman, Local Government Service Commission in the state, hinted that all aspirants from the West have met and agreed not to leave the party if the APC could give them the ticket.
He said the aspirants have also agreed to support whoever emerged party’s candidate, maintaining that he is the best candidate with wide experience.
He boasted that his name is on top of the list in terms of experience, saying “Isiaka Adeleke was a Muslim, Chief Bisi Akande is a Muslim, the present governor, Rauf Aregbesola is a Muslim, only Olagunsoye Oyinlola is the Christian among the former governors.
“As a Commissioner for Agriculture under the military, Chief of Staff and now Chairman of Local Government Service Commission, I have the influence and relationship with leaders in all aspects.
“Some people have not finished school when I was commissioner.
“Central Senatorial District has used 11 and half years, the East will complete their eight years this year, West has only used some months. If you don’t choose Peter Babalola, choose whoever you like in the West.
“All aspirants in the West have met with our leaders and we have agreed not to leave the party. We have signed an agreement to support whoever the party choose among us,” Babalola said.
He commended Gov. Rauf Aregbesola for the infrastructure and development he brought to the state, promising to continue the developmental work.
“I am wholeheartedly committed to continuing the Six Point Integral Action Plan of Governor Aregbesola. I will sustain his legacy and bring progress to the work.
In his response, the Chairman of the party, Prince Gboyega Famoodun said though he was aware of the agitation for the emergence of the party flagbearer from Osun West senatorial district, but he cannot do contrary to the provisions of the constitution of the party and Nigeria as a whole.
According to him, what he can guarantee is the conduct of free, fair, credible and acceptable primary election adding that he is comfortable with wherever the flagbearer comes from.
Famoodun who admitted the importance of Osun West Senatorial district to the party said the electorate in the district is known to be in support of APC from results of elections conducted in the past.
“Yes I know we are strong in Osun West Senatorial district but we cannot but allow the constitution of our great party and Nigeria to guide us in whatever decisions we make,’ Famoodun said’
Also speaking, the Chairman of all Chairmen in the state, Mr Rufus Awotidoye, said there is no going back on the agenda of West to be the candidate of the party.
From Saheed Adeyemi, Osogbo.