Following the way and manner the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Oyo State Chapter appointed candidates for the forthcoming May 12th local government election in the State, the Minister of Communications, Barrister Abdulraheem Adebayo Shittu has threatened to institute legal action against Governor Abiola Ajimobi and the APC executives in the state over the supervision of APC primary at Lafia Hotel in Ibadan, the state capital.
It could be recalls that Ajimobi and some stalwarts of the party including Chief Akin Oke and Mr. Mojeed Olaoya, State Chairman and Secretary of the party respectively, last month in Lafia Hotel in Ibadan, announced the names of Chairmen, Vice Chairmen and Councillorship candidates in the 33 local government areas and 35 local council development areas of the state before the teeming supporters of the party.
The leaders of the party including the governor who supervised the meeting told the APC members present at the emergency meeting that the candidates were picked in a “consensus” manner.
But Shittu who is one of the governorship aspirants under the party while speaking at a live radio program on Fresh FM, tagged “Political Circuit” and monitored on Saturday in Ibadan while threatening to challenge the purported primary in the court of law, described the primary as “unconstitutional, illegal, unacceptable and unlawful.”
Shittu, a lawyer and former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General in the state said in fairness to the governor, going by his experience in politics and the party’s constitution, “It is wrong” for the governor and the APC executive to supervise the APC primary in a hotel.
He added that he was surprised that the leadership of the party, whom he said he hold in high esteem, allowed themselves to be either coerced, forced or tempted by the Governor to conduct such primary, which, he said it “will not stand”, maintaining that those involved in the purported primarily in the hotel “will have themselves to be blamed”.
Shittu while declaring that there is no justification for holding the primary in the hotel, maintained that there is no section of the party where it is stated that primary of the party can be conducted in a hotel, saying that it was wrong for the governor and the exco to supervise the party’s primary in the hotel.
The Minister while speaking further said in a bid to address the injustice committed against the teeming supporters of the party and the party itself, he and other like minds people in the party have concluded arrangements to challenge what he called “illegal primary” in the court.
According to him, “I am speaking on behalf of, and the minds of our party members and supporters that, in fairness to the governor, as a lawyer, I am saying it is unconstitutional to hold the party, APC primary in the hotel. What happened is unacceptable and unlawful.
“Nothing took place in that hotel. You cannot even force candidates on the people, this is Oyo state, you cannot force people on us. Everybody who is a serious member of this party must do what is right. What happened in the hotel is unconstitutional. Yes, we are going to court to challenge the illegality. It is illegal.
“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to the state executive of the party to do the needful. They should not put their integrity to test. The primary that I was not there, other members were not carried along, that is not primary.
“I also have my own supporters, I reject it in totality. I am a Minister of Federal Republic of Nigeria, a substantive Minister for that matter, I am the only one in Oyo state, I was not invited, they have collected money from aspirants since last year, what about those who have collected nomination form and they have collected money from them?
“The exco should do the needful, I don’t have anything against them, but if anybody is telling you to do what is wrong, and you do it, then you will have yourself to be blamed.
“Number one I am a lawyer, I am the most experienced among the active players in the state. I was part of Bola Ige government, in 1979 I was a member of the state house of Assembly, I was a commissioner under Chief Olunloyo government, I was a commissioner under Ladoja. I have seen it all, I am saying it is unconstitutional and cannot stand in Oyo state.
“If you follow the normal process you will not have any problem. It is when you did not follow the due process that you will have problems”.