- Alleges move to muscle him out of race
By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
A House of Assembly aspirant under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State, Hon. Olusola Enitan from Ewekoro Local Government Area, has petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over what he described as an attempt to frustrate him out of the race.
In a petition written to the State Resident Electoral Commission (REC), which our correspondent obtained from an inside source, the APC aspirant condemned the steps being taken by some party leaders and called on security agencies to intervene urgently to avoid a breakdown of law and order.
In the document dated 28 November, 2014 and copied to the Director, SSS, State Commissioner of Police, INEC Chairman and the Ewekoro electoral officer, the aspirant alleged that he had gotten hold of a ploy by some people who have constituted themselves into instrument of intimidation, coercion, threats and blackmail.
He averred that part of the plot is to attack any delegate who fails to vote for the incumbent member representing the area, Hon. Israel Olujobi Jolaoso, who is the Majority Leader of the House.
Our correspondent reliably gathered that the internal crisis rocking the ruling APC in the state may boomerang after Monday’s primaries of the party.
Findings revealed that the screening of the House of Assembly aspirants which was conducted last week Wednesday and Thursday ended in a deadlock as all the aspirants refused to step down as suggested by the governor.
Sources at the meeting confirmed to our correspondent that the meeting yielded no result, and it further divided the party.
According to the source: “After the screening, the governor called for a meeting with all the aspirants. He held the meeting in four places. The elders and leaders of the party were in a room, aspirants for the House of Representatives in another place, that of the Senate in one place while the House of Assembly members numbering 168 were in other place.
“He first met with the elders and leaders where he told them to appeal to some of us who are contesting against the 13 lawmakers whom he intended to return to the House to step down for them.
“The leaders tried to persuade some of us but we refused. A signal was sent across and before we could say anything, the matter has spread across the state and feelers from our town has told us never to step down,” the source told Western Post.
Investigation from the meeting the governor had with the House of Assembly member aspirants revealed that the governor pleaded with them to tread softly and not see the primary as a do-or- die affair.
It was also gathered that the governor requested for an automatic slots for the 13 members of the House who are loyal to him, and admitted that many of them may not win the election because they have not done well except the party waded into the matter.
The governor was quoted during the meeting with the aspirants to have said: “I instructed the leaders to talk to you, we must know who is contesting and be sure that he is not funded by an opposition party to come and cause disaffection in our party. We are in an unusual moment, things have been very rough in the House and the 13 members have been the stabilising factor.
“We have a platform that is good enough and should not do anything that will cause the collapse of the party. There can only be one person but the process of selection must be transparent. I signified that I will like that those who are there to continue,especially,the 13 members. Yes, I understand that they may not have done better than all of you here.
“I’m not supporting them because they will leave the party, but because the dynamism made it so. I will be unhappy to see one person leaving the party, its unpleasant. I will speak with the Chairmen of those local government areas and encourage everyone. The assembly is important for the party in the stability of the state. God will guide all of us,”Amosun reportedly said.
After the meeting, Western Post gathered that, eight of the aspirants asked various questions bordering on the likely outcome of the exercise.
The governor, as reliably gathered by our correspondent, directed all the aspirants to go back to their various local governments and meet with their leaders and elders to sort the issue out.
It was further gathered that the governor openly declared that three of the principal officers in the House of Assembly, the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Majority Leader of the House are keen to the governor, pleading with all aspirants from their areas to step down for them.