Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola, the Chief of Staff to Governor Of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, has emerged the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the September 22 governorship election in the south-western state.
Oyetola, who is also the cousin of Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the party, emerged winner of the party’s first-ever direct primary by polling 127, 017 votes to beat Yusuff Lasun, Deputy Speaker of the House of representatives, who recorded 21, 975 votes to place a distant second.
Najeem Salam, Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, occupied third place with 17, 958 votes.
Before the start of Friday’s primary, Moshood Adeoti, Secretary to the Osun State Government, had accused the party of manipulating the exercise, saying a lot of things were done to render it a mere endorsement Oyetola.
“The primary was arranged, skewed and designed to favour Alhaji Isiaka Gboyega Otedola, the cousin of the National Leader of our party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” Adeoti’s campaign organisation said in a statement.
He alleged that there was no credible register of members with which a free, fair and transparent direct primary could be conducted, but only a “cooked-up register comprising handpicked persons loyal to the emergence of Oyetola, printed in a firm owned by Oyetola in Lagos”.
Before Friday, 12 of the 17 aspirants had criticised kicked against the directive of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) for the election to hold via direct means, which meant every card-carrying member of the party could vote. However, the 12 maintained that the party had no comprehensive register of APC members across Osun State.
A second aspirant and current senator, Babajide Omoworare, withdrew not long after, but without acrimony. Omowoware, who represents Osun East at the Senate, said he stood down in the party’s interest.
“This development is with the ultimate view of ensuring party cohesion and for All Progressives Congress to secure victory at the September 22nd governorship election in the state,” Tunde Dairo, his Director of Communications, told SaharaReporters.