There are strong indications that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State may adopt the Option A4 system in picking its candidate for the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
A sourced gathered Party leaders are seriously considering the option as they seek to conduct a rancour-free primary election.
Sources said that following the recommendation of the Option A4 by APC leaders in the Southwest in the aftermath of the crisis that ensued during the first governorship primary election in Ekiti State earlier this month, and the growing number of gubernatorial aspirants in Osun State, concerns have been mounting on the need to ensure that the process of selecting the APC flag-bearer is free, fair, credible and acceptable to all aspirants.
Option A4 was made popular during the regime of the former military ruler, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.
It entails voters queuing behind their preferred candidates or photographs during the election. The process will also see the aspirants contesting for the ticket right from the ward level, through the local government level and finally at the state level before a winner is declared.
A member of the state executive committee of the party said it would help to remove all doubts that can discredit the process and also allow the most popular aspirants to emerge as the party candidates. The party chieftain who pleaded anonymity as he was not authorized to speak on the matter added that the growing number of aspirants led to a search for a very transparent and rancour-free option.
He said:”We are yet to decide finally on how the process will go but I can assure you that we have learnt a lot of lessons from the Ekiti State primaries. We have also read the minds of our leaders in the Southwest enough for us to know that they now desire free, transparent and credible process of picking party candidates for elective offices. The need to also ensure we field the most popular candidate against other parties is equally pressing.
“It is very likely the Option A4 system will be used here in Osun. The bottom-line is that all aspirants should go to town and work. Nobody should drop anybody’s name as having endorsed him or her. Our governor has insisted that all the aspirants are his people. The party will soon announce the modalities to aspirants. I am very optimistic that we will have rancour-free primaries in Osun APC.”
According to the timetable released by the national secretariat of the APC, the party’s candidate will be picked on July 7.
The election proper is scheduled for September 22.
Efforts to confirm the development from the spokesperson of the party in the state, Kunle Oyatomi proved abortive as calls to his phone lines were not going through at press time.
No fewer than 27 aspirants will contest the APC governorship primary election in the state. Confirming a large number of aspirants during the week, APC Chairman in the state, Gboyega Famodun, said the expression of intention in the gubernatorial primary attracts a fee of N500, 000, while urging the aspirants not to see the primary as a do-or-die affair.
He warned aspirants against conducting themselves “in a way that will embarrass the party or make it be as if we are at war with each other.”
Notable among the 27 aspirants currently in the race are Gboyega Oyetola, Chief of Staff to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Lasun Yussuff, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives; Najeem Salaam, Speaker, Osun House of Assembly and Kunle Rasheed Adegoke. Others include Moshood Adeoti, Secretary to Osun Government and Peter Babalola, Chairman, Osun Civil Service Commission.