January 15, 2011

Protest greets selection of Ajimobi in Oyo

By Ola Ajayi
Protest, yesterday, greeted alleged imposition of Senator Abiola Ajimobi as the governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in Oyo State.

The programme which was described as “affirmation primary” was disrupted and suspended following violent rejection of  all House of Representatives, and Senatorial candidates allegedly imposed by the leadership of the party.

Angry protesters who had earlier been locked out by scores of security men sent delegates who sat in the Olubadan Stadium scampering for safety as stones and sachets of pure water were hurled at them.

As the agitation for primaries by some members increased, Alhaji Lamidi Adesina, the state leader of the party and all other eight aspirants boycotted the congress.

There had been rumour that a particular national leader of the party insisted that Senator Ajimobi must be fielded as the party’s flagbearer.

Though, Alhaji Adesina initially stood his ground that primaries be used to select the party’s candidates, it was learnt that some Ibadan elite also wanted Senator Ajimobi.

Other aspirants, including Dr. Adebayo Adewusi and Chief Olufemi Lanlehin said there was no choice.

Lanlehin said, “there was no process. There was no primary. So, it is not possible”.

At the congress, some of the delegates accused Alhaji Adesina of plotting to impose his son on them, a move they vowed to resist at all costs.

No sooner had the Secretary of the party in the state, Mr. Wasiu Olatunbosun invited the party’s Assistant National Treasurer, Mr. Segun Adesegun, to release the list than trouble started.

Delegates shouted him down and jumped on the podium and started causing trouble. All efforts to pacify them did not yield result.

Security men moved close to Ajimobi and shielded him from the angry members of the party.

Though, the state Chairman of the party, Mr. Akin Oke tried to intervene, his pleas were ignored as the event was suspended for a while.