…stage protest, demand primaries
By Adeola Badru
Some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo East Local Government Area, Friday stormed the state’s Governor’s Office, Agodi Secretariat, Ibadan, in protest over the planned imposition of candidates for the forthcoming local government election slated for May in the state.
The protesters, carrying placards and chanting solidarity songs to express their displeasures, insisted on the party conducting primary for the candidates to contest the election on the platform of the party.
Some of the inscriptions on their placards read: “Oyo East LG says no to imposition,” “Oyo East PDP wants pry election to please,” “LG Primary election save us from imposition in Oyo East LG Council,” “We want a free and fair primary election. We want a free, fair primary election.”
Others read: “Oyo State PDP elders and stakeholders flashback, remember what killed PDP. They don’t wish the masses well,” “We say no to the imposition of candidate,” “Don’t open the door for mass defection ahead of 2023 Oyo East local government PDP warns” and “Imposition kills the party, don’t use it,” among others.
In their various remarks, the leader, of the protesters, Alhaji Lookman Adeyanju, a former chairman in Oyo East alleged that the party leaders are planning to impose some ‘unpopular candidates’ who have already served as caretaker chairmen.
Adeyanju, a former chairman in Oyo East said: “Our agitation is that in lieu of the forthcoming local government election in Oyo State. The primary election must be conducted because we have obtained forms and passed through necessary screening that made us qualified to contest in the primary election.”
“Though, the primary has been slated to hold on Thursday 4th March 2021 only for it to be cancelled a night to the election and postponed for 72hours.”
“However, rumours have been flying around that a committee will be set up for the selection of a candidate. We do not want selection. This protest is not about any particular candidate but rather to sue for peace in the PDP family and we urge Gov. Seyi Makinde to ensure primaries are conducted especially in Oyo East LG.”
Also speaking to newsmen, Oyo East PDP youth leader Azeez Tajudeen said: “We do not want imposition. It has come to our hearing that the Gov wants to impose a candidate on us and this may lead to rancour in the party. We say no to imposition. What we want is a thorough primary election that is free and fair.”
The protesters also accused Halleluyah of trying to influence Gov. Makinde in order to impose a candidate on them. They claimed that it was the same act by Halleluyah that got former Governors Ladoja and Akala implicated and they advised Gov. Makinde to guard himself against getting implicated by Halleluyah.
Addressing the protesters, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Bisi Ilaka urged the protesters to be peaceful and channel their grievances to the party leadership at the party Secretariat.