Intrigues in Osun APC over plan to replace Adeleke with commissioner

Political intrigues are playing out among members of the ruling All Progressive Congress(APC) in Osun, over plans to replace the late senator Isiaka Adeleke, with Mudashir Useni, a commissioner in the newly constituted cabinet.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recently declared the senatorial seat in the Osun West senatorial district vacant following the demise of Adeleke on April 23, 2017.

INEC had fixed the by-election for July 8, while selection process by political parties kicked off in earnest since June 6.

Our reporter gathered that the Governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has anointed a Commissioner, Mr Mudashir Useni to pick the party’s ticket for the July 8 by-election.

Useni, a two-term member of the House of Representatives, has also once represented the senatorial district between 2011 and 2015.

He surprised many people in the state when his name surfaced as a commissioner-nominee few months ago; he was made the Commissioner in charge of the cabinet.

His candidacy for the senatorial seat therefore has caused tension within the party and confusion in the senatorial district which comprises ten local government areas.

The opposition to his candidacy stems from the fact that the Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly and the member of the House of Representatives representing the Federal Constituency in the district both hail from the same Local Government as Useni, Ejigbo.

Meanwhile, as at Friday, five people have bought nomination forms to signify interest in the contest on the platform of APC.

They include: Alhaja Latifat Giwa, from Ede, who is a Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mrs Foluke Ette, from Irewole, an Industrialist, and Security Expert, Mr Diran Babayemi from Ayedade.

Others include Mr Demola Adeleke, the younger brother to the late Isiaka Adeleke from Ede, and senator Mudashir Useni, a commissioner from Ejigbo.

Screening for the aspirants commenced on Friday, while the “primary” has been fixed for Monday, June 12.

Meanwhile, the spokesman for the party in the state, Mr Kunle Oyatomi has described as mere rumor the move by the governor to impose Useni on the party.

Oyatomi said the democratic process of choosing the right candidate for the seat is ongoing, adding that the process was designed to pick the most popular candidate, and not an anointed as being speculated in some quarters.

“Where did you get your information of an anointed candidate when the process of picking a candidate through a democratic manner is ongoing?

“Such permutation does not work in our party. So, if Useni eventually emerges now, or Giwa, you will label him or her an anointed candidate, it is totally wrong “, Oyatomi said.

Our reporter learnt that each of the aspirants, except Etteh, and Giwa, who are females, paid the sum of N3.3m for the nomination form.

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