As preparations for the local government election in Oyo State fixed for February this year gather momentum, no fewer than 900 aspirants of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are vying for both the councillorship and chairmanship positions. Already, the aspirants have been screened in their various senatorial districts and local governments. Although, some chieftains of the party had raised alarm few weeks ago that Governor Abiola Ajimobi wanted to impose his own loyalists as chairmen and councillors at the expense of supporters of a former governor in the state, late Mr Lamidi Adesina, the governor had given his nod for the conduct of primaries that would produce candidates for the positions.
About 300 candidates are jostling for the chairmanship positions in the 33 local government areas, while around 600 aspirants are eyeing the councillorship seats in various wards.
One of the contestants, who prefers not to be named told Channels Television that the screening was done secretly and that it was a peaceful process.
“The process has been fair and we are all awaiting the final reports of the committee that conducted the screening,” the aspirant said.
According to him, the aspirants were screened according to their senatorial districts.
Channels Television gathered that aspirants for the chairmanship positions from Oyo South senatorial district were screened at Ibadan North Local government secretariat, while those from Oyo North senatorial district were screened at Iseyin and the aspirants from Oyo Central were screened at Akinyele Local Government.
Speaking on the issue over the telephone, the state Chairman of the party, Mr Akin Oke said so far, the party leadership had been very fair to all the aspirants.
“The screening of aspirants have come and gone. The process has so far been fair and credible. What we are waiting for is the reports of the committee that conducted the screening.
“It is after the screening that aspirants will know whether they are cleared or not. After this, the primary will be conducted in the party,” he said.
The coming days will, however, determine how peaceful the elections will be within the APC, as the final list of candidates emerges from the party secretariat.