Communications minister Shittu threatens to drag Oyo APC to court for holding primaries in hotel

COMMUNICATIONS minister Adebayo Shittu has threatened legal action against Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) local executive committee for holding primaries for local government elections in a hotel yesterday.


Next year, Oyo State will be electing a new governor and Mr Shittu is a keen candidate, hoping to clinch the APC's ticket. Yesterday, the Oyo State APC executive committee held primaries for the May 12 local government elections across the state in a hotel in Ibadan, in what Mr Ajimobi sees as an attempt to sideline opponents.


Incensed Mr Shittu, who hopes to clinch the APC gubernatorial ticket, sees the decision as a move by Governor Ajimobi from preventing him from realising his ambition.  Governor Ajimobi and some party stalwarts including Chief Akin Oke and Mojeed Olaoya, the state APC chairman and secretary of the party respectively, announced the names of chairmen, vice chairmen and councillorship candidates in the 33 local government areas of the state.


They told party members that the candidates were picked in a consensus manner but Mr Shittu threatened to challenge the purported primary in the court of law, describing it as unconstitutional, illegal, unacceptable and unlawful. Mr Shittu, a lawyer and former justice commissioner, said it was wrong for Governor Ajimobi and the APC executive to supervise the primary in a hotel.


He expressed surprise that the leadership of the party, whom he said he held in high esteem, allowed themselves to be coerced, forced or tempted by the governor to conduct such primaries, stressing that it will not stand. Mr Shittu maintained that there is no section of the party’s constitution where it is stated that primary election of the party can be conducted in a hotel.


Mr Shittu said:“ Nothing took place in that hotel. You cannot even force candidates on the people, this is Oyo state, you cannot force people on us.


"Everybody who is a serious member of this party must do what is right, so what happened in the hotel is unconstitutional. I also have my own supporters, I reject it in totality.


I am a minister of Federal Republic of Nigeria and I am the only one in Oyo State but I was not invited. They have collected money from aspirants since last year, what about those who have collected nomination form and they have collected money from them?"