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APC in Oyo will conduct free, fair primary elections— Alli

Olumide Alli is the Executive Chairman of Akinyele South Local Council development Area of Oyo state, in this interview with YEJIDE GBENGA-OGUNDARE, he speaks on the forthcoming elections in the state, importance of Local Council Development Areas and other issues.

THERE are many people coming out to contest the gubernatorial post on the platform of your party in Oyo State, how do you think this will play out?

It is true that there are many people coming out of the All Progressives Congress, but I do not see that as a problem because that is the beauty of democracy, we have so many progressive-minded people in the party who have clear vision for the state and every one of them has a fundamental right to contest for position if they desire. Everyone has something to offer and have individual strengths, so no one is a push over, at the end, it is our hope that the best man wins at the primary election and whoever emerges will have the support of everyone.

Are you saying there will be no fallout or crisis from the primaries?

Not at all, APC is a party that has laid down constitution and has internal democracy. So there is no cause for alarm and I do not foresee any crisis. What the candidates need to do is to highlight their programmes for the delegates, let them assess them based on what they have to offer the state for the development that is on ground to continue because at the end of the day, the delegates determine who emerges as the party’s flag bearer. Once the delegates make up their mind through their votes, a candidate has been picked and every other person will then need to support, we are all one family. So, the work is for them to do.

Are you now saying that your party can conduct a free and fair primary election?

Of course yes, at all levels, the APC has what it takes to have a free and fair primary election. I can confidently tell you that the APC in Oyo State will conduct free and fair primary elections without prejudice or bias against any candidate because like I said, every candidate has his own strength and has the right to contest elective post. See what happened at the recent National Convention, each candidate was at the mercy of the delegates.

What will you say about the governor anointing a particular candidate?

That is strange and news to me. I do not believe that our leader, Governor Abiola Ajimobi will not do anything to jeopardize the democratic structure, he is a man that carries everyone along as a father; he supports everyone and does not have any anointed candidate. What he wants is a level playing ground for everyone and his neutrality has given room for everyone to show what they can do and approach this with the seriousness it requires. This is good for the democratic system and the party. What is important is good governance and as a result, the candidates that our party fields must be credible and qualitative.

How would you assess the National Convention of your party?

The convention was laudable because it was organised and everything went well. I give kudos to the National Working Committee and the Convention Planning Committee for the obvious synergy that resulted in such a beautiful programme and peaceful transition. This is what the APC is known for and a proof that the party is getting it right.

Is there any advantage in the creation of local council development areas?

The truth is that for the grassroots to enjoy the dividends of democracy and get adequate attention that it deserves there is a need for local council development areas to be created in some local governments because some local government areas are extremely big in terms of land mass and population.

In such areas, the council cannot reach the interiors and they end up being neglected, not because they are not important, but because before the projects get to the interior, the resources are almost depleted. But when there are local council development areas, it will be easy to move into the interiors to find out what the people there need and how we can make lives easier for them especially in areas where you have so many villages like our own. Local councils get the work done quicker because they are nearer to the people and will be more effective; LCDAs enhance development and ensure that people at grassroots enjoy the dividends of democracy.