THE dust is yet to settle regarding the continued emergence of consensus candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Oyo State in the 2023 general election.
At a series of meetings in the past days, especially those held at the Oyo Government House, Ibadan, consensus candidates have emerged for some House of Assembly, House of Representatives and senatorial seats.
However, it has been gathered that some of the choices of consensus candidates have not gone down well with some aspirants and leaders who were asking that the choice be revisited if the party is to record success in the next general election.
While some of the aspirants have reluctantly accepted the consensus decision for their various constituencies, those displeased have called for the conduct of primaries for all aspirants to test their popularity so that the party can be certain that it is presenting popular candidates for the forthcoming election.
To pacify aspirants who lost out, some consensus candidates have, in the past days, been on the road reaching out.
While some consensus candidates have got the support of their other aspirants, some aspirants have remained unrelenting insisting that primary is the way to go.
Some aspirants also said they remained in the dark as regards the findings of the various committees set up by leadership of the party on the adoption or either consensus or primary from one constituency to the other.
Pointing to the consensus candidates in some constituencies, they warned that the party is being hijacked by a cabal.
Among constituencies where consensus choice is generating controversy is Ibadan North East/South East federal constituency where the incumbent, Honourable Abass Agboworin, was selected.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that various stakeholders in Ibadan North East/South East constituency prevailed on the state governor, Seyi Makinde, to subject the decision on its candidate to primary not consensus.
The stakeholders have premised their argument against Agboworin on the need for fairness and having a popular and widely accepted PDP candidate stand in the election.
Some party members in the constituency, led by Honourable Muideen Inakoju, had also recently addressed a letter to the deputy national chairman of the party, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja calling for the conduct of primary.
One of the aspirants, Dr Adesina Abidikugu, wondered if the party is wary that its manner of adoption of consensus is not in tandem with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
He held that the provision of the Electoral Act stipulates that every aspirant must append their signature to the adoption of any consensus candidate.
He and another aspirant for the Ibadan North East/South East constituency, Dr Adejoke Adekanmbi-Akinseye, admonished the party to adopt direct primaries for all aspirants to test their popularity as against simply adopting consensus.
Saki East/Saki West/Atisbo federal constituency is also divided along the lines of the candidate some strong stakeholders in Oke-Ogun want and whom a majority of party members consider popular enough to win election.
Amid protests and objections of some stakeholders, the consensus candidate for Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa federal constituency, Mr Oyesina Oyedeji, also has before him the task of galvanising support of Mukaila Kazeem, his supporters and others who are aggrieved.
Attaining consensus also remains inconclusive in constituencies like Ibadan North and Akinyele/Lagelu.
However, consensus has been achieved in Oluyole federal constituency with the party’s spokesperson, Akeem Olatunji, agreeing to step down and work with the deputy chief of staff to the governor, Abdulmojeed Mogbonjubola, as the consensus candidate.
Meanwhile, today is the last day for the purchase of expression of interest and nomination forms of the PDP for the 2023 election while the final day for submission of the forms is Sunday.
This is to be followed next week with the screening of House of Assembly aspirants next Tuesday while that of National Assembly aspirants is to hold on Wednesday.