The Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has assured members of the ruling All Progressives Congress in the state that the party will not impose candidates for the various elective positions in the 2019 general elections.
Ajimobi gave the assurance while speaking at the Oyo South Senatorial District meeting of the party held in Ibadan on Monday.
He said the party would provide a level playing ground for all the aspirants during the primaries.
He also said that the APC leadership would support the best among all the gubernatorial aspirants to become the next governor of the state.
The meeting was attended by aspirants for various political offices and party faithful from the senatorial district comprising nine local governments.
The local governments are Ibadan North, Ibadan North-West, Ibadan South-West, Ibadan South-East, Ibadan North-East, Ido, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North and Ibarapa Central.
Ajimobi said the meeting was aimed at intimating members of what transpired at the National Executive Council meeting of the APC held in Abuja last week.
He said the meeting was hinged on how to reposition the party for victory in the 2019 general elections.
Ajimobi said: “The meeting we held with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja last week was to fashion out ways of repositioning the party for victory in the 2019 general elections.
“The meeting was also used to review the activities of our party.
“We also realized that some faceless people were behind the crisis that we experienced recently in our party in Oyo State that that they were the one sponsoring the dissident group.
“I am however happy that despite the insinuations that our party membership has been depleted because of the actions of the group, we still have this huge presence of members here.
“This is an indication that we are on top of the game.
“It is very obvious that our party parades the best of aspirants, especially in terms of individual accomplishments, academic backgrounds as well as their respective loyalty to the party.
“Let me assure you all that the party leadership will create a level playing field for you all.”
The governor also seized the occasion to correct what he called an erroneous impression that he showed preference to some gubernatorial aspirants against others, stressing that he encouraged all of them to join the race.
Ajimobi said: “The issue is not that I prefer some gubernatorial aspirants than the other.
“Indeed, I encouraged all of them to join the race.
“They are all my people and they are all equally qualified.
“Let me assure you once again that I will never impose any candidate, but we will support any candidate who has the capacity to win.”
Ajimobi commended the state party Chairman, Chief Akin Oke, for holding the party together in spite of the crisis that recently rocked it.
Oke and the party Chairman for Oyo South Senatorial District, Adekanye Adefioye, were unanimous in praising the governor for his administration’s developmental strides as well as his laudable programmes and policies, which they said encouraged more aspirants to show interest in the gubernatorial race.
Oke said: “If we look at the noise from our detractors, one would think this gathering would not be this big.
“We have seen so many aspirants jostling for positions.
“It is an indication of the good work of the governor and his good leadership style.”
Oke appealed to the contestants not to see the race as a do or die but rather accept the outcome of the party primaries in good faith.