Strong indication emerged on Sunday that the younger brother of Late Senator Isiaka Adeleke, identified as Otunba Ademola Adeleke may eventually emerge as the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the July 8, 2017 bye election to fill the vacant seat of Osun West Senatorial District.
Late Senator Adeleke had suddenly died on the 23rd of April, 2017 after a brief illness in his country home of Ede, Osun State.
Briefing journalists at the APC secretariat in Osogbo, the state capital on the outcome of the screening exercise for aspirants, the chairman of the national screening committee of APC, Hon Sanusi Garba Rikiji said the party’s primary election would still hold on Monday, in Osogbo.
However, the only contestant left in the race with Ademola Adeleke after two other aspirants had earlier stepped down, Senator Mudashiru Hussain has been disqualified by the screening committee on the ground that he contravened the party’s guidelines of not resigning his appointment as a serving commissioner in the cabinet of Governor Rauf Aregbesola 30 days before obtaining nomination form for the senatorial seat.
Hussain is the current Commissioner for Cabinet Matters in the government of Aregbesola, having been newly sworn in, alongside other commissioners on 30th of May, 2017.
Political analysts say the development may spark another round of fresh crisis within the party as the disqualification of Hussain, who is believed to be Aregbesola’s preferred candidate was capable of stirring up further seeming division in Osun APC.
Announcing Hussain’s disqualification yesterday, the chairman of the APC national screening committee, who is also the current Speaker of Zamfara State House of Assembly, Hon Rikiji said the aspirant was ineligible following his failure to resign from his position as a serving commissioner in the state 30 days before obtaining nomination form.
The disqualification notice was contained in a letter dated 10th of June, signed by Rikiji and secretary of the screening committee, Mr Charles Ehavbare and handed over to Senator Hussain
Similarly, another letter was handed over to the younger brother of Late Senator Isiaka Adeleke, Mr Ademola Adeleke at the secretariat of the party.
Nigerian Tribune reports that, when Hussain opened his letter and saw the content, he looked very pensive and sober, while Ademola was excited when he read the content of his own letter.
But, the disqualified aspirant claimed that he had tendered his letter of resignation as a commissioner to the state government, which was dated June 6, 2017, vowing that he would table his grievances before the appeal committee and participate in the primary election.
Meanwhile, the screening committee said the primary election would hold on Monday but it could not be ascertained as of the time of filing this report of Senator Hussain would be allowed to participate in the exercise.