Amosun’s refusal to heed the President’s advice to respect the decision of the NWC on the primary may be another missed opportunity to resolve the crisis
Elusive peace in the Ogun State chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is now beginning to raise serious concern among the critical stakeholders in the state.
Last week, when President Muhammadu Buhari hosted all governors, National Assembly and States House of Assembly candidates on the platform of the party to a peace dinner at the presidential villa, Abuja, expectation was high that the prolonged crisis arising from the direct governorship primary that produced Dayo Abiodun as the party’s standard bearer would be finally laid to rest. But no sooner than the celebrated gesture was over that Governor Ibikunle Amosun returned to the trenches, calling the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, as well as the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu all sorts of unprintable names.
Their alleged crime was the support they gave to the decision of the National Working Committee (NWC) on the outcome of the primary which endorsed the candidature of Abiodun against his preferred candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, a serving member of the House of Representatives.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Dayo Adeneye, setting the tune for renewed supremacy contest between those he described as “collaborators” and rapacious expansionists in the southwest” and the governor’s group in a press statement, said there was a grand design to hijack Ogun State, adding that the plot would fail.
His words: “We want Nigerians to note the duplicity and meddlesomeness of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and his gang in the affairs of the APC in Ogun State. The ground on which Oshiomhole disputes the gubernatorial primary in Ogun State is that the result was not announced by the State Electoral Committee from Abuja, therefore, the governor resorted to self-help.
“We wonder why Oshiomhole accepted the result of the primary election in Lagos State whose result was also not announced by the State Electoral Panel. Why will the same scenario be acceptable in Lagos State but regarded as self-help in Ogun State? Is it because it was executed by the ‘Capo Di Tutti’ in Lagos State?
“If Oshiomhole is denying the outcome of the gubernatorial primary because the State Electoral Committee shied away from announcing the result, what is the reason for denying all the 26 candidates for the House of Assembly freely elected by members of the APC in Ogun State?
“All of these have clearly shown that the motive of Oshiomhole is not the rule of law which he proclaims on the rooftop. It is rather, an evil plan with some collaborators, desperate to hijack the government of Ogun State and add it to the harem of states under their rapacious gang of exploiters.”
He accused Oshiomhole of working against the consensus arrangement that brought him to office as National Chairman. “Nigerians will recall that Oshiomhole himself was elected National Chairman of the APC by consensus arrangement which witnessed all other contestants to the office being prevailed upon to step down for him (Oshiomhole). Oshiomhole, who became the APC Chairman barely three months ago, is already threatening to write the epitaph of the party in his 100 days of ignominy,” he added.
It thus appears that the battle line has just been drawn, as all pleas for a peaceful resolution of the issue have been turned down by Amosun’s camp.
“To Oshiomhole and his motley crew of co-travellers in ignominy, be assured that the music has just begun and we hope that you will enjoy the macabre dance to the music of justice. By the Grace of God and the support of the good people of Ogun State, Adekunle Abdulkadir Akinlade will be sworn in as the new governor of Ogun State on May 29, 2019,” Adeneye, further declared.
Some concerned stakeholders have criticised the governor for being so fixated about making Akinlade his successor. A chieftain of the APC who did not want his name in print said Amosun had taken the matter too far by using vulgar language to talk down on the leaders of the party.
He said: “This is sad and regrettable in a state like Ogun which parades an array of icons both dead and alive who have distinguished themselves in their various chosen human endeavours. It is laughable when often times the governor through his Commissioner for Information and Strategy attempts to raise unnecessary dust, especially since the defeat of his anointed son, Akinlade, at the governorship primary”.
According to him, Amosun has bitten the finger that fed him by trying to rubbish those who risked their reputation by supporting him to emerge as governor of the state.
“He is a product of Bourdillon and he has so soon forgotten that his so-called ‘collaborators’ of today were his benefactors in 2011. He treated his leaders with scorn. The likes of Tope Kuyebi (Ogun West AC consensus candidate) and Prof. Remilekun Bakare (Ogun Central leading aspirant) sacrificed their individual ambition to pave way for Amosun’s quest. Amosun rode on their backs to become the governor and he has bitten the fingers that fed him,” he fumed.
While Governor Amosun has denied the rumour of his alleged plot to dump the APC, the renewed attack on the leaders of the party has given rise to a fresh suspicion that he might have something up his sleeve. This insinuation, Daily Sun gathered, may not be totally unfounded since he has the antecedent of traversing virtually all major political parties. For instance, Daily Sun recalls that at the advent of the present democratic dispensation in 1999, he began his political career with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where he realised his Ogun Central Senatorial district bid in 2003. Thereafter, he defected to the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and later to CPC. When he could not actualise his governorship ambition, he pitched his tent with the defunct ACN and with the support of Tinubu, he won the governorship race in 2011 on the platform of the party.
Already, there is a widespread rumour that some of his aides who could not make the list of APC for various elective positions have picked the tickets of Democratic People’s Party (DPP). This, pundits say, may be a prelude to the ultimate plan of dumping the APC at the last minute.
Recalling the politics that pave way for Amosun as governor, the APC chieftain lamented: “It took the intervention of Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande, Dapo Abiodun and several other stalwarts of the party to persuade former governor Olusegun Osoba to accept him (Amosun) as the governorship candidate of the party. At long last, Osoba gave him benefit of the doubt, buried their individual differences and worked together to ensure his victory in the governorship contest.
“But shortly after he assumed office, he started behaving funny. He started abusing and attacking the people who helped him into the office. The first thing he did was that he rejected names of four commissioner nominees Osoba sent to him.”
Reacting to the development in Ogun State however, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the National Publicity Secretary of APC, urged Senator Amosun to reconsider his stance on the vexed issue of governorship primary, if truly and genuinely he has the interest of the people of the state at heart. “The party is supreme and it must be respected,” he said.
According to some stakeholders, Amosun’s refusal to heed the advice of President Buhari to respect the decision of the NWC on the primary may be another missed opportunity to finally resolve the crisis. And this has left many people wondering what he (Amosun) has got to tell the president when he went to Aso Rock in company of his counterparts in Ondo and Ekiti states for another round of audience on the matter.
To some political pundits, the desperation to make Akinlade his successor gives room for suspicion.