Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The immediate-past minister of Communication, Adebayor Shittu, has again taken the embattled national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, to the cleaners, alleging that his dictatorship has destroyed the ruling party.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, Shittu further chided the former governor of Edo state for fraudulently collecting a whopping N22.5 million from aspirants only to disqualify them on flimsy reasons.
He described him as “one person who is a dictator, who wants to dominate his environment, who doesn’t want to take advice and one person who does not seek advice.” He maintained that having failed, he should honourably resign to prevent the party from humiliation in 2023 general election when there will be no Buhari factor to drive the party.
Furiously recalling how he (Oshiomole) denied him the opportunity to contest Oyo governorship primaries, he said: “I am aware that God hates injustice and fights for the weak. To contest any position in Nigeria, there is nowhere it is stipulated in the constitution that you must have an NYSC discharge certificate.
“And to tell you the mischief our party’s national chairman and his cohort did, Dapo Abiodun, now governor of Ogun State never served; the immediate-past Oyo governor, Ajimobi, did not also serve and I can mention a whole lot of others.
“It is the same Oshiomhole who denied me the opportunity to contest the party primaries that cleared these other people to contest Ajimobi for Senate and Abiodun for governor. These double standards will never be allowed by God,” he quipped.
While alleging that Ajimobi used Oshiomhole to disqualify him, he said: “Another point of departure between Ajimobi and myself was when he got Oshiomhole to disqualify me. Why should he disqualify me? Is he an illiterate not to know that there is a legal department of the party? If a chairman has anything to do concerning the law, he should seek advice from the legal adviser. I spoke to a number of party persons, but nobody has the courage to challenge him.”
Asked why he joined the league of those calling for his resignation, he said: “I am hard on him because he has come to destroy our party. How do you justify a national chairman who took over at the time the party controlled 26 states but we have lost about five to six states to the opposition.
“If it were in a civilised clime, Oshiomhole should have resigned now because he is a failure and does not have the capacity to run a civilised political party. He is a dictator; he is one person who wants to dominate his environment, he is one person who does not want to take advice and he is one person who does not seek advice.
“How do you justify where he directed that every state in the South West adopts direct primaries but insisted on indirect primaries in Oyo State? What is the standard? Anybody who does not have the capacity of being just is not capable of heading a civilised political party. I was the first person to tell Mr President to appoint Oshiomhole political adviser when he became jobless after leaving office and he knows.
“In advertising for people to pick nomination form, should he not have really set out requirements and conditionalities? Why must you wait until I have paid N22.5 million only to come out with baseless allegations?
“It was not only I alone. He did the same to Aisha Hassan, Mama Taraba, which led to our failure in Taraba State. I was told that if the party had given the woman the ticket she could have won because the past governor was not seen to have performed well. But when you take money from people then balkanise the party, at the end of the day, you have half of your brigade going to war while the other half will perhaps be doing something else,” he said.
While expressing reservation over the future of the party ahead of the 2023 general elections, he said: “My fear now is that as of today, it is the personality of President Muhammadu Buhari that is galvanising the party together. I hate to see a situation by 2023 when Buhari is no more on the ballot, who again will bring us together into the electoral battle as one united front?
“Who has the love of our people and the commitment for Nigerians to vote for APC? I don’t see the APC winning with Oshiomhole in charge of the party. A lot of people will be driven out of the party by the time he continues with his injustices. Already, many people have been destroyed. It is very unfortunate,” he said.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 21 state chairmen rose from an emergency meeting with the embattled chairman passing a vote of confidence on him.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Enugu State chairman who doubles as the secretary of the forum, Ben Nwoye, dismissed as baseless all the allegations levied against the chairman, describing it as false.