Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, and his Imo State counterpart, Rochas Okorocha, yesterday fired back at the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying he should brace up for a showdown.
Specifically, they picked holes in Oshiomhole’s decision to submit names of governorship candidates from their states who did not emerge from the party’s primaries to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The governors ruled out any plan to defect from the party, maintaining that they would remain in the party and fight what they term injustice against their candidates.
Amosun and Okorocha were reacting to Oshiomhole’s declaration on Friday that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC had taken a final position on the list of candidates of the APC in Imo and Ogun states.
Oshiomhole at the press conference announced that the party had submitted the names of Senator Hope Uzodimma (Imo) and Prince Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) as candidates of the party to INEC last week.
He said the national leadership of the party would stick to its resolve not to recognise Uche Nwosu (Imo) and Adekunle Akinlade (Ogun) who emerged governorship candidates from primaries conducted under the watch of Okorocha and Amosun.
In his reaction to Oshiomhole’s statement, Amosun described the national chairman as a person who lacks respect for truth and decency.
The governor also said the scheming by Oshiomhole and his collaborators to hijack the government of Ogun State “and hand it over to a gang of rapacious expansionists in the South West will fail”.
Amosun, in a statement issued yesterday in Abeokuta by his commissioner for Information and Strategy, Dayo Adeneye, described Oshiomhole as a “garrulous party chairman.”
In the statement made available to LEADERSHIP Sunday, Amosun said he had taken note of the unsavoury language used against him by the national chairman”, adding, however, that he was not ready to “descend into the gutter and exchange words with” Oshiomhole.
He pointed out that he came from a tradition where there are “acceptable standards of conduct expected of people holding certain offices, a virtue he wishes Oshiomhole would exhibit”.
Amosun restated the position of the APC leadership in Ogun State that the only gubernatorial primary held in the state was that of October 2, 2018 which produced Hon Adekunle Akinlade as winner.
He said the emergence of Akinlade was initially through a consensus arrangement as allowed by the party constitution but that it was nevertheless subjected to a primary election when some gubernatorial aspirants disagreed with the outcome of the consensus arrangement.
He continued: “This is however, without prejudice to the sanctity of the consensus arrangement which Adams Oshiomhole hypocritically tries to demonise. 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).
“The grounds 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?
“We wish to call the attention of Nigerians to another evil being perpetrated by Oshiomhole in Ogun State. As at today 3rd November, which is 24 hours after the deadline for submission of names of candidates for the House of Assembly, Oshiomhole has not given INEC Party Candidate Form (CF001) to any of the 26 candidates who won the primaries for the ticket to contest for the Ogun State House of Assembly”.
Explaining further, he said, “The primary was conducted on October 07 by the State Electoral Committee headed by Col. Ali Ciroma. This is despite the fact that the State Chairman of the party had kept vigil at the national secretariat of the APC in the last two weeks to collect the forms”.
“If Oshiomhole is denying the outcome of the gubernatorial primaries 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?
“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.
“It is also important to note that Oshiomhole unilaterally replaced four of the nine winners of the primary election into the House of Representatives. This includes Hon. Mikhail Kazzim, a serving member of the House who won the primaries by defeating Olumide, the son of Chief Olusegun Osoba, with 28,802 votes to Osoba’s 4,209.
“Oshiomhole removed Hon. Kazzim who won the primaries and replaced him with the man he had serially defeated, not only in the last primary election but also in the general election of 2015.
“Oshiomhole substituted the winner of the primary for the House of Representatives, Hon. Rotimi Rahmon with the name of Hon. Jimoh Ojugbele, who did not even contest to go back to the House of Representatives but contested the primary for the Senate and was defeated”.
Amosun lamented that by his conduct Oshiomhole was opening a new chapter in the history of elections in Nigeria, in which he said a gang of desperate politicians would sit somewhere in another state and write the result of an election that never took place.
He added that what the Nigerian people creatively refer to as “offshore rigging” was what Oshiomhole and his gang are trying to foist on Ogun State.
“Lawyers say ‘you cannot build something on nothing’. Oshiomhole and his gang are trying to build a storey building of fraud on nothing”, he added.
The governor also dismissed the claim by Oshiomole that he withdrew the security of the State Electoral Committee.
He said, “As regards the claim of Oshiomhole that Sen. Amosun withdrew the security of the panel, Indabawa, chairman of the panel, is a retired commissioner of police. He came into Ogun State with a full complement of police team which he claimed was provided for him by a Deputy Inspector General of Police. How could Amosun have withdrawn policemen he did not assign or over whom he had no control?
“All of these have clearly shown that the motive of Oshiomhole is not the rule of law which he proclaims on the roof top. 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.
“As we have stated before, this evil design will not succeed in Ogun State. Our people are too educated, exposed and sophisticated to come under such odious arrangement. On a general note, 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”.
Governor Amosun concluded with an advice for Oshiomhole that the national chairman “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, Hon. Adekunle Abdulkadir Akinlade will be sworn in as the new governor of Ogun State on May 29, 2019”, he added.
On his part, Governor Okorocha of Imo State told Oshiomhole that Uche Nwosu’s governorship aspiration was not in the hands of anybody but God and Imo people.
The governor said Oshiomhole’s action and comments had proven that he was the brain behind the action of Ahmed Gulak and his 12- member committee sent to conduct the party’s primaries in the state.
“It is unfortunate that the national chairman could encourage Gulak to flee Owerri by 4:30am to avoid carrying out the assignment he was sent to Owerri to do”, he stated.
In a statement signed by his chief press secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, the governor said that the action of Oshiomhole was indicative that disbanding Gulak’s committee, cancelling all that emanated from it and setting up the Brigadier- General Ibrahim Agbabiaka Committee for the conduct of fresh primaries in the state were all deceitful.
“Also, ignoring the report of the Professor Osunbor’s Appeal Panel that declared Uche Nwosu the candidate of the APC in the state was an indication that the comrade had abinitio made up his mind on Hope Uzodinma”, Okorocha stated.
He said steps would be taken to prove that deceits do not pay and that the people of Imo will not allow such deceits to go unchallenged.
The governor noted that if the national chairman of the APC had been monitoring Owerri since he announced Chief Uzodinma as his preferred candidate, t he would have appreciated the enormous implication of his faulty action.
He continued: “Comrade Oshiomhole in his efforts to justify all he has done, had accused Governor Rochas of trying to build a Political dynasty. And the only reason he gave for coming up with such blackmail is that Governor Okorocha wants to go to the Senate and his in-law Uche Nwosu wants to be Governor. he never explained how Okorocha being in the Senate and Nwosu being governor would constitute a dynasty.
“Governor Okorocha is not the only Governor who would want to be in the Senate after leaving office. A good number of the ex-governors are either in the Senate or had been in the Senate he is not also the first governor to have a successor at the end of his tenure as Governor Uche Nwosu”.
On his part the Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, declined comment on the issue, saying the matter is in court.
When contacted for response on the matter, the governor’s media aide, Ibrahim Dosara, in a telephone chat with LEADERSHIP Sunday simply said, “We can’t comment on the matter because the issue is in court.”
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