Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and his Imo State counterpart, Rochas Okorocha, are not leaving any stone unturned in their spirited move to upturn what they termed day-light robbery and injustice during the conduct of the All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries.
The two governors, both in their second term in office, had complained bitterly over the loss of the preferred candidates they have anointed to succeed them in office, while lamenting that the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, in connivance with some party leaders, was bent on humiliating them.
Though the duo have since resolved to seek their pound of flesh in the litmus 2019 polls, the elections that the party must win majority votes to return President Muhammadu Buhari. Also, APC must win majority seats in the National Assembly and as well retain its control of more states to sustain its majority members in the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. The feat APC won in 2015 but had been battling hard to make good use of while working more strenuously to consolidate same. However, some post-primary disputes rocking the party following the conduct of its primaries are threatening to fight back during the general polls slated for the first quarter of 2019.
Besides Okorocha and Amosun, the Zamfara State governor, Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari, is also spoilt for a war with the National Working Committee over the outcome of the party’s primary, especially the emergence of the governorship candidate. The Zamfara case is so exceptional that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had insisted that APC would not field any candidate in the state over the unresolved crisis.
Though governorship election will not hold in Ondo State next year but the primaries conducted by the APC in the state coupled with the role played by the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, many party leaders have been leaving the party in droves, threatening to pay back in the next elections.
Amosun had accused Oshiomhole of conniving with some people to foist Dapo Abiodun on the party as its governorship candidate.
Amosun alleged that Oshiomhole with the support of two former governors of Lagos and Ogun States, Bola Tinubu and Olusegun Osoba, wrote a fake result showing Abiodun as the party’s governorship candidate.
Amosun added that the duo of Tinubu and Osoba played roles in what he termed ‘electoral fraud’, adding that their silence over the matter smacked of complicity.
“The President already knows there was no election in Ogun State. He knows that they just went to Lagos, wrote all results and that what they did is fraud. If the National Working Committee or the National Chairman said there was an election in Ogun State, it’s all fraud. That is what I said.”
Okorocha had also said that “What happened in Imo was a clear case of injustice, where Uche Nwosu won the primary and was robbed of the ticket. This injustice must be addressed. However, in spite of the fact that my aides are leaving the party, I am still a member of APC and will not leave the party.
“I tried to persuade them not to leave, but they have made up their minds. I have done what I can to make them remain in the party, they disobeyed me. I don’t have any moral justification to stop them.
“President Buhari is not behind the injustice done by the party in the state but (Adams) Oshiomhole is solely responsible for all the injustice meted to my people in Imo State. For me, I am still a member of APC. Buhari still remains my candidate and I will support him.”
Chief of Staff and son-in-law to Okorocha, Uche Nwosu, has dumped the APC for the Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP).
Nwosu as well as some members of the State House of Assembly and some of Okorocha’s aides defected to DPP on Tuesday.
Their defection is unarguably linked to the fallout of the APC governorship primaries in the state in which Nwosu failed to emerge as the party’s gubernatorial candidate.
Meanwhile, Okorocha has declared that he would support his son-in-law Uche Nwosu, as he dumps the APC for DPP.
The governor said all his loyalists were treated unfairly as well as denied the tickets of the party during the last APC primaries, as he accused Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman, of destroying the party.
“As a father of Imo State, I still remain in the best position to select the best among Emeka Ihedioha, Hope Uzodimma, Ifeanyi Araraume and Uche Nwosu, who is the best among all of them. Nwosu believes in Imo State, he has investment in the state.
“Nwosu is my candidate. Any party that these young men want to go they are free and I want to say it again that Nwosu is my candidate.
“In selecting who will govern Imo State, you look at the past record, their history and what investment they have brought to Imo state. I want to announce to you that I am still running for the Senator and my party is still the APC,” Okorocha said.
Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was detained by the Department of State Services (DSS) on Sunday, TheCable reveals.
Meanwhile, Oshiomhole had been grilled by Department of State Security (DSS) operatives for hours after some APC governors alleged that he received bribes during the party’s primary elections across the country.
The APC chairman was reportedly asked to resign during interrogation by the DSS, but he resisted the pressure, saying he would only do so if he loses the confidence of President Buhari, as he claimed that the president was in the loop of every action he took during the party’s primaries.
In Zamfara, the INEC said the party will not participate in the 2019 polls because it could not successfully conclude its primary before the deadline.
In Imo, the APC favoured the governorship candidacy of Hope Uzodimma, senator representing Imo West, over Uche Nwosu, son-in-law of Okorocha, governor of the state.
Amosun fell out with the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) after it chose Dapo Abiodun as the state’s gubernatorial candidate, while Abiodun Akinlade remains Amosun’s preferred candidate.
A number of APC governors have expressed disappointment over the way the national leadership of the party had gone about the issues, hence the move against Oshiomhole.
Publicity Secretary of APC in Imo State, Mr. Jones Onwuasoanya, resigned his appointment as he described APC as a cult and not a political party.
While accusing Oshiomhole of destroying the party, added that “The chairman left no one in doubt that he was not, from the onset, prepared for the task of serving the interest of members of the party and upholding the provisions of its constitution, but to institute a most dangerous brand of feudalistic idealism and corrupted form of communism where the whims of a few override the interest of the majority.”
He added that “I am pricked in my conscience anytime I sign off as the state Publicity Secretary of this party remembering that this is a party that has woefully failed to manage its internal electoral processes in a manner that may raise hope for our democracy. Conversely, this party has exhibited a most reckless rapaciousness against our democracy and a careless disregard for the sanctity of the ballot.”
Meanwhile, Amosun’s preferred candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, has also dumped the APC for another party to realize his governorship ambition.
Like Okorocha, Amosun claimed he would work for his candidate from the APC even as all the elected councilors on the platform of the party in all the 20 local government areas of Ogun State have denied ever pledging their support for Prince Dapo Abiodun.
Speaking on behalf of the councilors in the three senatorial districts, Ololade Kazeem, Jide Opafola and Tunde Makinde, alleged that the mandate freely given by APC members in Ogun State to Akinlade on October 2 was “stolen”.
According to them, the indirect primary election, which produced Akinlade as the APC governorship candidate was conducted throughout the wards in Ogun State and witnessed by security agents and officials of the INEC.
They described the direct primary election, witnessed by the election panel sent from the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja, which returned Dapo Abiodun as the party’s candidate as “fraudulent and a daylight robbery”.
Until the elections are here and gone no one can say convincingly what the alleged discrepancies in the conduct of the APC primaries across the nation will cost the party. As it were, one party, one voice and united goal seem to be anathema in the party that rode to power in 2015 on the crest of transparency.