The controversy generated by the All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries in Ogun State continued on Saturday with Governor Ibikunle Amosun accusing the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, of falsehood and of attempting to help hijack the state government.
According to a statement by the Ogun government on Saturday, contrary to the position of the APC National Chairman, “the only gubernatorial primary held in the state was that of October 02, 2018, which produced Hon Adekunle Akinlade as the winner”.
The statement was in reaction to a press briefing by Mr Oshiomhole on Friday, during which he accused the Ogun governor of taking series of steps in a bid to impose his preferred candidates on the APC and contravening the party’s constitution.
Oshiomhole has also insisted that the authentic governorship primary conducted by the APC in Ogun produced Mr Dapo Abiodun and not Akinlade as the party’s governorship candidate.
The Ogun governor, however, faulted Oshiomhole’s position and the language he used to express the same.
“Governor Amosun notes the unsavoury language used against him by the garrulous party chairman, but he will not descend into the gutter to exchange words with him because where he comes from, there are “acceptable standards of conduct expected of people holding certain offices, a virtue he wishes Oshiomhole would exhibit”, a statement by the Ogun State Commissioner for Information, Mr Adedayo Adeneye, read.
The governor explained that the emergence of Akinlade was initially through a consensus arrangement as allowed by the party constitution but was nevertheless subjected to a primary election when some gubernatorial aspirants disagreed with the outcome of the consensus arrangement.
“This is, however, without prejudice to the sanctity of the consensus arrangement which Adams Oshiomhole hypocritically tries to demonise,” Governor Amosun added, faulting the APC chairman’s criticism of his plan for consensus candidates.
He argued 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)”.
Governor Amosun also accused Oshiomhole of double standards, saying, “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?” he added.
Primary Winners In Limbo?
The Ogun governor called on Nigerians to note the actions of Oshiomhole, stressing that “as at today, November 03, 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”.
For those positions, Amosun 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”.
He added, “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?”
Furthermore, the governor accused Oshiomhole of unilaterally replacing four of the nine winners of the primary election into the House of Representatives.
Allegations and counter allegations
At Friday’s press briefing in the nation’s capital Abuja, Oshiomhole told reporters that the party had conducted direct primaries in Ogun State after Governor Amosun tried unsuccessfully to get members of the party to accept “consensus candidates”.
He said rather than comply with the decision of the National Executive Council of the APC, the governor attempted to coerce the party members to do his bidding and accept candidates he unilaterally picked.
The governor’s intention, according to Oshiomhole, came to light at a meeting he convened before the primaries.
Oshiomhole said, “At the meeting – this is no secret, I expect that some of your media houses will have video clips of what transpired at that meeting because it wasn’t a closed-door meeting; it was an open meeting, Governor Amosun in his wisdom decided to introduce a ‘third element’ which didn’t feature in the resolutions of the National Executive Council.
“He announced that Ogun State was going to adopt consensus and he proceeded to define what in his view constitutes a consensus.
“And having defined it to mean the pronouncement of the governor, he went on to announce what, according to him, represents a consensus candidate. He announced one Akinlade as the next governor. He proceeded to announce another gentleman, whom he said would be the deputy governor; consensus!
“He went on to proclaim himself as the next senator through consensus and he says the current senator in his own Senatorial zone, Senator Tejuoso, will step aside so that he, Ibikunle Amosun, at the end of his tenure as governor of Ogun State, will proceed to the Senate. According to him, this is his own consensus.
“He went on to also announce that the second Senator also, from Ogun State will step aside and another gentleman will come in place of that senator. And according to him, this pronouncement is a consensus.
“Not done, governor Amosun went on to announce a particular gentleman, who will be the next Speaker. He went on to announce another one who will be the next deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly.
“Governor Amosun, according to his own definition of consensus, also unilaterally pronounced that of the eight seats of House of Representatives members, seven will not return according to him, only one will return. This he claimed is a consensus.
“He went on to list other members of the House of Assembly who will seek re-election and those who will not seek re-election. All through, he announced about 40 names which according to him constitute consensus.”
The APC National Chairman said the party, however, refused to accept the governor’s actions because they were “undemocratic”.
He said, “Our constitution does not recognise emperors. There are not emperors in the APC, if anybody attempts to invent himself as an emperor, it will be an enterprise in futility.
“Based on our rules, we have since conducted primaries and submitted the name of the winner, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to INEC for the purpose of the forthcoming governorship election that for me has concluded that matter.”
‘A New Chapter’
On his part, Amosun claims Oshiomhole is the one in the wrong and has engaged in “offshore rigging”.
He said, “In his conduct, Oshiomhole is opening a new chapter in the history of elections in Nigeria – a situation where a gang of desperate politicians will sit somewhere in another state and write the result of an election that never took place; what our people creatively refer to as “Offshore Rigging”. This is 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”.
The governor also rejected the claims of Oshiomole that he attempted to withdraw the security of the State Electoral Committee when the APC National Working Committee opted to proceed with direct primaries.
“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?” the statement read.
“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.
“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.”
The post 2019: Amosun Replies Oshiomhole, Accuses Him Of Aiding Plot To Hijack Ogun Govt appeared first on Channels Television.