The All Progressives Congress, APC, has berated some of its top members, including Ibikunle Amosun, Governor of Ogun State, and Osita Okechukwu, Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria, VON, over their reaction to the recently held party primaries across the nation.
Lanre Issa-Onilu, the APC National Publicity Secretary, in an interview he granted on Wednesday said Governor Amosun and Okechukwu were livid with the party because they could not circumvent the primaries to their favour.
Speaking specifically on the crisis in the Ogun chapter of the chapter, Issa-Onilu said Governor Amosun attempted to impose candidates on the party through consensus but noted that the process was rejected by party members.
He stated that even if the candidates were accepted, the national leadership of the APC would have voided the list as the process was not done in accordance with the APC constitution and guidelines.
The spokesperson said, “If we speak to the merit of this case, the Ogun State governor –the whole world saw it, the visuals were everywhere where he gathered some aspirants, stakeholders and said clearly, there won’t be primaries and right there he pointed at whom the next governor would be. He pointed to another person, ‘this one, you are the next senator, House of Reps etc and himself the next senatorial candidate and he dished out these positions out there.”
“In the case of Ogun, after that exercise failed after they tried to handpick who will be what, they sent a letter that they had agreed on direct primary and the party had no choice but to endorse what you want.
“On the day they all came for screening, including the governor, suddenly they left other aspirants and returned to Abeokuta, gathered some people and sent back to the National Working Committee that they wanted indirect primary and the other aspirants said we were all here together, that they didn’t know when this change was made.”
Issa-Onilu also accused Governor Amosun of blaming other individuals, including Bola Tinubu, the APC National Leader, and Segun Osoba, a former Ogun State governor, for the rejection of his candidates.
He, however, noted that the Governor had disrespected a court order which banned executives of the state chapter of the party from carrying out any activity, adding that the “self-help” validation he (Amosun) is seeking from President Muhammadu Buhari, who he said was meticulous, would be futile.
On the verbal attacks thrown at Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman, by Okechukwu, the party spokesperson said it was only natural for him “to ventilate his anger ” for losing out in his senatorial party.
Issa-Onilu, however, said Okechukwu’s allegations against Oshiomhole and the APC had gone beyond the ordinary.
He said, “You can also understand that it is not about him and the party, it is about him picking the senatorial ticket of his constituency and that is about ambition, and when that does not happen, you don’t expect him not to cry, he has every right to ventilate his anger and it is for the party to also listen to him.
“He may have gone overboard to make all sorts of ill-accusation but you also have to understand his present situation, he lost out. If that same process had favoured him, he would be in his office, in an air-conditioned atmosphere, drinking coffee and taking a laugh at whoever is complaining but it didn’t work for him.”