Osinbajo, Amosun meet as Oshiomhole vows to avoid pressure

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday met behind closed doors with Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Both Osinbajo and Amosun are from Ogun State.

While Osinbajo hails from Ikenne, Amosun is an indigene of Abeokuta.

Ogun State is among the areas where the ruling All Progressives Congress is experiencing rancorous primaries.

The All Progressives Congress National Working Committee panel, led by Muhammad Indabawa, had on Wednesday in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, announced Prince Dapo Abiodun as the winner of the election, saying that Abiodun polled the highest votes having scored 102,305 votes.

Indabawa flanked by other members of the panel added that Mr Jimi Lawal polled 51,153 votes closely followed by Otunba Bimbo Ashiru who scored 29,764 votes.

Other aspirants – Senator Adegbenga Kaka;  Adekunle Akinlade and Abayomi Hunye – scored 17,771; 23,443 and 9,610 votes respectively.

But the state executive of the party after a parallel primary had said a member of the House of Representatives, Mr Kunle Akinlade, won the shadow election.

At the end of his meeting with Osinbajo, Amosun did not speak with State House correspondents who approached him for comment.

The governor had earlier in the day joined eight other APC governors to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari.

A former Minister of Education, Senator Iyabo Anisulowo, had on Wednesday accused the Vice-President and the APC National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, of being the masterminds of the crisis in the APC in Ogun State.

She insisted that Akinlade, an indigene of Yewa, was the authentic governorship candidate of the APC in the state.
Ogun West elders warn over primary

Also, at a press conference in Abeokuta, the Ogun West Elders Council said the result of the governorship primary released on Wednesday by the APC NWC panel was an invitation to crisis.

The chairman of the council, Chief Ajibola Olagbayi, said the result was fake, adding that they would like to know those who signed it.

The elders challenged the electoral committee to produce the result sheets of the primary from the 236 wards in the state.

Olagbayi said the APC was not factionalised in the state and as such the NWC should not recognise a parallel governorship primary conducted other than that done by the state executive committee.

He said the decision of the NWC panel to recognise a parallel primary was an invitation to crisis in the state.

He said, “To our surprise, the result of the primary as released by the NWC is contrary to what we got from our wards. That leaves much to be desired.

“Ogun State is a peaceful state but what NWC did is an invitation to crisis and the elders are doing their best to calm the people down.

“We believe our President and the party chairman, Oshiomhole, will not allow this open cheating and open misrepresentation of result of the primary to go.

“Everyone knows that the consensus candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, won overwhelmingly in all the 236 wards which is contrary to what the electoral committee of NWC released.

“There is no doubt that the result released by the NWC is fake. There is no doubt about that.”

The council said the governorship slot had been zoned to Yewa/Awori, which had yet to produce a governor in the state since its creation in 1976.

We’ll resist attempts to hijack the process – Oshiomhole

But Oshiomhole said the party would not succumb to intimidation or bow to pressure by interests who seek to hijack its primaries.

He said this while speaking to reporters after a meeting between the APC National Working Committee and APC governors in Abuja on Thursday.

Oshiomhole said, “We met with various leaders; whoever has challenges. This is like a political clinic.

“We are in a situation room and it is normal that when you are carrying out a democratic exercise across the 36 states and the FCT, you will have some challenges.”

He said as the APC national chairman, he had the mandate to put in place measures that would deepen internal democracy and give every member a true sense of belonging because it was the only way to deepen the core values of democracy.

This, he explained, was the reason behind the decision to cancel the governorship primary in Zamfara, Imo states as well as the National Assembly primary in Edo State.

He said, “It is unfortunate that many people opt for violence. But I am happy that the panels refused to compromise and stood their ground even in the face of intimidation.

“We are going to conduct free, fair primary in Zamfara.

“This process has to be done according to the rules and regulations of the APC and that means it will be done by the electoral body and not by the state government or agents of the state government.

“Every member of the party in Zamfara State has a right and that right must be respected by the NWC to vote for any aspirant of their own choice. No amount of blackmail will make us to abandon that. That is the right thing to do.”

On similar scenarios in Imo, Ogun and Adamawa states, Oshiomhole said, it was not the duty of state party chairmen and secretaries or Secretaries to State Governments to announce results of primaries.

He said, “We are trying to clean up our party’s internal democracy and eliminate corruption as much as we can from the process and empower our party members to have a decisive voice on who represents them or who flies the flag of the party.

“My mandate as chairman of the APC is to be faithful to our constitution. I swore to an oath of office to be just to every member of the APC. For me, this oath of office is meant to be obeyed.”

On Imo State, he said, “To me and the NWC, what matters is not who wins, but the integrity of the process. Once the integrity of the process can be guaranteed, whoever win wins.

“I am aware of the tension that has been generated because for too long, Nigerians have been used to a game of power.

“I have not come here to perpetrate a game of power. I have come to superintendent over a process that will allow the weakest members to have a say and to produce aspirants that command respect and trust of the members of the APC.”

On the primary in Ogun State, he said, “Please get a copy of the APC constitution. Primaries are to be conducted not by state governors; they are to be conducted not by Secretary to the State Government, they are to be conducted not by state party chairmen, but by the electoral panel.

“The results of primaries are to be announced by the returning officer who chair the panel sent to conduct such primaries. It is not a game of power, but a game of number and God will give us the grace to achieve that and ensure that it works.”

He also said the National Assembly primary in the Federal Capital Territory would hold on Friday (Today), adding that it would be by direct primary.

He alleged that some individuals were trying to subvert the people’s will in the FCT by insisting on indirect primary.

Post a Comment