Supporters of the All Progressives Congress, APC, under the aegis of Federation of Buhari Support Groups have accused the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), of spearheading the revolt against the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole.
The group made the allegation during a protest in support of Oshiomhole at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday.
The coordinator of the group, Ibrahim Sikiru, said it was an open secret that Akeredolu and his counterparts in Ekiti and Ogun states, Kayode Fayemi and Ibikunle Amosun, respectively worked against the party’s choice in the recently concluded Osun State governorship elections.
Sikiru further alleged that the Ondo State governor was a beneficiary of “the (Chief John) Odigie-Oyegun style of impunity” and was embittered that Oshiomhole was given the task of rebuilding the party.
Sikiru said the group’s investigations revealed “that Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu is the leader of the new conservative movement within the APC coupled with the assistance of Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, and Gov. Jibrilla Bindow of Adamawa State.
“As it is, in Ondo State, President Muhammadu Buhari cannot get 10 per cent votes in the 2019 election due to the de-marketing policies of the governor,” stating further that the governor had instructed his close associates to dump the APC and join the Action Alliance.
He said the “sudden death” of the tenure elongation plot to foist Odigie-Oyegun on the party was the reason behind “their anger against Oshiomhole.”
“We believe in the leadership of the party ably led by Adams Oshiomhole and his determination to position the party for a landslide victory in the forthcoming elections.
“Our party is greater than any individual or group, So let us come together and face our common goal of remaining the most efficient and trusted party in our clime,” Sikiru also said.
When contacted, the Adamawa State Commissioner for Information, Ahmad Sajoh, said, “There is no truth in the allegation against our governor. My governor harbours no ill-feeling against the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee of the APC; he is a loyal party man.
“Whatever happened before, during and after the primaries here in Adamawa is in the past. My governor is committed to the victory of the APC at all levels come 2019.”
But an APC leader in Adamawa State, Senator Abubakar Gerei, urged Oshiomhole not to live under the illusion that 90 per cent of party members were behind him.
He said the reality pointed more towards the reverse because unless he took steps to remedy the fall out of the party’s primaries which he said left 90 per cent of its membership aggrieved, the party would be the worse for it.
Girei said, “In Adamawa State in particular, there was not even a semblance of primary election for the governorship in 95 per cent of the wards.
“Primaries for the legislative seats were similarly poorly handled and discredited; unless the national chairman understands and accepts this for a fact and puts in place a strategic plan to remedy the situation, our party and candidates will pay dearly for it in the forthcoming general elections.”
Girei further said, “I am shocked to hear our dear National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, say that 90 per cent of APC members are happy and in support of him on the just concluded Primary Elections that took place nationwide.
“Because of the urgent need to correct the erroneous impression created by the national chairman, I am constrained to say that the reverse is the case. That is, 90 per cent of APC members nationwide are very angry and totally opposed to the poor way and manner the primaries were conducted resulting in the selection and imposition of candidates.”
In his reaction, the Director General of Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, accused Oshiomhole of promoting “impunity.”
Okechukwu, in a statement entitled ‘How Comrade Oshiomhole promoted impunity and circumvented due process in APC primary election’, said Oshiomhole’s “authoritarian” leadership style and disregard for the “tenets of democracy” marred the primaries in Enugu where he vied for the party’s senatorial ticket.
The APC chief alleged that the national chairman failed to provide a level playing field for all the aspirants.
“May I ask Comrade Oshiohmole what is impunity and circumvention of due process and disrespect to our great party more than authoritarianism?
“Did he abide by the fine tenets of democracy in the conduct and supervision of the primaries? Were there natural justice, equity and a level playing field? No.
“There is no natural justice, equity and fair play when Comrade Oshiomhole populated or rather corrupted the primary with his Edo field commanders.”
He also accused the national chairman of flouting the federal character principle in constituting the various panels which handled the primaries as well as appeals emanating from them.
“One is of the considered opinion that each state is entitled to one head of the panel, if pecuniary consideration is not fingered paramount.
“It is my candid view that each state and the Federal Capital Territory have eminent persons to head each of the panels, instead of fanning out kindred and cronies as if it were bazaar handouts,” Okechukwu added.
The VON DG, challenged Oshiomhole “to set up a public inquiry to investigate the phone call logs and possibly accounts of all his associates that were appointed as heads or members of the primary election committees in the various states.
He asked, “Can comrade in all honesty publicly tell Nigerians why he stopped Enugu State gubernatorial primary midway after seamless conclusion of four out of 17 local government areas without genuine reason?
“I was one of those he spoke to and we assured him all was well. Can he explain the unilateral reversal of indirect primary mode of election chosen by Enugu State to direct primary, without proper resort to the National Working Committee, which approved the indirect primary for Enugu State?
“Can Comrade Oshiomhole as a matter of urgent national importance clear the air on the culture of impunity and misadventure he demonstrated in Imo State by handing over the APC to a friendly family?”