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It emerged on Thursday that President Muhammadu Buhari decided to sacrifice his long standing relationship with Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State as part of strategies to clear all obstacles to his re-election in 2019.

It emerged on Thursday that President Muhammadu Buhari decided to sacrifice his long standing relationship with Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State as part of strategies to clear all obstacles to his re-election in 2019.

Amosun, hitherto a strong ally of President Buhari since the days of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), is currently at loggerheads with the national leadership of the party over the outcome of the governorship primaries in the state which did not go in his favour.

While the governor is insisting on handing over to his anointed candidate, Abdulkabir Adekunle Akinlade, the National Working Committee (NWC) of his party, led by its National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has submitted the name of oil mogul, Dapo Abiodun, as the Ogun State governorship candidate.

Abiodun is reportedly being backed by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, one of the party’s national leaders and head of its reconciliation team; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, a former governor of Ogun State, and other leaders in the South-West loyal to Tinubu.

Despite his perceived closeness to President Buhari, several efforts by Amosun to upturn the decision has proved unsuccessful.

He recently led a delegation of Ogun monarchs and leaders to the president but that also failed to yield the desired result.

Apparently frustrated over the issue, the governor last week accused Oshiomhole of allegedly conniving with some people to foist Abiodun on the party in the state, as its governorship candidate in the 2019 election.

Amosun alleged that Oshiomhole, with the support of Tinubu and Osoba, wrote a fake result showing Abiodun as the winner of the party’s primary election and thus its governorship candidate.

He also alleged that the duo of Tinubu and Osoba had played roles in what he termed “electoral fraud”, adding that their silence over the matter smacked of complicity.

The governor insisted that the NWC of the party sent to the state didn’t conduct a genuine primary election.

He argued that the only authentic primary was the one which produced Adekunle Akinlade as governorship candidate.

He said: “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.”

He added, “Mr. President already knows, there was no election in Ogun State, other than the one we held.

“The issue of Chief Osoba and Asiwaju and co, what we said was that there was a definite silence from their end, and silence means consent.

“We have not heard one word from any of them. Was there any election in Ogun State? Yes or No? They should come out. People at this level should be courageous enough to take a position, to come out, to come and tell us whether there was an election.

“The one governorship election that we had, there was live telecast, people even witnessed it.”

Despite the governor’s claim that President Buhari knew that the result declared by the NWC was fake, the president refused to use his position to upturn the result in his favour.

Speaking exclusively with Daily Independent, a chieftain of the party and member of its NWC said President Buhari was in a dilemma over the issue owing to his relationship with Amosun and Tinubu and did his best to resolve the matter in a way that would be pleasing to all.

He said having weighed his options, President Buhari who was desirous of securing a second term in office, decided to pitch tent with Tinubu whom he believed held the key to delivering the South-West to him.

“It is Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that are slugging it out with Governor Amosun on the Ogun governorship matter. They are backing Dapo Abiodun while Amosun is insisting on Adekunle Akinlade.

“It is not as if the president, as the national leader of the party, cannot wade in and ask that Amosun’s candidate be declared the winner, but the reality is that he doesn’t want to offend Tinubu and other South-West leaders such as Osinbajo and Aremo Segun Osoba.

“The president seriously needs the votes from the South-West and he believes these are the people holding the region.

“Here is a man who contested thrice and lost until Asiwaju partnered with him and he won. He can’t afford to toy with such a man.

“The president feels Amosun’s pain but he is not prepared to take any chances that will make him lose the South-West region, especially now that Atiku Abubakar is making inroads into the region with his promise of restructuring,” he said.

However, speaking with our correspondent, an aide to Governor Amosun said the governor had been unfairly treated despite his sacrifices for the party.

“To us in Ogun, the governor has been unfairly treated and it is unfortunate. Here is man who has sacrificed his all in making the party what it is today.

“He has led so many negotiations that have secured victory for the APC, the recent being in Ekiti and Osun. To us, we believe this is not the right way to pay him back,” the aide said.

On the rumour that the governor had already planted his key aides in the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) where his preferred candidate, Akinlade, may contest the governorship election, the aide said the report only existed in the realm of speculation, and that the governor was yet to brief them on his future plans.

He, however, assured that Amosun would not dump the APC, especially given his long standing relationship with the president.

Amosun To Oshiomhole: You Have Shown Disdain For APC, Buhari

Meanwhile, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State has, again, taken a swipe at the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole.

Governor Amosun said Comrade Oshiomhole had, by his conduct, demonstrated his disdain for the interest of the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari.

The governor added that the party Chairman had fallen short of the minimum standards of justice, equity, and fairness.

Amosun was responding to a recent comment by Oshiomole that he wasn’t ready to sacrifice his conscience to satisfy some governors, including Amosun, who were not satisfied with the outcome of the party’s primaries.

The governor, in a statement by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Dayo Adeneye, said no one from his side expected Oshiomhole to sell his conscience but to abide by the rules and guidelines of the party.

Amosun said Oshiomhole was aware that no primary election was held in Ogun State except the one which produced Adekunle Akinlade, adding that a seamless process also produced all legislators as announced by the committee set up by Oshiomhole.

He added that the unknown judgement that was being peddled by the Chairman was meant to hide under a finger and premeditated to deny the people of the state their right candidate.

Amosun further said Oshiomhole had exhibited disdain for the interest of the party and that of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He maintained that the whole world would know what transpired at the primaries later, adding that he would not be tamed to hand over the state to expansionists.

Part of the statement read: “The attention of the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has been drawn to the statements credited to the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on the raging controversy on the last primaries in the country, particularly Ogun State.

“Comrade Oshiomhole is credited as saying that his posture on the primaries was because he would not sell his conscience to hold on to the position of national chairman.

“We state without any fear of equivocation that no one, at least not on the side of Senator Amosun, has requested or expected Oshiomhole to sell his conscience. The least we expect of him is to abide by the rules and guidelines of the APC.

“Oshiomhole knows, as we know, that in the instance of the last primaries in Ogun State, he has fallen short of the minimum standards of justice, equity, and fairness.

“The resort to hiding under the false claims about ‘conscience and integrity’ is cheap.

“Oshiomhole knows that there were no other gubernatorial primaries in Ogun State other than the one that produced Hon. Adekunle Akinlade as candidate.

“He knows that the primaries into national and legislative offices were won hundred percent by those declared winners by the panel he sent to Ogun State to oversee the exercise.

“He knows that the shenanigan of unknown court injunctions, unknown appeal panels and all sorts unleashed on the process by him and his cohorts are premeditated schemes executed to deny the members of the APC their true choice of candidates in the elections.

“Our consolation lies in the fact that in the fullness of time, what remains unknown to the public will become bare and everyone will see Oshiomhole and his co-travellers for who they are.

“In his conduct, Oshiomhole has exhibited disdain for the interest of the APC and that of the National Leader of the party, President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Senator Amosun remains committed to his convictions about President Buhari and nothing in the shenanigan of the primaries will change that.

“Finally, Oshiomhole’s claim that only three state governors are aggrieved about the conduct of the primaries flies in the face of the nation-wide outcry that remains loud, trailing the exercise several weeks after.

“We remind him that in any case, justice is not dependent on the number of whom it has been denied. Injustice to one is injustice to all.

“The overwhelming majority of members of the APC in Ogun State remain unshaken in their rejection of the gangsterism that has been visited on them in the conduct of the primaries.

“They remain resolved that the attempt to hand over their state and their patrimony to a rapacious gang of expansionists in the South West will be resisted, not only by members of the APC but by the entire people of Ogun State who are too enlightened to tolerate such abomination.”
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