Tinubu, Akande, APC governors rally support for former governor
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomole, has said he would have arrested and prosecuted former President Olusegun Obasanjo if he were President Muhammadu Buhari.
This is coming as the former Edo State governor received more endorsements from the national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, as well as governors elected on the platform of the party ahead of the national convention of the party.
Oshiomhole, who weighed in over the faceoff between President Buhari and Obasanjo, urged Buhari to investigate and jail the former president, should he be found to have dipped his hands in public treasury.
Speaking at the event in honour of late Chief MKO Abiolaâ€™s family chaired by Femi Falana, Oshiomhole also praised Chief Frank Kokori for standing up to dictatorship when it mattered most.
â€œHe should be arrested if he has committed any offence. He arrested many of us. So, if we are celebrating Chief Gani Fawehinmi, we have compelling reasons to do so. In all of these, we didnâ€™t pay any money to Gani or Falana. They defended us pro bono.
â€œGani is not here today, but his spirit is here. Falana is here and today, I am standing. Even the president who was in charge then, he is now complaining that they want to harass him. He was harassing me and he got me arrested.
â€œHe thought he himself would not be arrested? If I were the president I would arrest him. We are all Nigerians. I remember one day I told him, I said â€˜President Obasanjo, we made you president. You did not make me a Nigerian.
â€œâ€™You are our creation; I am not your creation. You must listenâ€™. But he thought he would be in power forever and he tried to take us on the way to Zimbabwe. He was a reluctant Head of State, became president for two terms and he wanted to do a third term because a cockroach licking palm oil would never lick enough.â€
Oshiomhole added that when he was accused by Obasanjo of behaving as if I was an alternate president; and he was running the NLC like a parallel government that wanted to overthrow his government.
The former governor further stated: â€œThe late Abiola would be smiling not just for the honour done him by the president, but that Frank Kokori who was very young then, deployed the instrumentality of oil workers to support the progressive mission of the civil society.
He said: â€œIt is not the position you occupy but the role that you play that will define your place in history. This man was never an NLC president but he is the only unionist invited to the investiture.
â€œSo, we just consulted among ourselves, few of us who benefited from Ganiâ€™s leadership by using the instrument of the law to confront evil leaders…at the NLC, we were so efficient at causing troubles but too poor to procure the services of legal titans like Gani and Falana but who would always come and defend us pro bono. So, we felt that on the eve of his investiture, we should gather and celebrate him.â€
In another development, Oshiomhole has received more endorsements from Tinubu, as well as governors elected on the platform of the party.
Speaking to journalists shortly after he led other governors on solidarity visit to the Oshiomhole Campaign Office at Aso Drive, Asokoro in Abuja, Tinubu said: â€œMy presence here symbolises solidarity and unity of purpose to continue to build a progressive party that will carry Nigeria on in a progressive manner and encourage good governance with courage and commitment.
â€œThere is no doubt that I have endorsed his candidacy. I have worked with him, should I have any doubt?â€
On whether he feels he can work well with Oshiomole, Tinubu said: â€œYes, I can work with him, I have no doubt.â€
When asked if the endorsements Oshiomole was getting from key party leaders will not discourage other contestants and make the convention exercise more like a rubber stamp, Tinubu said democracy is all about winning.
â€œIn politics, you seek to win. Have you seen anyone who wants to lose? It is about wining, it is about choice and we just have to accept that,â€ he said.
Tinubu was also asked to react to the outcome of the recent APC congresses, especially as it relates to the parallel congress in Lagos State, but he dismissed the parallel state executive led by Foud Oki, describing it as a non-issue.
â€œAnybody can open a bank branch anywhere but it depends whether its ATM card can work,â€ he said.
Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, who spoke on the mission of the governors to the campaign office, said they were all queuing behind the former Edo State governor to emerge as the next national chairman.
â€œI believe all of us are in support of Oshiomhole. All our colleagues are happy with this development. Our party is looking forward to the chairmanship of Oshiomhole.
â€œHe has had experiences in various aspects of national life and we are all confident that the party is a structure that is necessary for the continuous evolution and maintenance of democracy and his collective experiences in the recent past as the governor of Edo State, one of the most successful leaders of trade union movement and a democratic activist all his life; these qualities would be brought to bear in achieving the ideals of the APC,â€ he said.
The governor believed that Oshiomhole will be a leader who will be the embodiment of the spirit of the party, saying the experiences will help him make the party central to governance.