Femi Ogbonnikan x-rays recent intrigues that have characterised the aftermath of the declaration of Prince Dapo Abiodun as Ogun State APC governorship standard bearer, ahead of the upcoming 2019 general election
Several days after President Muhammadu Buhari hosted all governors and National Assembly candidates of the All Progressives Congress to a peace dinner in Abuja, and extended olive branch to aggrieved candidates, following the controversies that trailed the recent concluded primaries, the crisis rocking the Ogun State chapter of the party is far from over. The governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has returned to the trenches. and has not capitulated on his unalloyed support for his preferred governorship candidate, Adekunle Akinlade.
This time around, in a press statement signed on his behalf by the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Dayo Adeneye, Amosun spared no rod, as he honed his attacking machine and resorted to diatribes.
He took on the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, whom he described as lacking respect for truth and decency.
In the statement titled; “The lies Oshiomhole represents: He and his collaborators will fail in Ogun State-Amosun”, the governor vowed that the design of Oshiomhole and his collaborators to hijack the government of Ogun State and hand it over to a gang of rapacious expansionists in the South West would fail.
He noted that he would not resort to “gutter language” to exchange words with the national chairman as being the unsavoury language used against him by the “garrulous party chairman”, because where he (Oshiomhole) comes from, there are “acceptable standards of conduct expected of people holding certain offices, a virtue he wishes he was expected to exhibit”. But, to many political experts, the scathing attacks on Oshiomole and the national leader of the party, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, through the press statement, call for more to be desired.
They wondered why such a press statement could have emanated from Adeneye, and also for the blackmail and falsehood elevated to its highest peak in his snide remarks over the governorship ticket of the party in the state, given to Prince Dapo Abiodun.
By that signature of the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, it was learnt, it infers speaking on behalf of all the good people of Ogun State, a development viewed as short of expectation in public relations practice.
“This is quite wrong and unethical. The issue at stake is purely party/personal interest of the governor. It has nothing to do with either the government or the people of Ogun State, in general. “It is anachronistic, derogatory, gross misconduct and unprofessional to have appropriated the function of the government and people of the state to a political appointee (Adeneye) for this assigned tasks of hurling abuses and calling our respectable leaders unprintable names all in attempts of doing the bidding of his paymaster.
“This is one of the reasons that, it is being said professional public relations practitioners have no substitute in managing governmental/public affairs. The office of the Commissioner for Information and Strategy is core, managed by a professional and it is not meant for the holder to either abdicate or shirk his responsibility in his job description”, said an APC chieftain who craved anonymous.
But sometimes, one shudders as to the quality of education some acclaimed elites possess. The problem lies in chief executives of state who put in round pegs in square holes.
The APC chieftain continued, “This is sad and regrettable in Ogun State of ours, which parades an array of icons and constellation of stars (both dead and alive) that have distinguished themselves in their various chosen human endeavours.
“In this context, it is the Special Adviser on media (the press secretary of those years) that is best suited to have issued such a press statement on behalf of the governor.
“Let us begin to separate or detach the personal from the public. Every disagreement is not in, or of public interest, but this happens to be an example and exception in our dear state, Ogun, with no defined ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ in the discharge of the assigned responsibility.
“By and large, it is laughable when oftentimes the governor through his Commissioner for Information and Strategy attempts to raise unnecessary dusts and stir the hornet’s nest to cover their soiled tracks before the enlightened, sophisticated and exposed people of Ogun State, shortly after the defeat of his anointed son, Akinlade, at the governorship primary. However, the governor has been crying wolves where there is none. But one wonders at the equanimity of lies, deceit and perfidy they have concocted and which have remained their stock-in-trade.
“It is unheard of, to have the governor descend so low to cast aspersions, poured invectives and desecrated his office with uncouth and foul languages on the national chairman of the APC.
“This statement, in its best, smacks of amplified arrogance, disrespect and immorality on the part of a number one citizen of the state, an unsavoury development that is highly reprehensible and condemned.
“He (Amosun) is a product of Bourdillon and he has so soon forgotten that his so-called collaborators of today were his benefactors in 2011. He treated his leaders with scorn. The likes of Tope Kuyebi (Ogun West AC consensus candidate) and Prof Remilekun Bakare (Ogun Central leading aspirant) sacrificed their individual ambition to pave way for Amosun’s quest. Amosun rode on their back to become the governor and he has bitten the fingers that fed him.
“Gov Amosun has forgotten that since his foray into the active partisan-politics he hasn’t been a party man. He has been leaving one party to another. At the formative stage in 1999, he began his political career with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where he, in 2003, realised his Ogun Central Senatorial district bid and soon, he dissolved into APP, later ANPP and to CPC. When he could not actualised his governorship ambition he hob-nobbed with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and pitched tent with the Action Congress (AC) which later metamorphosed into the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and All Progressives Congress (APC) He has always displayed arrogance and believed he is wiser than everybody around him in any platform he finds himself.
“The most annoying part of it and it is regrettable, that despite Aremo Olusegun Osoba, former governor of Ogun State and the then, leader of the AC in the state never saw Amosun as a team player, he still succumbed to pleas, persuasions and appeal to allow Amosun fly the AC ticket in 2011, it took the interventions of Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande, Dapo Abiodun and several other stalwarts of the party 10 times to persuade and beg Osoba to accept him as the governorship standard bearer of the party. At long last, Osoba gave him a benefit of doubt and accepted him. And he and other aggrieved governorship aspirants buried their individual differences and worked together to ensure he win and governorship seat and it came to pass.
“But shortly after had he assumed office as the governor on May 29, 2011 than he started behaving funny. He started abusing and attacking the people who helped him into the state. The first thing he did was that he rejected names of four Commissionership nominees Osoba sent to him, to be included in his complied list.
“As if that was not over, he ensured he betrayed Osoba, Senators Gbenga Kaka, Akin Odunsi, Gbenga Obadara and other scores of other chieftains and edged them completely out of the control of the party machinery. He erected his own structure, made himself an emperor without an empire and started calling the shots”, said the APC Chieftain.
“Besides, I think the good people of Ogun State owe it a civic duty to ask Amosun, why he is obsessed and desperate in this governorship project, as if his tomorrow is ruined, if Akinlade doesn’t succeed him in office. Ogun people should be wary of this desperation, as there is more to it than meet the eyes.
“Amosun needed to do a self-appraisal over the vexed issue of the governorship primary, if truly and genuinely he has the interest of the people of the state at heart, like the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, had rightly said.
“He had personally conducted primaries without giving regards to constitutional provisions which said the result must be announced by the election panel, instead of the party chairman of state governors.
“The party is supreme and it must be respected. The national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has regained confidence in his leadership and also enthroned sanity since his assumption of office three months ago” added the chieftain.
“Furthermore, his (Amosun) support for his preferred candidate, Akinlade, a Yewa man, suffered another setback a fortnight ago when Yewa traditional rulers, converged in Ilaro, the administrative headquarters of Ogun West senatorial district, withdrew their earlier endorsement and threw their weight behind another Yewa candidate, Prince Gboyega Isiaka, African Democratic Congress (ADC) governorship flag bearer.
“Meanwhile, considering the nine local governments size, out of the 20, the Ogun East district with its abundant economic power base, Ijebu/Remo people and voting population stand at a vantage position in the political equation of Ogun State than the two other districts (Ogun West and Ogun Central).
However, recently, there is a rumour of his close aides and incumbent House of Representatives lawmakers who could not make the APC list of their planned defection to a fringe party, Democratic Peoples Party (DPP).
“But he can’t rock the boat. What further leaves Amosun with no other choice but to work with the APC in a bid to actualise his Ogun Central Senatorial quest.”