Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, has threatened to work against the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Oyo State, Adebayo Adelabu, at the February elections.
Shittu who lost in the race for the governorship ticket said without restitution, there won’t be peace in the APC.
The National Working Committee of the APC had raised the Peace and Reconciliation Committee for each of the six geopolitical zones to reconcile aggrieved members ahead of the general elections.
With Shittu’s threat, the minister has joined the list of Governor Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun State) and his counterpart in Imo, Rochas Okorocha, who had threatened to work against the party’s governorship candidates in their states.
Speaking yesterday during a media chat in his office Abuja, Shittu accused the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and Oyo Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, of being the brains behind his exclusion from the party’s primaries.
Shittu however, revealed that he and other aggrieved aspirants across the country are collaborating to float a coalition platform that will be used to campaign for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election.
The minister said it would amount to a fruitless exercise if the party feel it would achieve peace and reconciliation without correcting the anomalies that took place during the primaries.
“It is hearkening to say we must have peace even if there is no justice. As for me, I don’t recognise the candidate of APC in Oyo State. I am in court and I believe I will triumph over those who were less than intelligent to foist a stranger on our party in Oyo State. You don’t expect me to support such a candidate. Before you talk of reconciliation, you must talk of restitution, “ he said.
Shittu said it won’t make sense for him to “be defrauded out of a primary process and still simply behave like a slave” by supporting the system that cheated.
He said he was not going to beg the party to do the right thing, adding that it is the party that “will certainly pay for it.”
He said, “I will be a bastard to be defrauded out of a party primary and behaves as if I’m a slave. They asked us to pay N22 million (for nomination form) and didn’t advertise any condition other than as provided in the constitution. After we have been screened and certified, the chairman of our party unilaterally and in violation of the constitution got me out of the way so that they can impose newcomers on the party – somebody who was barely two months in the APC.
“You cannot expect me at my level to support such candidate. I believe I gave enough warning. Of course, they had the opportunity and they missed it and the party will certainly pay for it,” he added.
He denied media reports that he had closed down the Buhari Campaign Office he opened in Oyo State.
“We had a rented apartment; the house in question wasn’t my property. We rented it and we simply couldn’t afford to sustain the rent and the landlord was impatient with us and said we either pay or get out of the place and we took the most sensible decision by vacating that premises.
“We are in the process of looking for another building which would be used as General Buhari’s second term campaign office; hopefully we would be able to get something cheaper than we had,” he said.