The war of words between the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, and some party stalwarts appears not to be abating.
This time around Oshiomhole has said with the popularity of the APC in Imo and Ogun States, the party would win the 2019 elections despite the alleged anti-party activities of their governors.
He described the governors as poor students of their own history who had forgotten they lost elections before winning on the platform of the APC.
Oshiomhole spoke after receiving the APC woman leaders from Edo State and Abuja, who paid him a solidarity visit in his office in Aso Drive, Abuja.
Governors Rochas Okorocha, Ibikunle Amosun of Imo and Ogun States and their Zamfara State counterpart, Abdul-Aziz Yari, are at loggerheads with the APC national chairman for not recognizing their preferred governorship candidates.
The preferred candidates in Imo and Ogun States and some aides of the governors had since defected to other political parties to pursue their ambitions.
Oshiomhole said: “Those who think our political future is tied to them, they are poor students of their own political history.
“Some of these people who talk as if they are invincible, they have forgotten that they have run elections in the past and lost until they abandoned their parties and joined us.
“So if they return back, history will repeat itself.
“Whether you are a big or small man, the rules are not supposed to discriminate.
“Our popularity in Imo and Ogun today is much higher.
“It is not that once you are a governor you have high electoral value.
“Yes in APC our governors have high electoral value but we also have a few who are electoral liabilities.”
The former Nigeria Labour Congress president said Nigeria needed to go back to the era where institutions were respected and protected and not powerful individuals.
He added that the actions of the two governors would not affect the fortunes of the party in the elections.
Oshiomhole said: “In Imo state today, APC will win more votes.
“My focus is on ordinary Imo voters because on that day, the governor would have only one vote, his son-in-law would have only one vote, while his Commissioner for Happiness would have only one vote.
“But artisans, traders, teachers and workers whose salaries are not being paid have the same weight of vote and they are excited about the renewed possibility of a new government coming with fresh ideas free of all the encumbrances of the present system.
“So in Imo, I’m very confident.
“Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is from Ogun State.
“The state is one of the most enlightened States in Nigeria.
“They have a huge history.
“They are not in a political kingdom headed by one person.
“If they were looking for true reconciliation, they wouldn’t have done what they did (defection of aides).
“That is not how democracy works.
“Nigeria must grow beyond this syndrome ‘I’m the governor, I will decide.’
“You have only one vote.
“With due respect, I was once a governor.
“Overall APC is much stronger now.”
Stating that the party would review if any of its rules had been breached, Oshiomhole added that the real sanction was with the electorate.
He, however, said the efforts of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee were already yielding fruits in some places while those with negotiable grievances were being sorted out.
APC Adopts Gbajabiamila As Speaker, Zones Deputy To North Central
The leadership of All Progressives Congress has adopted Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the Ninth Assembly.
The agreement was reached after extensive deliberation at a dinner held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday night.
The position of the Deputy Speaker was zoned to the North Central.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, confirmed the development.
Issa-Onilu said the agreement was reached at the dinner between President Muhammadu Buhari and the House members-elect.
The statement said: “The APC has adopted Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as its candidate for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 9th Assembly.
“This position was reached after an intensive deliberation with the APC’s House of Representatives members-elect at a dinner with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Banquet Hall of Aso Villa.
“The Deputy Speaker position has been zoned to the North Central.”
Ex-Governors Mount Pressure On Danjuma Goje To Accept Buhari’s Candidate, Lawan, For Senate President
Some former governors are mounting pressure on their former colleague, Senator Danjuma Goje, to accept President Muhammadu Buhari’s choice of Ahmad Lawan for Senate president, The Nation reports.
The President is believed to have met Goje on the matter.
According to reports, Lawan, who is the Senate Leader, is forging ahead. He met yesterday with some senators-elect and pleaded with them to give him a chance.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) former governors, including some of them who are senators, have opted to back Buhari’s decision on Lawan.
Some of the former governors include Ahmed Sani Yerima, Adamu Aliero, Abdullahi Adamu, Aliyu Wammako, George Akume, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Kabiru Gaya and Godswill Akpabio.
It was gathered that the ex-governors appreciated the “cautious approach adopted by Goje to his aspiration without ruffling feathers but they felt he should defer to the President”.
The ex-governors have sent a delegation to Goje to reconsider his position.
Although two of them were with Goje on Saturday for what was termed “ a social gathering”, it was unclear whether they were the ones who spoke on behalf of their colleagues.
A former governor, who pleaded not to be named, said: “It is true we are trying to avoid cracks in APC over the Ninth Senate President and some of us have met on the President’s choice and how to prevail on Goje to sacrifice his aspiration.
“I can tell you that some of us have opened talks with him. We are talking to him; we are mounting pressure. We also decided to send a delegation to him.
“As a matter of right, Goje is qualified to lead the Senate but we do not really want him to disagree with the President. And he is not a leader who believes in confrontation.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “Our intervention is just a follow-up to the audience between the President and Goje.”
“The former governor of Gombe State is yet to make any categorical statement on his ambition.”
Goje, it was learnt, told Buhari, who persuaded him to support Lawan, that he would “get back to him”.
“Goje has not returned to the President on what he intends to do,” a source in the Presidency said.
The Lawan Group is, however, waiting for Goje’s response before arranging a meeting between the two leaders.
Another source said: “Since a presidential intervention is already involved, we have deliberately asked Lawan to leave the initiative to President Buhari. The truth is that the President’s meeting with Goje underscored the enormous respect he has for the ex-governor.
“Lawan is ready to meet with Goje but after the elders and the ex-governors have brokered a deal.”
Lawan and members of his campaign team last night met with some senators-elect in Abuja on his aspiration.
The senators-elect are in the second batch of those to benefit from the induction course which was packaged by the National Assembly management.
A source at the session quoted Lawan as saying: “Give me a chance, I will provide quality leadership, I will carry every Senator along in whatever I do.”
A Senator-elect said: “The campaign team of the Senate Leader reached out to some of us across party lines. I am new, but I am impressed by his experience on legislative business. Let us see how it goes.”
Ifeanyi Ubah Dumps YPP For APC
Ifeanyi Ubah, Anambra South Senator-elect, of the Young Peoples Party (YPP) has dumped the party for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ubah’s defection was made known by the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on Monday.
Oshiohmole informed the APC National Working Committee members, returning/newly-elected senators at the Presidential Villa, on Monday, that Ubah was now with the ruling party, NAN reports.
Describing Ubah as a ‘smart politician Oshiomhole in his opening remark, said the “YPP Senator-elect from Anambra South has decided to pitch tent with the ruling party because he felt more comfortable with the winning team.”
He, however, added that other issues related to Ubah’s defection would be perfected on a later date.