APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, on Wednesday took a swipe at the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, and his Ogun State counterpart, Ibikunle Amosun, saying a few of the APC governors were electoral liabilities. The APC Chairman stated this while receiving the APC women leaders from Edo State and the FCT in Abuja. He said the party had the backing of the majority of its governors.
He said the popularity of the APC in Imo and Ogun states had soared despite the alleged anti-party activities of their governors. Okorocha, Amosun and the Zamfara State Governor, Abdul-Aziz Yari, have been at loggerheads with Oshiomhole for not recognising their preferred governorship candidates.
The preferred candidates in Imo and Ogun and some aides of the governors have since defected to other political parties to pursue their ambitions. Both Amosun and Okorocha had vowed not to support the APC governorship candidates in their states.
On Wednesday, Oshiomhole said the party would win the two states without the support of the two governors. He said:
“Those who think our political future is tied to them 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, 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.
Oshiomhole, who was 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.
“In Imo State today, the 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.
And on Ogun State, he said, “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.
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