-Set to embrace Osoba’s faction
‘It’s a political war’ – Osoba kicks
Ogun governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has made a frantic move to put an end to the polarization between himself and former governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba – led faction of the ruling All Progressives Party in the state.
A close source disclosed to ENCOMIUM Weekly that Amosun held a tactical meeting with his loyalists on Saturday, June 7, 2014, at Mitos Hotel and Suites, Ibara GRA, Abeokuta, and it was successful. Top on the agenda was said to be how to end the crisis rocking the party before 2015 general elections.
At the meeting, Amosun was said to have advised Alhaji Roqeeb Adeniji, the acknowledged head of the party in the state, to do everything possible to bring all the aggrieved members under one roof.
“Amosun also charged all senior members and his foot-soldiers not to see other party members from Osoba’s camp as a rival group but to embrace them for the party to have a common front towards 2015 elections,” the source added.
ENCOMIUM Weekly’s efforts to get Amosun’s reaction via the state Commissioner for Information, Yousuph Olaniyonu on the crisis and new development couldn’t yield the desired result as he declined comment on the issue. He added that he is not in a better position to talk on party issues. He, however, directed us to the party’s spokesperson, Mr. Sola Lawal.
“I can’t comment on party issues because I don’t work for the party, I work for government. Anything concerning party matters, the best person to contact is Sola Lawal. Thank you.”
Our efforts to get Lawal’s reaction on the development on Saturday, June 7, 2014, proved abortive as all the calls we put through his mobile phone were unanswered. We also sent him a text message, all to no avail as at press time.
Meanwhile, the silent war between the two national leaders of All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Chief Olusegun Osoba over who controls the party hierarchy in Ogun state has worsened, as the Osoba faction is now prepared for a fresh showdown ahead of the 2015 general elections, ENCOMIUM Weekly can reveal authoritatively.
Asiwaju Tinubu is widely believed the major backer of the Senator Amosun – led faction of the party in Ogun state while Osoba controls a large number of aggrieved members of the party who are disenchanted with the Amosun led administration in the state.
On Friday, June 6, 2014, the former governor of the state and an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Chief Olusegun Osoba, declared that he and his loyalists would face incumbent governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, during the forthcoming elections.
He said this while reacting to the inauguration of APC state chairmen by the party’s Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, in Abuja on Thursday, June 5, 2014.
Akande had inaugurated the factional APC chairman loyal to Amosun, Alhaji Roqeeb Adeniji, a development Osoba’s loyalists had immediately kicked against.
Speaking at a consultative meeting held at his Ibara GRA, Abeokuta, Ogun residency on Friday, June 6, 2014, Osoba expressed displeasure at the decision of the APC national leadership to recognize the faction loyal to Amosun.
He described Akande’s decision as “unjust and provocative,” adding that it was an indication of the dangers ahead.
“There is no greater provocation than the one we suffered yesterday. I saw it coming,” he stated.
He, however, denied speculations that he and his loyalties are planning to defect to the newly registered Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).
“They said we’re going to UPN, what’s my business with UPN? We have been through this route before and we triumphed. We will triumph again.
“Some people even said we should go to court but I told them the fight is not judicial but political. If they are greater than us or not, we will wait for them at the polls.”
Osoba also alleged that the N18,000 being the payment made by APC aspirants loyal to him for the recently concluded congress elections is still in the account of the party in Abuja.
Some of the party chieftains at the meeting were Senators Adegbenga Kaka (Ogun East), Gbenga Obadara (Ogun Central) and Akin Odunsi (Ogun West). Then, Hon. Olumide Osoba, Hon. Adekunle Adeyemi and Hon. Bukunola Buraimoh.
Also in attendance were some members of the state House of Assembly, including Hon. Daisi Elemide, Elizabeth Anifowoshe and Femi Allen-Taylor as well as Chief Remilekun Bakare and APC factional chairman loyal to Osoba, Chief Olu Agemo.
The governor, we scooped, had few days back invited some of his strategists from pro-democracy groups to a meeting in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital on how best to handle the situation at hand.
A major significant outcome of the meeting was the facility tour of some of the state’s major projects in Ogun Central senatorial district by a select party top hierarchy and the activists.
At the end of the exercise aimed at pulling support for Mr. Governor, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who was also part of the tour had come out to tell the world how Senator Amosun transformed Ogun state to the admiration of the people.
-TADE ASIFAT and DAYO RUFAI