The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, has described the party’s estranged governors, who had been up in arms against him, since the party’s recent primaries, as good party men, who would support the party and its candidates in their respective states despite their grievances.
Oshiomhole stated this yesterday when he spoke as a guest on the ‘Morning Show’ broadcast on Arise TV, a sister broadcast station of Thisday Newspapers.
Recall that four governors, Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun State), Chief Rochas Okorocha (Imo State), Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo State) and Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara State), had been engaged in a public spat with Oshiomhole, accusing him of scuttling the chances of their preferred candidates in the recently concluded primaries.
However, Oshiomhole in holding out an olive branch, said: “They are angry now, but I believe in a short while they will turn around and support the party.”
Specifically, he ruled out the possibility of any of them working against the party in spite of their rage; saying, “I believe Governor Amosun is my friend and I believe people are entitled to feel disappointed if things don’t work out the way they want. I think usually like any leader, he will recognise the greater interest of the party, I know he is a loyal party man; I can’t see him voting with his feet.
“As a statesman, who has contributed to the growth and development of Ogun State, he will want to ensure that his party continues to govern the state and play the role of a statesman; I have no fear at all because this thing called choice is a relative question.
“Whatever we have as internal issues in APC they do not in fact undermine that Amosun, has more things to show as governor of that state and for which I am very proud of as chairman of the party. I hope he can overcome his anger so that we can work to reconcile our various interests in Ogun State.
“As for my friend Rochas Okorocha, who talked about nepotism, well as the head of the family, I do not want to continue to bring family matters to the market. At the end of the day it makes sense to keep it in the family, that is what maturity and responsibility imposes on me.
“So I won’t join issues with him, but the truth is that while I was in government, there was no other Oshiomhole in government. This is not something to hide, as a journalist you can go to Edo State and ask how many Oshiomholes were in government while I was at Osadebe House.
“Well, Okorocha is a great guy. He is one of those who left APGA to join APC. It is on record as having contributed his quota to the formation of the APC.
“We also have to accept that a tree cannot make a forest and we have to encourage those who think otherwise to recognise that this is a fact.
“In Imo State we have big names but it is not about big names, it is about big numbers. And the big numbers in Imo State are with us and I think governor Okorocha appreciates this fact.
“Now as for whether people will decamp or not I am not so sure. Even if they do, they will not make history, after all, in recent past, sitting governors decamped for one reason or the other because they want to be president. Having decamped they found that there are so many aspirants, they have since reconciled themselves with the reality that though they decamped from the APC believing that they are going to be presidential candidate of the PDP, they got there and found an over-crowded house.
“I think some of them have quietly taken the governorship ticket and some have even taken the senatorial ticket and they are living with the new reality. I think that is the way it is.
“In a democracy it is a game of numbers and in Imo State we have the numbers and I am sure that Okorocha, when he overcomes his disappointment with regard to whom he would have preferred to succeed him, he will recognise that as a democrat that is the way these things work sometimes. Outcomes can be predicted sometimes but it could be shocking some other time. I think Nigeria’s democracy is evolving but we are not running traditional rulership.”
He expressed the confidence that in spite of the current misgivings in the party in the affected states, the party’s candidates would still win since the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had its fair share of crisis.
He said, “The truth is that in Ogun State we will win because PDP has its own pocket of crisis as well. As we speak we don’t know who is the actual governorship candidate in Ogun State because the national secretariat of PDP parades a certain candidate and a running mate and a certain group run by Buruji Kashamu with due respect to him also parade a governorship candidate and a running mate.
“So while they are sorting out their own issues we will be sorting out our own issues.”
He said the negative public perception of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, was due to poor communication of its policies and programmes by its information management machinery.
He, however, said despite this shortcoming, the president’s integrity would give him the edge in the forthcoming general elections slated for the first quarter of 2019.