The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has described the forthcoming Osun State governorship election as a walk-over for the party, saying it is confident to emerge victorious.
Oshiohmole told State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja, on Friday, that APC had no political challenges in Osun as the state governor, Rauf Aregbesola, was at home with the people.
According to him, Gov. Aregbesola is a mobiliser, an organiser and an astute politician, capable of winning elections for the party in the state.
He explained that the party had resolved to adopt direct primaries to elect candidates for the Sept. 22 governorship election in Osun.
He added that “as for Osun State, we are even much more confident because we have a governor who is at home with his people, a mobiliser, an organiser and an astute politician.
“We have also decided that in order to give people a more sense of ownership in the electoral process, we will use direct primaries, which means that every card-carrying member of APC will participate in choosing who should fly the party’s flag.
“The method will give more people a sense of ownership and a sense of commitment to the candidate that they have all chosen.
“It will also return the party to the grassroots so it can have new sense of renewed ownership, renewed sense of participation and inclusion by itself and a value that will make the actual election easier.
“So, we are confident that the great people of Osun State will vote for our party because the candidate that will emerge will be the candidate chosen by the party members and not the party oligarchy. That makes a lot of difference.”
On reported threat of mass defection from the APC, Oshiohmole dismissed the reports, saying it was the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that suffered from mass defection.
He said: “I think it is something you should ask the PDP. They are the ones who suffered huge, huge mass defection even of the so-called founding fathers.
“I mean, in those good old days, people like Professor Jerry Gana will tell us, we are the founding fathers.
“People like President Obasanjo will tell us, you know I was the first President. All of these people are gone.
“I think the media need to get more engage and scrutinise us, those of us who are political players. When we speak from both sides of the mouth or we are turning the story upside down.
Just few months back, you know that a good section after their convention, people like Oyederan, Prof. Jerry Gana and a host of others who can be said to founding fathers of that party, they left to form what they call SDP or ADC or both.
“So, they broke out and then when it dawn on them that even together we defeated them just four years ago, and now further factionalised, what can they do.’’
He said that members of the opposition were only interested in power not the welfare of Nigerians.
According to him, the PDP just want to capture power for the sake of power.
“So they say, even though we have already broken the house, can we for the sake of power come together. Does it make sense?
“In the morning, you broke away from PDP to SDP and then to ADC.
“And there is no better proof than that old man who is going round as an organising secretary recruiting people, looking for tired players to continue with a third term agenda which Nigerians have rejected.
“By whatever form they come in, Nigerians have spoken. They are not going to return to the era where central bank and NNPC security money is shared to people based on PDP philosophy ‘share the money’. We won’t do that, if they have forgotten.
“It is quite easy for robbers to forget easily the robbery they just did but it is not easy for the victim of the robbery to forget,’’ he said to further buttress his point.
On the conduct of APC congresses in Imo as directed by the court and the subsequent court injunction, Oshiohmole said he was not aware of any court injunction against the conduct of fresh congresses in the state.
He said: “There is no stay of execution. A stay of execution is not something that is secret. If anybody has one, he should show it to you.’’
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