Governors of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, and Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, have renewed their attacks on Adams Oshiomhole, the national chairman of their party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). Only two days ago, Oshiomhole described them as his friends, but it appears the feeling is not mutual.
Backstory: The renewed attacks follow a decision by the APC National Working Committee to field gubernatorial candidates in Imo and Ogun that are not the preferred choices of the outgoing governors.
In separate statements, Okorocha said that the APC has witnessed a downturn since Oshiomhole took over as national chairman, while Amosun alleged that the party chairman and his cohorts were working to hand over Ogun to “a gang of expansionists.”
Amosun who released a statement through the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Otunba Adedayo Adeneye, said that Oshiomhole has taken the path of injustice in Ogun and did not abide by the rules and guidelines of the party. He dismissed Oshiomhole’s claims that he followed his conscience, describing them as “false” and “cheap”.
“In his conduct, Oshiomhole has exhibited disdain for the interest of the APC and that of the National Leader of the party, President Muhammadu Buhari,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Okorocha expressed his anger while speaking to reporters after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. He claimed that the party will lose close to five million voters due to Oshiomhole’s highhandedness. He accused the party chairman of acting without the backing of the President.
“This issue of treating court orders as tissue papers must stop. It doesn’t reflect the image of our party. Oshiomhole must act quickly to fix the integrity of this party because his coming in ought to have brought joy into the party and not sadness,” he said.
He however said that the party “will not disintegrate for as long as the person, Muhammadu Buhari, is still the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and remains the leader of this party.”
“We cannot give that credit to the chairman. He cannot disintegrate this party; the party is still intact, just that many people are hurt.”
Bottom Line: The responses by the governors is actually good news for the ruling party. There was nothing disruptive in their comments. Okorocha has stated that he will not be defecting from the APC, and Amosun has stated that he is staying on as well. There were fears after the governors did not get their way that they could set off a movement that hurts the party’s chances in their states and regions. So far, they sound bitter but willing to heed Pres. Buhari’s advise by remaining faithful.