Disquiet in Ogun APC, as Amosun, Abiodun renew rivalry

Posted by News Express | 10 August 2022 | 313 times

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•Abiodun, Amosun

 

As the 2023 general elections draw near, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State may be going into the poll as a divided house, with the supremacy battle between the governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun and his immediate predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, not indicating an end.

It is not hidden to any political watcher that Amosun has never been in support of Abiodun’s administration, as the former had before the 2019 general elections, displayed his opposition to the emergence of Abiodun after the APC governorship primary election in 2018.

The crisis between the duo began in 2018 due to the disagreement between groups loyal to Governor Abiodun and Amosun.

In the build-up to the 2019 gubernatorial election, Amosun loyalists left the APC and migrated to Allied People’s Movement (APM), to actualise their dreams.

After the election, the group returned to APC, but refused to align with the leadership of Chief Yemi Sanusi.

Amosun’s loyalists did not participate in all the party’s congresses, from ward level to the state conducted by the Abiodun-backed group.

They, Amosun’s loyalists, held parallel congresses. Also, the group refused to participate in primary elections held to choose party candidates for different elective positions in the 2023 general elections.

As preparations for the elections gather momentum, the two factions have renewed their rivalry with Amosun’s camp plotting to stop the re-election of Abiodun.

 

The Amosun group tried all it could to prevent the Abiodun-led faction from deciding the candidates for various positions across the state. But Abiodun, whose group controls the party structure, has vowed that Amosun and his people will fail.

 

Last weekend, the governor and his predecessor engaged in a war of words over the former’s allegation that his successor was rigged into the office and must be removed.

 

Amosun, who broke his silence over the 2019 governorship election, alleged that Abiodun was rigged into office. He also claimed that Abiodun had since apologised, but vowed that the governor would not return to power in 2023.

 

In the 2019 general election, Amosun backed Adekunle Akinlade who contested on the platform of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) against Abiodun who was the candidate of the APC.

 

Abiodun defeated Amosun’s anointed candidate with a margin of 19,517 votes. The governor polled 241,670 votes to defeat Akinlade who had 222,153 votes.

 

However, more than three years after the election, Amosun who currently represents Ogun Central in the Senate, declared that his friend-turned-foe, Abiodun did not win that election.

The ex-governor, while speaking in Abeokuta over the weekend, the Ogun State capital, after receiving an award from the Abeokuta Club to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the association, stated that he had moved on because those who orchestrated the rigging had apologised to him.

 

“During the last election, thank God, Chief Osoba is here, I have said it; we won convincingly. They rigged, rigged, and ended up with 19,000.

 

“Some of them came to apologise to me. I can’t be mentioning names. We won that election. But I have moved on. We did our work; we will continue to do what we have to do. God will be with all of us,” he said.

 

While responding to questions from journalists after the event, Amosun declared that he was not in support of Abiodun’s administration, insisting he must be removed, just as he assured his supporters that the next line of action would soon be made public.

 

“Just wait, very soon, you will hear where we are going next. You know my stand, and my stand is my stand. I am not supporting this administration that is there now. He must be removed,” Amosun stated.

 

In his reaction, Abiodun declared that he would not be distracted by any person who has a problem with “self-delusion”, noting that, “Ogun State is not anybody’s father’s inheritance.”

 

In an apparent response to Amosun’s allegation, Abiodun said that he would rather focus on his mandate and not join issues with anyone who wants to play God.

 

Speaking with newsmen on Saturday shortly after the grand finale of the 50th anniversary of the Abeokuta Club, the governor called on the people of the state to ignore his predecessor, insisting that he would not join issues with him.

 

“I will not be distracted by any person or persons who have a problem with self-delusion. I will not be distracted by any person who does not appreciate that Ogun State is not anybody’s father’s inheritance. We are all stakeholders in this commonwealth called Ogun State.

 

“I am not going to join issues with anyone that wants to play God; I will leave them to God; God can deal with whoever is challenging His authority and wants to play God. All I can say is that what we stand for in Ogun State is an administration that is committed to providing purposeful leadership and purposeful infrastructural development across the length and breadth of the state,” he said.

 

The governor, however, expressed his disappointment that a former governor, who was the sitting governor during the 2019 election, would cry that he was rigged out during the election.

 

“How can we on the outside take on an incumbent and then be accused of rigging out an incumbent in the same party? Anyone can explain their failure whichever way they like; anyone can also begin to pant and threaten that they will do whatever,” he added.

Amosun’s allegation against the governor didn’t go without generating anger and reactions from stakeholders, especially the state chapter of the APC, which came hard on the Senator, accusing him of suffering from political amnesia and out-of-office loneliness.

The party in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Tunde Oladunjoye, described the ex-governors claim that Abiodun did not win the 2019 election as “an after-lunch belching of a man suffering from political amnesia and loneliness.

“The quoted statement was not only an insult to the psyche of the people of Ogun State but also a sad indication that the former governor is yet to purge himself of extreme arrogance and intolerance that were his trademarks, which earned him a suspension from our party, even as a sitting governor.

“The APC, therefore, calls on the public, and particularly our esteemed members, to pity and pray for the former governor as he suffers from political amnesia, loneliness and absolute lack of touch with reality.

“There is absolutely no truth in the specious utterance of the former governor who is still sulking from the electoral defeat of his surrogate party in 2019. Our party and candidate not only won fair and square but the victory of Prince Dapo Abiodun was also attested to by his co-contestants, many of whom later joined APC and are still in APC.

“Having been witnessing the frustrating exodus of his former political allies, who openly said they were tired of endemic lies; and his failure to wrest the party structures from the incumbent governor, the recourse by Senator Amosun to “elated” after-lunch belching is understandable and pitiable.”

Analysts have argued that the scuffle between the two gladiators may affect the chances of the party in the forthcoming 2023 general elections, just as it happened in the recently held Osun State governorship election.

It would be recalled that the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, said recently that infighting in the Osun State chapter of the party led to its electoral defeat in the gubernatorial election.

The recent defection of members of the APC faction loyal to the former Amosun to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), seems to have brought a new vista to the opposition party in the state.

Since the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which metamorphosed into APC ended the reign of the party, which led to the emergence of Amosun in the 2011 gubernatorial election, the fortune of the PDP had dimmed due to internal wrangling and political power play that culminated into several litigations that polarised the party into different factions.

However, stakeholders and party chieftains are optimistic that with the defection led by Akinlade, coupled with the position bequeathed to him as the running mate to the governorship candidate of the PDP, Ladi Adebutu, the party will be in a pole position to unseat Governor Abiodun.

Political analysts are of the view that Akinlade’s defection, coupled with Amosun’s support and the large followership he commands in Ogun West Senatorial District, might break APC’s hold on the state and pave the way for the PDP to stage a comeback in 2023.

According to feelers, the party is painstakingly working on Abiodun’s weaknesses to take over the state’s number one seat, especially now that some of his ardent fans and followers across the local councils are aggrieved that the current administration had sidelined them in the scheme of things. (Daily Independent)

 


Source: News Express

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