Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, has said with the popularity of the APC in Imo and Ogun States, the party would win the 2019 elections despite the alleged anti-party activities of their governors.
He described the governors as poor students of their own history who had forgotten they lost elections before winning on the platform of the APC.
Oshiomhole spoke after receiving the APC women leaders from Edo State and Abuja, who paid him a solidarity visit in his office in Aso Drive, Abuja.
Okorocha, Amosun and Governor Abdul-Aziz Yari of Zamfara State are at loggerheads with the national chairman for not recognising their preferred governorship candidates.
The preferred candidates in Imo and Ogun and some aides of the governors had since defected to other political parties to pursue their ambitions.
Oshiomhole said, “Those who think our political future is tied to them; they are poor students of their own political history. Some of these people who talk as if they are invincible, they have forgotten that they have run elections in the past and lost until they abandoned their parties and joined us. So if they return back, history will repeat itself.”
“Whether you are a big or small man, the rules are not supposed to discriminate. Our popularity in Imo and Ogun today is much higher. It is not that once you are a governor you have high electoral value.
“Yes in APC, our governors have high electoral value but we also a few who are electoral liabilities.”
The former Nigeria Labour Congress President said Nigeria needed to go back to the era where institutions were respected and protected and not powerful individuals.
He added that the actions of the two governors would not affect the fortunes of the party in the elections.
“In Imo state today, APC will win more votes. My focus is on ordinary Imo voters because on that day, the governor would have only one vote, his son-in-law would have only one vote while his Commissioner for Happiness would have only one vote.
“But artisans, traders, teachers and workers whose salaries are not being paid have the same weight of vote and they are excited about the renewed possibility of a new government coming with fresh ideas free of all the encumbrances of the present system. So in Imo I’m very confident.
“Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is from Ogun State. The state is one of the most enlightened States in Nigeria. They have a huge history; they are not in a political kingdom headed by one person.”
“If they were looking for true reconciliation, they wouldn’t have done what they did (defection of aides). That is not how democracy works. Nigeria must grow beyond this syndrome ‘I’m the governor, I will decide.’ You have only one vote. With due respect, I was once a governor. Overall APC is much stronger now.
Stating that the party would review if any of its rules had been breached, Oshiomhole added that the real sanction was with the electorate.
He, however, said the efforts of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee were already yielding fruits in some places while those with negotiable grievances were being sorted out.