Adams Oshiomhole, former Governor of Edo State and aspirant for the post of National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says he has the support of APC governors ahead of the June 23 convention, but this is not because he bought them over.
Instead, he said this was because they understood him as someone of immense persuasive skills rather than a dictator.
Oshiomhole said this in Benin on Friday in an interaction with journalists.
“Even though I was the President of NLC, I cannot even control my deputy because he was voted the same manner I was elected. In the NLC, you must listen to everybody, unlike in government where, as an executive, you can dictate decisions,” he said.
“So, what my background prepared me for is to be able to listen, and that is why I kept saying contestation and disputes are not dysfunctional if you have the skills that I have to manage divergences.
“I have never exercised dictatorial powers. I have always exercised persuasive powers and negotiating skills, and those are my skills. And, when I negotiate with you and persuade and you accept, you will feel obliged to do what you have to do. But if I dictate to you, when I am not watching, you will do your heart. So, I am not capable of being a dictator by the very nature of my background.
On the support he has received so far, he said: “I am enjoying the support of APC governors and other party leaders across the nation ahead of June 23 national convention of the party.
“The reason for this is because they understand my person and because, by the special grace of God, if I will emerge through a consensus leadership, my loyalty will be to the party and no more.
“If I have prominent people from the North, prominent people from the South, East, West and the centre, no one will say if not for my support you would not have been there.
“If you are a product of one section, then you might remain detained by that section, but when you have the privilege of a broad support from many leaders, then no one leader will say I put you there and you must listen to me.
“Let me also say that what is also qualitatively different about this support is that there is no question about what is influencing it; this is so, because in our political environment, we hear that those who have the deepest pockets tend to buy the support.
“But, this support is being offered from people who cannot be procured, which tells you that it is flowing from the knowledge of my person, because I have been fortunate to work with all the governors, including past governors.
“Those I did not meet in office, I met them when I was president of the NLC. We had engaged on one-on-one; they know what I stand for. So, they offered this support based on their understanding of my person, and not inducement and that makes a difference.”