The national chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said that the new political romance between former president Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ) and his then estranged vice, Atiku Abubakar, will not last beyond February next year.
Oshiomhole said that the past misdeeds of Obasanjo (OBJ) and his foe-turned friend, who is the standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, will work against them at the February 2019 presidential election.
Citing the curse Obasanjo earlier placed on himself if he supports Atiku for the presidency because of the latter’s alleged betrayal of the trust he placed on him, Oshiomhole said that now that the former president had eaten his words, the duo would certainly receive God’s punishment which would translate to President Muhammadu Buhari humiliating them at the presidential race next year.
Oshiomhole dismissed the grievances and anti-party activities of the governors of Ogun and Imo states, Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha respectively as he asserted that the APC had emerged stronger without them.
He assured APC’s’ supporters in Imo and Ogun that the national and state organs of the party would work hard to ensure the victory of the governorship candidates without Amosun and Okorocha.
The APC chairman stated this yesterday when he received APC women leaders from Edo State in his office in Aso Drive, Abuja.
Oshiomhole recalled that Obasanjo swore that God should punish him if he ever supports Atiku to become Nigeria’s president.
Asked of his fears for 2019 elections, he said: “I will rather tell you my hopes and that is that Buhari will win by getting more votes than he got before. Nobody has said that Buhari is a thief, but who said that the other person is a thief was the person he worked with.
“If you are working with me and I said that you are thief, that God will punish me if I support you and when you are confused because your supply line has been chopped off and you enter a new deal, come back to say I now support you, that God you invoked with your name to punish you if you support that person is about to go to work and He will go to work in February next year. He will punish you thoroughly and punish the person he is supporting in favour of Nigeria,” he said.
While describing the governors as poor students of history who had forgotten where they came from to join the APC, Oshiomhole declared that some APC governors no longer have electoral value.
He said: “Our popularity in Imo and Ogun states is much higher. What you don’t know and Nigerians always make me surprise by thinking that once you are a governor, you have electoral value. Yes, we have overwhelming majority of the APC governors with electoral value, but we also have others without electoral value.
“I can confidently tell you today that in Imo State, APC will win more votes. As I said, it is about numbers and my focus is about the ordinary Imo electorate because the governor, his commissioner for happiness and the son in-law have only one vote on that day.
“But those mechanics, market women, school teachers and workers, whose salaries are unpaid for years, have the same weight of votes. They are excited about the new possibilities of a new government coming with new ideas free from all the encumbrances of the present system. I am very confident in Imo.
“Also, in Ogun State, don’t forget that the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is from that state. We cannot focus on one person and not on the other. Ogun is one of the most enlightened states in the country and that is where the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, came from. They have a huge history in a political kingdom headed by one person.
“When a child runs out of his father’s house to bear a new name, according to history and the Bible, he returns when the weather thoroughly beats him as a prodigal son. That is why APC has prodigal sons. Those who think that their political future is not tied to the party are poor students of history.
“They forget that some of these people thinking that they are invisible have run elections before and lost deposit until they abandoned their parties and joined us. If they return back, history will repeat itself,” he said.
Odigie-Oyegun Expresses Sadness Over Instability In APC
Meanwhile, Oshiomhole’s predecessor, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has appealed to the political class and general public to exercise restraint as the general elections approach and be ready to make sacrifices in the interest of the country.
Odigie-Oyegun expressed sadness over the current crisis rocking the APC, even as he expressed the confidence that the ongoing peace moves would yield the expected results.
He spoke with newsmen for the first time since he left office at his Abuja residence yesterday.
According to him, he does not know anyone who is happy with the raging instability in the party and called for compromises for peace to reign in the APC.
Odigie-Oyegun said: “We need to begin to confront the elections in February next year which given the state of the nation, are bound to be challenging” even as he appealed that efforts be made to enthrone peace such that the party would approach the race as a united force.
When asked whether he was disturbed about the situation, he replied: “Well I can say something for sure that I am not happy as to the state of peace or the instability in the party. I don’t think I know someone who is happy today about that but like I said earlier there are peace missions that I have found all over the country and so at this point it will be improper for me to start saying that things went bad because that happened or because that did not happen. As a statesman, let me not start passing my own personal judgement where there is a team out trying to broker peace, I won’t be helping the situation.”
PDP Mobilises North Central For Atiku At Ilorin Rally
For the opposition PDP, the need to replace the APC-led federal government took the centre stage of its North Central zonal presidential campaign in Ilorin, Kwara State yesterday.
The first shot was fired by the director-general of the Atiku/Obi Campaign Organisation and Senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who said that the APC administration had failed in all facets of governance.
While asking Nigerians to vote Buhari and the APC out of power next year, Saraki lamented that the party had failed to deliver on all its 2015 campaign promises.
Saraki said: “APC promised Nigeria a lot of things. They promised us security. Then we had security problem only in the Northeast but now it has extended to North Central and even the Northwest. APC has failed because security has worsened.
“People are dying of hunger because the economy has gone terribly bad. They have also failed in fighting corruption. Nigeria is today the world’s poverty capital. We need a president who will fix the economy, create jobs and unite Nigerians.
“This APC government must go because events of the past three years had shown that they don’t have the solutions to these problems. We must vote this government out and elect Atiku as our next president. My people of Kwara and North Central, we must vote out Buhari. Atiku is the solution to Nigeria’s problem.”
In his speech, Atiku lamented that Nigeria has gone worse under the APC, hence the need to provide an alternative administration which can make things work again in the country.
He said: “They promised us security, jobs, and to improve the economy, but in each of these, they failed. It is time for our people to return PDP to power because Nigeria was good when the PDP was in power.
“Today, in terms of economy, Nigeria is the poorest in the world. These are facts from international organisations. The security situation has become terribly bad.”
Atiku alleged plans by the APC to buy Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) from people as a way of perpetrating electoral fraud and urged Nigerians to guard against the plan so as not to mortgage their future and that of their children.
The PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, lauded the large turnout of the people for the rally noting that Nigerians had been suffering since the APC took over power in 2015.
He said: “Look at the genocide in Benue and Plateau States and no arrest was made. APC is a government of propaganda. They can’t fool Nigerians again,” adding that Atiku has experience in both private and public sectors that he can use to return Nigeria to the path of glory and a buoyant economy.
The chairman of the organising committee for the rally who doubles as Kwara State PDP secretary, Alhaji Rasaq Lawal, thanked the people for turning out in large number to honour their illustrious son, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
Describing the rally as a huge success, Lawal asked the people to repeat the feat at the 2019 elections by voting massively for all the PDP’s candidates.
The PDP flags were presented to the gubernatorial candidate of the party in Kwara, Barr Razak Atunwa, and his counterparts from the states in North Central zone at the rally.