“If there is a person, including a governor, who wants to sell a distorted message, the party will stop him. That is the truth. We have also seen some situations which we are trying to draw the attention of INEC to as the regulator of political parties. You cannot have anyone putting the portrait of President Muhammadu Buhari as President and his own portrait as the governorship candidate on the platform of a political party that is not known to the people.”
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, says the APC will take action against the parties using President Muhammadu Buhari’s photographs for their campaigns.
Oshiomhole said this on ‘The Platform’, a programme on TVC on Saturday while reacting to the crisis in the party’s chapters in Ogun and Imo states.
He said the APC would write a letter of complaint to the Independent National Electoral Commission on the matter.
The governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun and his Imo State counterpart, Rochas Okorocha, had said they would continue to support Buhari but would work against the governorship candidates of the APC in their states.
Both governors were prevented from fielding their preferred candidates in the 2019 governorship elections in their states.
Although Amosun has remained in the APC, his candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, is contesting on the platform of the Allied People’s Movement while Okorocha’s candidate and son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, is contesting on the platform of Action Alliance.
Oshiomhole said, “If there is a person, including a governor, who wants to sell a distorted message, the party will stop him. That is the truth. We have also seen some situations which we are trying to draw the attention of INEC to as the regulator of political parties. You cannot have anyone putting the portrait of President Muhammadu Buhari as President and his own portrait as the governorship candidate on the platform of a political party that is not known to the people.”
The APC chairman also expressed his disgust over the refusal of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, to step down despite defecting to the Peoples Democratic Party.
He maintained that the APC remained the dominant party in the parliament, but not in control.
Oshiomhole, however, said removing Saraki and Dogara was no longer the priority of the ruling party.
Meanwhile, the newly constituted APC caretaker committee in Ogun State has said it will not take issue with Amosun.
The APC National Working Committee had set up the caretaker committee headed by Chief Yemi Sanusi with Mr Ayobami Olubori the secretary and Mr Tunde Oladunjoye named its publicity secretary.
The committee will report directly to the NWC led by Oshiomhole.
The NWC had sacked the party executives in both Imo and Ogun states for alleged anti-party activities.
Later on Friday, Amosun rejected the caretaker committee and insisted that the executive members of the party in the state would complete their four-year tenure.
Oladunjoye in a statement, said both the electoral law and the party constitution recognised only one APC.
According to him, the committee will breathe a new life into the party, promote peace and give its members.
The statement said, “We are all members of the same house under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, we will renew, realign, and rebuild our party for total victory at the 2019 polls, by God’s grace”.
Meanwhile, Okorocha has said he does not take the national chairman of the APC seriously again.
Okorocha, who was reacting to the statements made against him by Oshiomhole during a rally in Owerri on Friday, said he would not be distracted by Oshiomhole from ensuring victory for Buhari in 2019.
The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, insisted that the governorship candidate of the APC in the state, Senator Hope Uzodinma, did not have the capacity to garner the kind of support that would make him win the governorship election next year.
There are also indications that the national leadership of the APC has been under “intense pressure” to expel Okorocha and Amosun over alleged anti-party activities.
The two governors are believed to be close to President Muhammadu Buhari.
A member of the NWC of the party, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told SUNDAY PUNCHin Abuja on Saturday night that there was no way the party would encourage the two governors to work against the governorship candidates of the APC in their states.
He said, “They are holding the party’s senatorial tickets. They want to hold on to the tickets and use the name of the President to win because they know that the Presidential and the National Assembly elections are to hold the same day.
“After using the goodwill of the President and the party to win, they will now go and mobilise against the party’s governorship candidates in their respective states. We won’t allow that. The best way is to show them the way out.”