Disgrace awaits Amosun and his allies on Saturday, says Osoba
Chief Segun Osoba, a founding member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and a former governor of Ogun State, speaks on his party’s chances of retaining it in the coming gubernatorial election. He also criticised the incumbent governor, Ibikunle Amosun of anti-party activities. SEYE OLUMIDE reports
Is the division in Ogun State APC not going to affect the party?
Division! There is nothing like that whatsoever. We are lucky and grateful that we have a kind of chairman that has courage, determination and is incorruptible that has been driving APC.
The progressives that brought in Governor Ibikunle Amosun in 2011 into the party are still intact and focused. It is the governor that came to create division that is now out. APC family in Ogun is still intact.
In the last presidential and National Assembly elections the party did well by winning two senate seats and six House of Representatives members.
Do you think the presidential election would determine the outcome of the governorship poll in the state?
The coming election may even be bigger because the liability of the incumbent governor that robbed on us last Saturday is now out.
He said he was no more a member of APC but Allied Peoples Movement (APM), and we are going to defeat him without much stress.
The true family of APC has taken it up as a challenge to battle Amosun because he created a big confusion of imaginable magnitude, not only in Ogun but the entire South West that is unheard of in the country. He is out and come Saturday, the verdict would be clear when, by the grace of God, we will coast to victory.
Why did you campaign for Amosun if he is against your party?
My orientation and training under late Chief Obafemi Awolowo is that the party is always supreme and under no circumstances must one deviate from the party.
My advice to party members in the last election was that they must go all the way to vote for APC. I urged them to stand by the party irrespective of the grievances and the bitterness they may have against the person of Amosun.
I made them understand that he is still the governor and at that time he was in APC even though he had started his anti-party activities.
As long as he was on the ballot of the party, we did not vote for him but the party.
Talking about party supremacy, why did it take the party so long to wield the big stick against Amosun?
Then you are not tactical. We are going into a presidential election to which all vote counts.
My vote is equal to that of the mentally deranged person in the street. I am not in anyway superior; so, at that time it would not be tactical to be exposed to the onslaught of the PDP, otherwise we would have paid the price.
So we waited for the presidential election to be over, which was tactical. But now, we can rise. It is now Ogun State; the president has no vote in the state, therefore we in the state will decide on Saturday.
Does the manner of Amosun’s suspension not show that due process was not followed?
You caught an armed robber, seized his arms and the materials he stole were videoed and you now say it must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. The law is an ass, there is no doubt, but the law is also sensible.
In the first place, we have written to the National Working Committee (NWC); the ward has written to the Caretaker Committee.
The committee, in turn with those of us in the state caucus, recognized by the constitution, sent the document to the state committee to complain about his (Amosun) anti-party activities.
On December 31, Amosun said APC would lose in a newspaper interview (not The Guardian). This was attached. At another point he said he would work against our governorship candidate, which we attached, too.
We don’t have to expose the internal working of the NWC. We cannot just wake up one morning to say we are suspending.
Necessary complaints have been made. The State Working Committee to which he said he does not like and he also provoked on the day President Muhammadu Buhari visited the state by displaying APM banner, symbol and other election campaign materials has complained.
We supplied the tape where he (Amosun) said he would destroy APC in Ogun; we don’t need to go to the press to say all these because they are all internal activities of the party. He had been on these anti-party activities since October when the primary was conducted.
What has Dapo Abiodun that other governorship candidates don’t have?
If you look at the results of the last elections, we produced the senators of Ogun West, which include the Aworis, Yewa and others.
If we produced Tolu Obi as Senator-elect and also got 6000 out of the 9000 votes, is that not an indication we are far more on ground than the incumbent’s candidate, Abdukabir Akinlade, even in his own local government? This is an election the governor mobilized thugs and hoodlums while the state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu closed his eyes as if nothing happened.
This is an indication that Iliyasu is not the right man to be the Commissioner of Police in charge of an enlightened state like Ogun.
He should be kicked out of the state. He closed his eyes to the extent that one of his officers was killed when they were trying to ambush the result.
The edge we have is that we won the senatorial district and one House of Representatives seat in the so-called Akinlade’s stronghold. We produced the senator in Ogun Central.
We produced all the three House of Representatives seats in the central, even in Buruji Kashamu’s stronghold in Ogun East. We did better, if you therefore add all these together, we have an edge.
Do you know President Buhari’s disposition towards Amosun in the light of the anti-party activities?
I am disappointed with the way the media is overblowing Amosun’s visit to the Aso Rock Villa. That was a sign of serious inferiority complex.
If he has confidence in himself he does not need to be in and out of the villa because all governors have direct access to the presidency.
A serious governor does not need to be going photo-shopping with the president every time. He said he went to see the president 28 times but what result did that produce?
As for the president, don’t forget he came to Abeokuta and to Imo and said vote for me, exercise your right. While he canvassed for himself as a president and politician, as someone who swore to protect the constitution of the country, he also said everybody should vote according to their desire. I don’t see reason anybody is making a mountain out of that.
As a governor, it is me that will now exercise my right to vote according to my desire and not by going to the villa.
Does that mean the clamour for power shift to Ogun West is no longer feasible?
This is because of his selfishness. He claimed he has trained Akinlade, but in what? Now three quarters of Abeokuta is dust-laden because the roads are not tarred.
Three quarters of the roads Amosun said he is constructing are still uncompleted and we are now having dusty roads in the state. What is it that he is going to sell? He is a liability to us. But the people are happy they voted APC in the last election and now that Amosun has gone full blast to side APM, the coast is clear for our members to vote for their party.
Would the power of incumbency not play out on Saturday?
The mistake Amosun is making is that when you are on your way out of office anywhere in the world, you become a lame duck.
In most advanced countries you become a lame duck, because the world will not listen to a person who has done his own part.
For instance, what else does Amosun want? He was a senator, a two-term governor and he is even going back to the senate. People are asking whether he is the only one.
What is the probability of possible realignment of forces in favour of Dapo Abiodun on Saturday?
I will not disclose that to you, because our greatest opposition in Ogun is PDP and I will throw that question back to you, is PDP settled in Ogun?
What exactly did the current Police Commissioner do that you are not pleased with?
Reason I am upset with him is that as a citizen of the state who pays taxes regularly to the tune of millions of naira I demand the right of protection from Ileasu. But he has failed woefully.
If hoodlums could have stoned the Commander-in-Chief on the day he came to Ogun for campaign and the commissioner could not arrest anybody till today that is a total failure.
God forbid, if anything had hit the president on the head and he died, what are we going to be saying today?