…Rules out defection to PDP, LP; Denies begging for money
BY SEGUN OLATUNJI & DAUD OLATUNJI
ABEOKUTA—THE former governor of Ogun State and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Olusegun Osoba yesterday broke his long silence on the crisis rocking the ruling party in the state since the conduct of parallel congresses by the two major factions.
Osoba, who returned from his over one week trip to London at about 4:00am yesterday, spoke for the first time since the parallel congresses held recently by Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s faction on the one hand and the supporters of the members of the National Assembly believed to be loyal to the APC national leader on the other hand produced factional executives at the ward, local government and state levels of the party.
Osoba, who addressed his loyalists in Abeokuta residence, raised alarm that the 2003 plot to ‘destroy’ him has been resuscitated.
He alleged that the ongoing crisis in the APC in Ogun was a mere replay of the events that occurred in 2003 but which he had decided to “forgive and forget” as a Christian and an elder.
Disclosing that he had begun a “new political engineering”, he vowed that he would henceforth relocate to the state to lead party members loyal to him in their struggle for the soul of the APC in the state.
The APC national leader, while addressing thousands of party members who had thronged his expansive residence at the GRA, Ibara, Abeokuta for a consultative forum, also stressed that his loyalists would not leave the ruling APC in the state for any other party.
Rather, Osoba vowed that he would lead them to victory in the current battle going on in the APC in Ogun State.
He added that his loyalists should not entertain fears as he was agile and healthy enough to ensure that they were not denied their rights in the party.
The APC national leader, who spoke in an admixture of Yoruba and English also assured them that nobody would force them to defect from the ruling party to any other party.
“Some now call me a beggar. Somebody wrote in The Nation that I’m making demands on the Ogun State Government. Should he not have asked about my own side of the story? Even if they gave me money, can that pay enough for all what we did? It’s my goodwill and good names that I used to campaign. Now they said they have bought Osoba and he can no longer talk. But now, that mouth has been unlocked. If they say I’m a beggar, I thank God I’m no longer begging. They should hold on to their money. Throughout Daniel’s eight years, I did not die, did I? “They have been raining abuses on me that I’ve been bought. I say how much can they pay us back for all the troubles we went through in 2007. Leave them, let them keep abusing me,” Osoba added.
The APC national leader whose speech was intermittently punctuated by the evergreen songs of prominent musicians such as King Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey and Haruna Ishola laced with proverbs and anecdotes and blaring from huge loudspeakers strategically located within the compound, said in his relationships with virtually all the country’s leaders from General Murtala Muhammed to President Goodluck Jonathan he had never been given such a disrespectful treatment as he was now getting from the Governor Amosun’s camp.