•As APC, stakeholders call for ex-gov’s sanction
By James Ogunnaike, ABEOKUTA
THE political war between Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State and his predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, recently entered a new dimension as Amosun stirred the hornet’s nest when he claimed that the 2019 governorship election was rigged in favour of Abiodun, against his anointed candidate, Abdulkabir Akinlade, who contested for the state number one seat in the state on the platform of the Allied People’s Movement, APM.
Amosun, at one of the programmes put together to mark the 50th anniversary of Abeokuta Club on Friday 5th August 2022, claimed that Abiodun was rigged into office during the 2019 governorship election.
He vowed that the governor would not return to power in 2023.
It would be recalled that Abiodun defeated Amosun’s anointed candidate, Akinlade with a margin of 19,517 votes. Abiodun polled 241,670 votes to defeat Akinlade who had 222,153 votes.
He added that he had moved on because those who orchestrated the rigging had apologised to him.
His words: “During the last election, thank God, Chief Osoba is here, I have said it; we won convincingly. They rigged, rigged, and ended up with 19,000.
“Some of them came to apologise to me. I can’t be mentioning names. We won that election. But I have moved on. We did our work; we will continue to do what we have to do. God will be with all of us.”
Speaking later on the sideline with journalists, Amosun declared that he was not in support of Abiodun’s administration, saying he must be removed.
He also assured his supporters that the next line of action would soon be made public.
“Just wait; very soon, you will hear where we are going next. You know my stand, and my stand is my stand. I am not supporting this administration that is there now. He must be removed,” he said.
Abiodun fires back
Reacting to Amosun’s claim, Abiodun, who spoke with journalists at the grand finale of the 50th anniversary of the Abeokuta Club, said he would not be distracted by any person who has a problem with self-delusion, assuring that he would rather focus on his mandate and not join issues with anyone who wants to play God.
“I will not be distracted by any person or persons who have a problem with self-delusion. I will not be distracted by any person who does not appreciate that Ogun State is not anybody’s father’s inheritance. We are all stakeholders in this commonwealth called Ogun State.
“I am not going to join issues with anyone that wants to play God; I will leave them to God. God can deal with whoever is challenging His authority and wanting to play God.
All I can say is that what we stand for in Ogun State is an administration that is committed to providing purposeful leadership and purposeful infrastructural development across the length and breadth of the state.
“How can we on the outside take on an incumbent and then be accused of rigging out an incumbent in the same party? Anyone can explain their failure whichever way they like. Anyone can also begin to pant and threaten that they will do whatever,” he added.
Amosun suffering from “political amnesia—Ogun APC
Equally responding to Amosun’s claim, the APC in Ogun State, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Tunde Oladunjoye, said the former governor is suffering from “political amnesia and out-of-office loneliness”, thereby calling on the people of the state to pray for him.
Oladunjoye described Amosun’s claim as “an after-lunch belching of a man suffering from political amnesia and loneliness.”
He said: “The quoted statement was not only an insult to the psyche of the people of Ogun State but also a sad indication that the former governor is yet to purge himself of extreme arrogance and intolerance that were his trademarks, which earned him a suspension from our party, even as a sitting governor.
“The APC, therefore, calls on the public, and particularly our esteemed members, to pity and pray for the former governor as he suffers from political amnesia, loneliness and absolute lack of touch with reality.
“There is absolutely no truth in the specious utterance of the former governor who is still sulking from the electoral defeat of his surrogate party in 2019. Our party and candidate not only won fair and square but the victory of Prince Dapo Abiodun was also attested to by his co-contestants, many of whom later joined APC and are still in APC.
“Having been witnessing the frustrating exodus of his former political allies who openly said they were tired of endemic lies; and his failure to wrest the party structures from the incumbent governor, the recourse by Senator Amosun to “elated” after-lunch belching is understandable and pitiable.”
The State Chairman of the party, Chief Yemi Sanusi said Amosun’s claim was unbecoming of a supposed statesman.
Sanusi, who spoke after a closed-door meeting with leaders of the party in the 20 local government areas of the state, called for disciplinary measures against such anti-party acts.
Sanusi, who was the acting chairman of the party in 2019, declared that the election that produced Governor Abiodun was the most credible in the history of the state.
He said, the electorate overwhelmingly voted for Governor Abiodun and stood against any move to overturn their will.
He added that all subterranean schemes evolved by the then governor to ensure that his candidate won were thwarted by the vigilant and repressible people of Ogun State.
He said the party in the state might probe the rigging allegation raised by Amosun, noting that it was high time the anti-party activities of the senator were investigated.
Also, reacting to Amosun’s allegation, a former Minister of Communication and a chieftain of the APC, Mr Adebayo Shittu, called on the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party to sanction Amosun for anti-party activities.