Amosun’s political relevance, validity has expired – Ogun APC spokesperson
Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress in Ogun State, Tunde Oladunjoye in this interview with DAUD OLATUNJI discusses the party’s chances in 2023, as well as former state governor Senator Ibikunle Amosun’s recent threat that incumbent governor Dapo Abiodun will not be re-elected
What is the position of the APC in Ogun State on a statement by former Governor Ibikunle Amosun that the 2019 elections were rigged and 19,000 votes were attributed to Abiodun?
We are not surprised by the words of a man whose ego is bigger than his cap. The party issued a statement which was widely used. We are not focusing on a lie that even the Ogun people themselves described as complete arrogance and a blatant lie.
Do you agree with former governor Amosun who also said that no governor in the state has broken his record.
(Laughter) You didn’t quite hear it. He said he broke the records of four former governors combined! So, who are we to join him or help him out of his fantastic fantasy and his great illusion?
Do Amosun and his loyalists pose a threat to Abiodun’s re-election?
Were there any threats in 2019? Even as a sitting governor, with all of the state’s resources and immense influence at his disposal, what was he able to do? Is he greater than the discerning people of Ogun State?
Despite his expertise in boasting and empty manipulation, was he able to surpass the resolve of the enlightened people of Ogun?
Amosun, with all due respect, is ‘Elesin Ana’ (no longer relevant). Its political relevance and validity have expired as has its term.
The Hausa say “Seriki Goma and Zamani Goma” are (ten kings with ten different styles and reigns). May we never see another inglorious and conceited term in which a sitting governor sponsors another gubernatorial candidate against his own party!
In 2019, the APC wasn’t even that strong. Today, the party is stronger. Very notable figures, including gubernatorial candidates, who challenged Prince Dapo Abiodun, are now part of the APC. The camp of the former governor is gradually exhausted. His political “strikers” are now with Prince Dapo Abiodun.
Some of those who you will say can never leave have deserted and gone to the Peoples Democratic Party, leaving the few remnants in the moribund Allied Peoples Movement. He is so unpopular now that he begs his followers for APM tickets, and much to his dismay, his offers have been turned down.
The current government has always complained that it inherited many things from Amosun that prevented it from functioning. What are these things?
The fact is that Prince Abiodun has, in a rare illustration of leadership, reinforced these obstacles. The stones left by Amosun as stumbling blocks were used as stepping stones by our governor.
It has been widely reported in the media that Amosun did not leave what you can call a handover note for the current administration. He awarded and paid 100%, upfront, for elite model schools; about 16 of them and none of them were fully completed.
He abandoned projects including roads and bridges like Kuto Bridge etc., littered the landscape with unpaid deductions, gratuities, arrears of pensioners’ benefits, arrears of salaries in establishments. higher education, elephant projects and the planned dissolution of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic Abeokuta etc.
The obstacles here are so many and daunting. Even though there was a giant hurdle by nature in terms of the coronavirus outbreak, a meticulous governor, aided by God’s mercy, sprinted over the hurdles like Tobi Amusan.
What is the APC’s chance in the state in the upcoming election?
It’s very bright. The APC is the main party in Ogun State. We have restored peace to the regime. You know what the situation was like before March 2019. Ogun is now very peaceful thanks to Prince Dapo Abiodun’s policy of inclusivity.
There can be no progress or development. Our leader’s bittersweet political practice has brought down his near non-existence of political tension and heat in Ogun State. We located and distributed projects in the three senatorial districts, contrary to the imbalance of the immediate past. The housing projects of this administration are unprecedented. The projects are exhausted. It is the first time in history that a government housing project has been oversubscribed in one year. What about the construction, renovation and provision of modern equipment to fire stations, as well as the morale of firefighters?
The party allegedly mishandled the crisis with the Amosun group during the reconciliation period; what do you think, sir?
It is a false belief. When you’re dealing with someone who sees himself above everyone else, like a former governor who has publicly declared himself to be more than four former governors put together, you’ll find there’s absolutely no nothing you can do to appease someone like that.
Perhaps a slot as governor for a third term directly or through an alternate would have done the magic, but that is not possible, not even under the Nigerian constitution.
Residents of Alagbole, Akute and other border areas complain that the governor does not meet their needs, especially on the roads. What is the party doing to encourage the governor to fix roads ahead of the election?
Your question has been overtaken by events. Let me tell you, the governor does not need party inducement to do what he was elected to do. He did, and the facts on the ground attest to that.
Despite lack of funds and lack of cooperation from the federal government, which owns most of these roads, the governor has moved men and machinery, and the road is being rebuilt and resurfaced.
Some people also say that the governor is towing Amosun’s line. Amosun focused on the center of Ogun, and he (Amosun) would have focused in Ijebu as well. How does the party react to this?
It is completely false.
Do you have data to prove that they are balanced in development?
Sure! Among the data we have are also resident journalists in Ogun State. You move and you know that the projects are not unbalanced. If I have to remind you, the first two road projects delivered by the Prince Dapo Abiodun administration are located in the senatorial district of Ogun West. The roads are Raypower/AIT roads leading to Lagos.
And the real estate projects? They are spread across the four divisions of Ogun State namely Ijebu Ode, Sagamu, Abeokuta and Ilaro.
Some members of the state House of Assembly recently threatened to change the leadership of the house, which has the APC as a majority. Did the party warn them?
We were unaware of the so-called threat. We do not overtly or covertly control the Ogun Assembly, and the party can only intervene on matters brought before it.
After the primaries, some members were aggrieved. What does the party do to keep them in the party?
Reconciliation is underway at different levels. We persuade people to see the reason and realize that you can only have one candidate per ticket. Our governor is seriously helping the party in the form of appointing some of these people. Those who collected forms in the last LG elections but did not win are being reimbursed for the money they paid for the nomination forms. We can do this because it is within the jurisdiction of the governor and the party at the state level. We will not relax our efforts to solve genuine problems and complaints.
There were crises in some places during the primaries, like Ado-Odo/Ota and a few others, as the party grappled with the issue. A few candidates have taken the party and the candidates that have emerged in court. A sanction ?
I just answered a similar question. As you said, few candidates are in court; I don’t want to comment further. All I can say is that the conciliation is ongoing. Our Governor hasn’t written down any names or imposed any candidates, and he won’t tell those who didn’t emerge to “go to hell,” like someone who wrote down the names of 40 candidates for every position. electives and who still told the candidates to go to the flames, claiming it was the “Ogun standard”.