Thursday, May 8, 2014 5:28 pm
.The former governor of Ogun state speaks on divisions in Ogun APC
Abiodun Onafuye/ Abeokuta
The former governor of Ogun State and the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Aremo Olusegun Osoba today opened up on the division within the party in the State, ascribing it to what he called an 11 year old ploy to destroy him politically by fifth columnists.
Osoba spoke today in Abeokuta at a consultative forum of members of the APC, said to be loyal to him.
He said the same group undermining him in the APC rose against him in 2003, when he was the governor of the state.
He however debunked speculations that he would leave the party.
“This is the battle of 2003, eleven years ago, they have started again. The agenda of 2003 is still very much alive, and that agenda of 2003 was to destroy, rubbish and finish Osoba politically. The agenda was an agenda that was started in 2003 and the same pattern, the same route is being followed.
“I never knew it was a sin that I should forget and forgive what happened eleven years ago. I behaved like an elder, like a Christian and like a responsible person to have forgotten what happened in 2003. I preached peace and to forget anything anyone might have done since we are still alive, for eight years, the government of PDP never wanted us to live. I did not know it is an offence for me to forgive and forget and let us start afresh like brothers, I have no regret, because I have been deceived twice and will not allow that to happen again. I have seen so many things, and will never happen again”, Osoba maintained.
The consultative forum had in attendance all the three Senators and members of the House of Representatives representing the State.
Osoba who just returned from from London early this morning said he decided to open up because a lot of
misinformation has been going round, aimed at tarnishing his image.
“I decided to forgive and forget so that we can wrest power back and I am grateful to all of you, 12,000 of you were employed as agents in 2011, we gave you only N2,000 as agent fees, this is just a chicken feed, but you did not compromise, you stood like rock of Gibraltar, we won the elections. Where are those 12,000 agents now? If you are here, did you benefit anything from the government?
“This is what I was telling them, those people who worked for us on the field then were selected by the State and National Assembly members, and they have not benefited anything from the party. The matter on ground is not about using abusive languages, but ideas and intellect. Ideas, issues, intellect is what I want you to pursue.
“I have been a governor twice and on no circumstance should we denigrate, insult, abuse that chair or that office. We should respect the office of the governor, we must not abuse people again, and the matter has got to a stage where we will use intellect, experience, ideas, and issues and not to begin to fight with others on issues.
“I have said all these for you to know that what they are saying about me are lies. How much would they give me to make for all that I have spent for the elections. How much can they pay back? I campaigned with my name and goodwill and they are now saying my mouth has been sealed but the mouth is opened now.
“A lot of misinformation was going round that I have been compromised, they said I have been bribed and I said how much could they pay back for the efforts of the people during the 2011 elections. Can we quantify that? What we are asking for is that the people who worked during the election should benefit. I beg all of you, no matter what
anybody says about me, just leave them for me, don’t answer them, Awolowo was also abused and he said insults turn to honour, so, don’t bother yourselves”, he said.
Chief Osoba disclosed that he was inundated with phone calls from Nigeria while he was away in London that Governor Ibikunle Amosun wanted to inaugurate the state executive of the party. He said he was surprised that the governor wanted to take the action.
Osoba explained that the National Secretariat of the party had directed that all reports on the congresses should be forwarded to it for scrutiny before taking decision, noting that the it is a national issue and not peculiar to
Ogun State alone.
He dismissed rumour making the rounds that he was planning to leave the party.
“The issue of defecting to PDP should be discarded. The idea of going to Labour Party should also be discarded, and we are going nowhere to PDP or Labour, no matter the circumstances. We are progressives and we will continue to be progressive in our politics. All the options should be geared towards progressiveness, progressive politics all the
way, I am ready and not going back, even at the age of 75, and we will succeed together.
“We have to be cautious, but I appeal to you not to defect to anywhere, because both PDP and Labour party are one and the same and they are being used to destabilise South West. We will not be part of the destructive moves. At the appropriate time, we will consult on the way forward and God will be with us”, he concluded.
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