By Wole Elegbede
I read with trepidation the article by Muyiwa Adeyemi in the online edition of The Guardian which he arrogantly titled as “Amosun’s journey from state of confusion to desperation”.
The fact that the writer is in the driving seat of the South West bureau of the highly esteemed newspaper does not grant him the licence to engage in assertions that are arrogant and which can not be verified.
I would not have bothered to waste time with this reply but the blatant falsehoods and inaccuracies contained in the piece may be taken as gospel truth by unsuspecting readers. I have no hesitation to say that the writer is executing a hatchet job to smear and slander the good name of Ogun State governor and leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
The Ogun State Chapter of APC had been one of the most peaceful chapters of the party in the federation before the spanner was deliberately thrown into the works by some external forces. Until the primaries around October 2018 which were meant to choose the candidates of the party for various elective positions in the 2019 general election, Ogun APC had been one of the organised chapters of the party. In May 2018, Ogun APC conducted rancour free congresses at the ward, local government and state levels of the party. The State Congress was supervised by a State Congress Committee chaired by the former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rev. Peter Obadan.
With regard to governance, Ogun State has been a shining example among the committee of states in the federation where the welfare of the citizenry is given a pride of place judging by the numerous people-oriented projects of the Senator Ibikunle-led administration. Under the “Mission to Rebuild” programme of the administration which has five cardinal targets (Affordable Qualitative Education, Efficient Health Care Delivery, Agricultural production and Industrialisation, Affordable Housing and Urban Renewal, and Rural and Infrastructural Development/Employment Generation), the administration has created the desired impact on the lives of people and economy of the state. The one key area that one can readily mention is that, under governor Amosun, Ogun State attracted over 75 per cent of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Nigeria for the past three years. Today, Ogun state is officially the industrial hub of Nigeria with the largest industrial concentration. The state is also regarded as the education capital of Nigeria with the largest number of universities situated there.
Having created the fillip for development and lifted the state from the backwaters of stagnation to one of the three leading states in the federation (relying on the figures of the Central Bank of Nigeria in Internally Generated Revenue and the World Bank parameters on Ease of Doing Business), the Amosun Administration became a subject of envy which must be pilloried and brought down at all costs by political expansionists and mandarins.
A well discerned observer should wonder why the most peaceful state chapter of APC suddenly took a descent into crisis. This is not natural. It was engineered by outside forces that are bent on extending their empire and controlling the resources of the state. The conduct of the primaries in Ogun State by the APC National Working Committee (NWC) in Ogun State was designed to create confusion and it was part of the agenda of these outside forces to take over the rulership of the state.
Amosun became the butt of all manners of attacks because he refused to capitulate to the machinations of the irredentists. A statement by Ogun State Commissioner for Information, Dayo Adeneye, on 3rd November 2018 bellied Amosun’s unwavering and consistent opposition to their orchestrated plan. The statement read in part: “As we have stated before, this evil design will not succeed in Ogun state. Our people are too educated, exposed and sophisticated to come under such odious arrangement”.
Many of the writer’s expositions were laughable. He said the APC mooted the idea of suspending Amosun and withdrawing his senatorial ticket for openly endorsing the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) where most of his allies will contest the next election but President Muhammadu Buhari was alleged to have frustrated the move. He also alleged that the President did not agree to an attempt by party leaders to remove Amosun’s name from his presidential campaign committee for anti-party activity. He concluded that President Buhari’s soft-spot for Amosun frustrated the move to discipline the governor.
The writer’s purpose of drawing President Buhari into the APC crisis in Ogun State is not far-fetched: To discredit the President and draw a wedge between him and Senator Amosun. But as Senator Amosun himself has always pointed out, attempts by his detractors to cause disaffection between him and President Buhari will end up like a wide goose chase.
Surprisingly, Muyiwa Adeyemi’s article which was aimed at analysing the crisis in Ogun APC and meant to take Senator Amosun to the cleaners had ended up citing an opinion poll in which the candidate of another particular party was favoured to succeed Amosun in May 29, 2019. One does not need to be a soothsayer to know where all the shots in the article were coming from.
* Elegbede is the Publicity Secretary of APC in Ogun State