“UNEASY LIES THE HEAD THAT WEARS THE CROWN”. This adage aptly describes Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, presently. He has, to his “APC leadership glory”, mass and continuous defections from his party, APC, to others parties. Unhealthy internal wrangling in the party, marred party primaries leading up to 2019 general elections, corruption allegations against him and DSS interrogation, among others.
Governors Rochas Okorocha, Ibikunle Amosun and Abdul-Aziz Yari [Zamfara State counterpart] are, presently, Oshiomhole’s migraine. They have been at loggerheads with Oshiomhole for not recognizing their preferred governorship candidates. This has led to the defection of the governors’ preferred candidates and some of their aids in Imo and Ogun States to other political parties to pursue their ambitions.
During “solidarity visit” of APC Women Leaders from Edo State to Oshiomhole’s office in Aso Drive, Abuja, Oshiomhole erupted on the governors: “Some of these people who talk as if they are invincible, they have forgotten that they have run elections in the past and lost until they abandoned their parties and joined us. So, if they return back, history will repeat itself.”
“Whether you are a big or small man, the rules are not supposed to discriminate. Our popularity in Imo and Ogun today is much higher. It is not that once you are a governor you have high electoral value. Yes, in APC, our governors have high electoral value but we also have a few who are electoral liabilities.”
Oshiomhole is believing that the popularity of All Progressive Congress, APC, in Imo and Ogun States, has placed incumbent Governors of both States — Ibikunle Amosun [Ogun] and Rochas Okorocha [Imo] – among few who are “electoral liabilities”. He said the party would win the 2019 elections in both States, notwithstanding alleged anti-party activities of the governors.
Oshiomhole described the governors as poor students of their own history, who forgot they lost elections before winning on the platform of APC. He said: “In Imo state today, APC will win more votes. My focus is on ordinary Imo voters because on that day, the governor would have only one vote, his son-in-law would have only one vote while his Commissioner for Happiness would have only one vote”.
“But artisans, traders, teachers and workers whose salaries are not being paid have the same weight of vote and they are excited about the renewed possibility of a new government coming with fresh ideas free of all the encumbrances of the present system. So, in Imo I’m very confident”, he added.
On Ogun State, Oshiomhole said: “Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is from Ogun State. The state is one of the most enlightened States in Nigeria. They have a huge history; they are not in a political kingdom headed by one person.”
Worried about the trend in both States, Oshiomhole said: “If they were looking for true reconciliation, they wouldn’t have done what they did [defection of aides]. That is not how democracy works. Nigeria must grow beyond this syndrome ‘I’m the governor, I will decide.’ You have only one vote. With due respect, I was once a governor. Overall APC is much stronger now”.
No doubt, Oshiomhole is losing his sleep. His hyped “leadership acumen” as former Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, President and Governor of Edo State, is being put to the test based on high expectations from those who rallied round him to become National Chairman of All Progress Congress, APC. Is Adams Oshiomhole failing his admirers?