The crisis in the All Progressives Congress (APC) between some governors of the party and its National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, took another turn over the weekend as the Department of State Services (DSS) reportedly detained and interrogated Oshimhole.
Newsmen gathered yesterday that President Muhammadu Buhari, who was not aware of the DSS’ action, has ordered an immediate probe of the matter, while the party is said to be considering appropriate sanctions against some of its governors accused of being behind the plot.
In the past three weeks, Oshiomhole has been engaged in a war of words with Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and his Ogun State counterpart, Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
The two governors have openly criticised the party chairman for rejecting their anointed candidates, Uche Nwosu and Hon. Abdulkabir Akinlade, to succeed them in Imo and Ogun states, respectively.
It was gathered yesterday that the two governors are seen as the masterminds of Oshiomhole’s ordeal.
The APC national chairman, an online newspaper, TheCable, yesterday, reported, was grilled by DSS operatives for nine hours on Sunday after some APC governors alleged that he received bribes during the recently held primary elections of the party.
The paper further reported that Oshiomhole was asked to resign during interrogation, but he resisted, saying he would only do so if he loses the confidence of President Buhari, who was in the know of all actions he took during the party’s primaries.
When contacted, National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu and spokesperson of the DSS, said they were not aware of the arrest and quizzing of Oshiomhole.
However, a top aide to the APC national chairman, exclusively told our correspondent that he (Oshiomhole) was quizzed by operatives of the DSS.
“Yes, he was invited by the DSS, questioned and detained for hours with the operatives asking him to resign his position as chairman of the ruling party, which he objected to,” the source said.
He blamed Okorocha and Amosun for Oshiomhole’s ordeal, while revealing that the APC national chairman, after conferring with President Buhari on the matter, travelled out of the country on Tuesday.
According to the aide, the two governors are still embittered over the outcome of the APC’s governorship primaries in which their preferred aspirants lost. They had claimed that Oshiomhole used his position as the national chairman of the party to shut out their anointed candidates.
It would be recalled that the Oshiomhole-led APC National Working Committee (NWC), at the weekend, submitted the name of Senator Hope Uzodinma to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the governorship candidate of the party in Imo State as against Okorocha’s son-in-law, Nwosu, while in Ogun State, it was Prince Dapo Abiodun as against Akinlade, who is Amosun’s choice.
A party source, who further confirmed the claim by Oshiomhole’s aide, told New Telegraph that the APC national chairman’s invitation by the DSS on Sunday, shortly after he returned to Abuja from his village in Edo State, was orchestrated by Okorocha and Amosun, acting in cahoots with an APC governor from a Northern.
According to the source, the governors took the step after they failed to mobilise the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party to pass a no confidence vote in Oshiomhole.
His words: “When the move for a no confidence vote failed, the aggrieved governors decided to procure the services of the DSS to force Oshiomhole to write and sign a letter of resignation, which would have ended his chairmanship of the party.
“He was grilled for about six hours during which he was confronted with unsubstantiated allegations that he collected bribes to predetermine the outcomes of the recent APC’s primary elections. But, Oshiomhole rebuffed the pressure by the DSS interrogators to make him write his resignation letter.
“The former labour leader insisted that he would not acquiesce in their request unless he had discussed with President Buhari, whose name the DSS interrogators dropped in the course of the questioning. He told the DSS interrogators point blank that he would rather die than to cave in to their pressure for him to resign a position that the party vested in him at the national convention.”
Besides Buhari, Newsmen further learnt that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, were also piqued by the action of Governors Okorocha and Amosun.
Sources close to them said they described their action as an affront to the presidency and the APC leadership.
It was also gathered that an APC governor of one of the North-West states is mobilising other Northern governors to support Oshiomhole. The move is said to be a response to the subtle threats by Okorocha and Amosun to rock the boat of the party as well as to work against Buhari in their respective states during the 2019 presidential election.
A former national vice chairman of the party, who said he heard of Oshiomhole’s arrest, but couldn’t confirm it, warned the party’s leadership against the danger of forcing the national chairman to resign his position.
“This is trouble signal for the party because it is happening at a time when everyone is running around to see how we can put our house in order ahead of the election,” he said.
While efforts to get Amosun to react to the allegation was unsuccessful last night as one of his media aides, who promised to get back to our correspondent failed to do so, Chief Press Secretary to Okorocha, Sam Onwuemedo, said the governor would respond to the claim at the appropriate time.
The APC National Publicity Secretary, who denied arrest of Oshiomhole by the DSS, told journalists at the party secretariat in Abuja that the national chairman was in his office on Monday and Tuesday before he travelled Tuesday evening.
He explained that Oshiomhole ought to have travelled before this time, but severally postponed his travel because of the submission of the party’s list of candidates for the general elections to INEC.
“The party is not aware of any arrest and quizzing of its national chairman. He was in office on Monday and Tuesday before he travelled on Tuesday evening. We wait to hear from the National Chairman on the report, but as I speak to you, no such report of his arrest and grill is before us,” Issa-Onilu.
DSS Public Relations Officer, Mr. Peter Nnochiri, who also denied knowledge of Oshiomhole’s arrest, in a terse reply to a text message requesting the official position of the agency on the matter, said: “I’m not aware of this.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described as reprehensible, revelations that the Buhari presidency is concealing alleged bribery and corrupt practices involving the APC national chairman.
The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said it was privy to the pressure on the DSS to let Oshiomhole off the hook for fears that his investigation would unearth the complicity of the presidency and other key members of the APC in the scam.
PDP said: “Information available to the PDP reveal that apart from the billions of naira he allegedly stole from the coffers of Edo State when he was governor, Oshiomhole is facing charges of allegedly collecting billions of naira bribe from some ministers and other APC sources in Adamawa, Rivers, Kano and Imo states to manipulate the 2019 electoral process.
“This is in addition to allegedly collecting billions of naira from presidency sources to influence electoral officers, independent observers and certain polling organisations ahead of the 2019 election, part of which was allegedly diverted for personal use of some APC leaders.
“The PDP had always alerted Nigerians of the corruption allegation burden on the APC chairman and the continued official cover provided for him by the Buhari presidency, including stalling his investigation and prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged stealing of billions of naira from Edo State coffers.
“If the Buhari presidency has nothing to hide; if it is not complicit in the alleged scam, it should allow the DSS and EFCC a free hand to investigate and prosecute his party’s factional chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, particularly now that all issues are laid bare before Nigerians.
“As long as the DSS and the EFCC are not allowed to put Oshiomhole into the dock, the Buhari presidency does not have the moral rectitude to speak on corruption. This is especially as the involvement of the DSS shows that the corruption burden of the APC chairman has already become a security risk for our nation.
“Finally, the PDP cautions that under no circumstance should the presidency escort Adams Oshiomhole out of the country, just like it did for the disgraced Buhari’s former Minister of Finance.”
Amaechi writes off Atiku’s chances
Minister of Transportation and Director-General of the Muhammadu Buhari Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is no match for President Buhari in the forthcoming presidential election.
He noted that evaluating the performances of the incumbent Nigerian leader in comparison with previous administrations under the opposition party, would further reduce the chances of the PDP, which he labelled as corrupt and unfit to take Nigeria to the Promised Land.
Asked if, as the D-G of the president’s re- election bid, he feels the ruling party feels uneasy that the PDP has a very strong team in Atiku/Obi, Amaechi said, “I am telling you clearly, we have nothing to fear about; I am not joking.”
He said for his party and the people of Nigeria, the next general election in February 2019 would be another opportunity to critically look at the issue of who has the known antecedent to genuinely tackle corruption and that by reputation, the PDP could not contend against the APC in terms of corruption perception.
“As soon as PDP elected its presidential candidate, the first thing that went to the social media was corruption. I am not saying whether he is corrupt or not, but the first battle you had in the social media was to battle the issue of corruption and those issues of corruption were the things said by ex-President Obasanjo,” he stated.
On the celebrated reconciliation between Obasanjo and Atiku, Amaechi said their vituperative attacks against each other will also be made public for Nigerians to decide, saying: “Their statements are in the public. We would get back all those statements to the table.”
According to him, “There are two issues that we will be focusing on, corruption; Nigerians will have to decide whether to go back to the stealing, where Nigerian government was borrowing money to pay salary. We are not borrowing money to pay salary now; where we were importing tomatoes, when we can plant tomatoes at home; when we were buying about 500,000 eggs per day from South Africa; and now that we are producing the eggs.
“The reason is that there are too many issues to debate about. For 16 years, Vice President Abubakar was in power for eight years, did they do anything on railways, the answer is no. I saw in my office, contracts awarded by the last government, to Nigerians who do not know anything about railways. To build a narrow gauge, how much was spent? That is why I said I would not pay and I won’t pay, when I leave the next person can pay them because these Nigerians did nothing and they are asking to be paid for having rehabilitated the narrow gauge.”
Buhari’s chief campaign manager said the PDP doesn’t offer any alternative, contending that he could not see any real opposition to his candidate.
Explaining why Nigerians have not witnessed much in terms of infrastructure, especially roads despite claims by the administration that it is spending huge amounts on the sector, Amaechi said weather and other natural factors have delayed work at most of the sites.
He said there are ongoing construction works in most parts of the country, adding that the APC-led administration has been able to implement capital budget almost at a 100 per cent rating as against a dismal situation during the past administration.
The minister listed several ongoing road projects and railway facilities, which he said the Buhari-led administration has invested hugely in the last three and half years.
On the forthcoming campaigns, Amaechi said it will be issues-based.
OPC leader, speaks on the current state of the country
The grand leader of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), a Yoruba nationalist organisation, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, has decried the current state of the country, saying the whole world is disappointed in Nigeria.
Fasehun stated this Thursday in Lagos in an interview with journalists on the sidelines of the youth conference organised by the Frederick Isiotan Fasehun Foundation (FIFF) which was held to sensitise the youths on the 2019 elections.
According to ThisDay, the elder statesman painted a gloomy picture of the steady fall in all indices of the country’s development. He also pointed out that the situation had led to Nigerians fleeing the country in search of better life.
Fasehun also added his voice in the call for restructuring of the country, warning that failure to do so, the country would not get out of its current socio-economic quagmire.
According to him, “So far, the whole world is disappointed in Nigeria. They are embarrassed by the situation of this country. Nigeria which used to be a great country has now failed in all ramifications.
“There is no electricity; there is no water, and the roads are not good. There is nothing we can be proud of in this country. When you invite them to come here, they will say they will not come to this world-damned country.”
The OPC leader, who earlier addressed the youths numbering over 1,000, charged them to try and get their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) and be ready to take power from the present “incompetent government” in the 2019 general election.
He said Nigerians residing in the country are suffering and dying because of poor leadership, adding that those who could not withstand the harsh situation are migrating to America, Canada and Israel. He argued that this was because those countries had gone through changes effected by their leaders.
Fasehun said: “Now, who can you call a leader in this country? Where is the leader in this country? You get into a situation where you ask who is in charge? People are dying, and there is insecurity galore. Our children go through our difficult educational system and they pass out without jobs for them.”
However, the retired medical doctor joined Nigerians in the call for restructuring of the country. This, he explained, holds the key to the progress and development of the country.
The Yoruba leader explained: “That’s one of our problems. If Nigeria does not restructure, we will not get out of this mess. Why can’t I see what is available in my backyard; explore what is available, sell, export and pay tax to the government. But the constitution must give me an opportunity to explore what I have in my backyard.
“And why should I sell what is in my backyard and share the profit with you? That’s why restructuring is necessary. If there is no restructuring, forget the progress of Nigeria.
“We had a restructured Nigeria before. That was when Nigeria was progressive. The moment we destroyed the structure, we started having problems in this country. Didn’t we have restructuring when we had the Eastern region, the Western region, the Northern region, and the Middle Belt, and they did very well in then.”
Atiku reveals how Boko-Haram was formed
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has said Boko Haram was formed by youths abandoned by politicians.
The PDP presidential candidate stated this in a chat with The Africa Report while speaking on how he’ll counter the sect.
“I happen to know how Boko Haram came into being. They were offshoots of political thuggery. Politicians used those boys in Boko Haram to win elections and then abandoned them and then there were no jobs for them.
“It was the same thing with the Niger Delta. In 1998, I saw it myself and I warned people.
“It’s going to be a multifaceted approach. It will involve negotiations. It will involve military action”, he said.
On the incessant herders/farmers clashes and cattle-rustling, Atiku declared that grazing reserves was the solution.
“In each province in the north, we used to have a grazing reserve. During the season, the cattle are in the reserves.
“When it is off-season when farmers would have cultivated all their crops, then the cattle move out to the areas where the farmers have cultivated, allowing the grass in the grazing reserves to grow. These grazing reserves have been abandoned over the years.
On the fate of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu and former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, Atiku noted that the rule of law must be respected.
His words: “I don’t want to be individualistic on this issue. I reject any illegal detention, any detention that is not based on rule of law and order.
“Dasuki is being detained illegally. It is only a court that will say whether he is guilty or not.”
On calls for secession by some South-East, Atiku hinted on “a conference to discuss reconstruction”
“I don’t think there is any part of this country that wants to leave this country. All they want is fairness, equity and justice”, he added.
Breaking: DSS reveals names of politicians that bribed Oshiomole
Report has revealed names of politicians that bribed APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomole during the party’s primaries across the country.
According to SaharaReporters, the Department of State Services (DSS) has written to President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him to prosecute Oshiomhole, for allegedly receiving at least $55million in relation to the nationwide primaries of the party.
Asides the presidency, the DSS also forwarded its findings to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“Total $55 million is what Adams is alleged to have received. Some party chieftains claim it is $80 million,” a source aware of the contents of the report had told SaharaReporters.
According to the report, $17 million is what Oshiomhole allegedly received as bribe from Zamfara: $10 million for him, $7 million shared between Farouk Adamu, former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives; Niyi Adebayo, former Governor of Ekiti State; and other party chieftains.
“Adamu was the collection coordinator,” said the source. “Hope Uzodinma, the APC governorship candidate in Imo State, gave $3 million; Rochas Okorocha, Governor of the state, offered $500,000 but it was rejected; Dapo Abiodun, the APC candidate in Ogun State, paid $5 million”.
“The DSS also said some of the money was paid into Oshiomhole’s niece’s account.”
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