Says Ekiti people have rejected PDP, Fayose
As top PDP leaders hold discussions with Oshiomhole
One PDP gov; two former PDP govs; NASS members ready to join APC
BY SIMON EBEGBULEM, ABUJA
Barely seven days to the governorship election in Ekiti State, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has declared that it was fully ready for the election which it would win convincingly.
National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who presided over his first National Working Committee, NWC, meeting in Abuja last Wednesday was emphatic that the APC was going to pick its first victory during his tenure as the people of Ekiti State had rejected the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and its governor, Ayodele Fayose who had failed them.
Addressing journalists after the governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu, who is also the chairman of the party’s election committee in Ekiti state had briefed the NWC on the preparedness of the party for the election, Oshiomhole declared that the party will emerge victorious at the end of the election.
He said, “We have a candidate who is not new to governance, he has a track record. And we also know, in the last election which brought Ayo Fayose to office, how it was rigged. Money was collected from the NNPC, the military officers were used and the young officer who participated in the misuse of the armed forces made confessions. All those manipulating tools will not be used this time around.Oshiomhole
“So, Fayose and his candidate will have to learn and prove that they were never familiar with rigging. They have to convince the electorate. some glaring examples of omission and commission, which may not be deliberate. We took time and gave each of the 24 petitions adequate time, we invited the people involved, they turned up and we dealt with the issues”.
However, before the former Senate President concluded his presentation, Oshiomhole received an urgent call which he immediately excused the meeting to receive. It was at the same time that the Buba Galadima led R-APC held a press conference condemning the leadership of the APC and the just concluded national convention. After receiving the call, Oshiomhole walked back into the conference room with a tight face. He apparently received
Two days before the NWC meeting, Saturday Vanguard learnt that Oshiomhole held marathon meetings in his effort not to lose any of his members to PDP. He had met with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki and the entire APC caucus in the House of Representatives and the senate pleading with them to give him time to find solution to their grievances. He had fruitful discussions with the aggrieved lawmakers as well as the former governor of Kano state, Rabiu Kwankwaso. But while they all appreciated his peace moves, they expressed regrets that the former leadership of the party allowed the crisis to fester too long before Oshiomhole came on board.
His marathon meetings were however not limited to those threatening to dump the APC, but with some top PDP leaders who were negotiating their way into the APC. At least one sitting PDP governor, two former PDP governors and some National Assembly members were already discussing with the new national chairman preparatory to joining the APC.
Oshiomhole also appealed to all the aggrieved members of the party to remain calm while assuring them that their complaints would be addressed.
He said, “My appeal to all those who are aggrieved is to be calm. I will assure that even under my leadership we will make our honest mistake but once our attention is drawn to it, we will find courage to make up for our mistake. I have told people where I worked before, where I was President of the NLC and governor, that when others say a leader cannot eat his word, for me I will eat my word if it is nutritious enough. If that is what I have to do to have peace in my family I will do just that. I am not going to be detained by arrogance.
“I am very appreciative of the fact that we were all elected, some of us emerged even unopposed. That is a huge responsibility that our members entrusted on us that we can pilot the affairs of our party at this time. We knew there are challenges when we offered ourselves for this job, so we cannot claim we did not know. For us it is a huge opportunity for us to make a difference, not only for our party but for our country. We will do everything possible to sustain the trust and confidence reposed in us. For us everybody is important, for us everybody matters, for us we want to run an inclusive party. Like I said in my acceptance speech, in true democracy there are no losers. If we run the party efficiently and democratically, those who lost will feel a sense of relief when they find that whatever services they wanted to render are being rendered efficiently and democratically. I pray for wisdom, I pray for courage and I believe we have it and we will deploy it to make peace in the APC family. In the struggle to reposition our party, to strengthen the APC, to deepen our slogan of change and sustain it, all those involved in the fight are comrades in battle”.
While assuring that the report of the committee will be implemented, Oshiomhole who appreciated Chief Nnamani for taking up the job, said “What I want to assure you is that we will do everything humanly possible to make a difference from the way the NWC had operated in the past. Having been a member of NEC and former governor, I am aware that committees had been set up in the past but their reports were not implemented. We will act on every report that was submitted to us, we will be on the side of the truth and we will ensure that justice prevails”.