Breeze Reporters

APC Rift: Rochas Unlike Amosun, By Asoro Abubakri Olatunji

The drama in All Progressive Congress seems unending especially with the recent speech credited to its National Chairman “Adams Oshiomole” where he described some of his aggrieved Governors as “Political liabilities”.

The possibility of ending such grievance was first dashed out by Governor Rochas Okorocha who publicly informed the reconciliation committee of the party led by Gov Tanko Almakura that he cannot stop aggrieved members from leaving the party. Governor Rochas, you would recall, is angry over the rejection of his choice of his son in law as the party flag bearer. Uche Nwosu, the son in law subsequently decamped to AA. Governor Ibikunle Amosun followed suit by giving his nod to the defection of his loyalists and preferred successor to APM. He further declared that he would work against the anointed candidate of the party.

The validity of Oshoimole’s assertion, he said, should be traced back to history.

Governor Amosun’s first shot at the Governorship seat of Ogun State was against the then incumbent Gbenga Daniel in April 2007 when he contested under the umbrella of ANPP. He made an unsuccessful bid to be elected governor of Ogun State until he ran again and got elected as Governor in 2011 but under the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) platform.

In 1999, Rochas Okorocha competed in the primaries to be People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for governor of Imo State, but lost to Achike Udenwa. He moved to the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), and was an unsuccessful candidate for President on the ANPP platform in 2003. He returned to the PDP. He formed the Action Alliance (AA) party in 2005, with the intent to become its Presidential candidate in the 2007 elections. He again returned to the PDP.

Okorocha decamped from the PDP to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), to run as APGA candidate for Imo State Governor in the April 2011 national elections. An election he subsequently won.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier declared that the Imo State gubernatorial elections held on 26 April 2011 were inconclusive since the collation of results was marred by irregularities. The INEC ordered reruns in four local government areas and one ward, to be held on 6 May, 2011. The final results had Okorocha of the APGA declared winner with 336,859 votes. He was followed by the incumbent governor Ikedi Ohakim of the PDP with 290,490 votes. Former Senator Ifeanyi Araraume of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was third with 107,068 votes. President Goodluck Jonathan congratulated Okorocha on his election, saying the people of Imo State had spoken through the ballot box.

Rochas unlike Amosun, had carved a niche for himself in the political sphere of Imo state not after defeating a sitting Governor, this happened before joining APC and he wouldn’t have been able to deliver that state to APC if not for his name. Some in the east still have a way of describing him as a traitor for choosing to join what they termed “the odd” -APC. The first successful election of Governor Amosun has it credited to the ACN, a party championed by the Lagos boys under the leadership of Jagaban. Adams Oshiomole himself had his mandate protected from the wolves because he chooses to belong and that tsunami hit all the South West state. The merger of the APC in 2015 was between the ACN, ANPP, NPDP and a faction of APGA which Rochas led, Rochas was reported to have also suggested the name “All Progressive Congress”.

While Oshiomole’s assertion maybe partially right, the political strength of Rochas remain not in doubt. Amazingly, the aggrieved Governors choose to only find a common enemy in Oshiomole not in President Buhari, this is a slight digression from the event of 2015 general election, where the common enemy was President Jonathan. How this current event plays out remain to be seen. While the role and position of the Governors in the party is key, it is pertinent that political parties should not be built around individuals. The party must at all time protect and treat its members equal, and give room for fair playing ground. Building party around individuals is the main cause of Godfatherism. Godfatherism promotes Oligarchy rather than democracy and must be rejected in a true democratic dispensation.

Asoro Abubakri Olatunji

Breeze Reporters

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