Abiodun, Amosun, APC in war of words over alleged rigging claims
The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun; his predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday engaged in a war of words over Amosun’s allegation that his successor was rigged into the office and must be removed.
Amosun on Friday broke his silence over the 2019 governorship election, alleging that Abiodun was rigged into office.
The former governor who claimed that Abiodun had since apologised, vowed that the governor would not return to power in 2023.
Amosun had backed Adekunle Akinlade who contested on the platform of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) against Abiodun who was the candidate of the APC.
Abiodun defeated Amosun’s anointed candidate with a margin of 19,517 votes.
Abiodun polled 241,670 votes to defeat Akinlade who had 222,153 votes.
More than three years after the election, Amosun who represents Ogun Central in the Senate declared that his friend-turned-foe, Abiodun did not win that election.
He spoke during the weekend in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, after receiving an award from the Abeokuta Club to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the association.
He added that he had moved on because those who orchestrated the rigging had apologised to him.
“During the last election, thank God, Chief Osoba is here, I have said it; we won convincingly. They rigged, rigged, and ended up with 19,000.
“Some of them came to apologise to me. I can’t be mentioning names. We won that election. But I have moved on. We did our work; we will continue to do what we have to do. God will be with all of us,” the former governor said.
Speaking later in an interview with journalists, Amosun declared that he was not in support of Abiodun’s administration, saying he must be removed.
He also assured his supporters that the next line of action would soon be made public.
“Just wait; very soon, you will hear where we are going next. You know my stand, and my stand is my stand. I am not supporting this administration that is there now. He must be removed,” he said.
However, Akinlade who was Amosun’s anointed candidate in 2019 is now the running mate of the PDP’s governorship candidate, Mr Ladi Adebutu, ahead of the next election.
Responding, Abiodun declared that he would not be distracted by any person who has a problem with self-delusion, noting “Ogun State is not anybody’s father’s inheritance.”
Also in an apparent response to Amosun’s allegation, Abiodun has said that he would rather focus on his mandate and not join issues with anyone who wants to play God.
Speaking with newsmen yesterday shortly after the grand finale of the 50th anniversary of the Abeokuta Club, the governor called on the people of the state to ignore his predecessor, insisting that he would not join issues with him.
“I will not be distracted by any person or persons who have a problem with self-delusion. I will not be distracted by any person who does not appreciate that Ogun State is not anybody’s father’s inheritance; we are all stakeholders in this commonwealth called Ogun State.
“I am not going to join issues with anyone that wants to play God; I will leave them to God; God can deal with whoever is challenging His authority and wanted to play God. All I can say is that what we stand for in Ogun State is an administration that is committed to providing purposeful leadership and purposeful infrastructural development across the length and breadth of the state,” he said.
Governor Abiodun, however, expressed his disappointment that a former governor and a sitting governor in 2019 would cry that he was rigged out during the election.
“How can we on the outside take on an incumbent and then be accused of rigging out an incumbent in the same party? Anyone can explain their failure whichever way they like; anyone can also begin to pant and threaten that they will do whatever,” he added.
Equally responding to Amosun’s claim, the Ogun State chapter of APC, asked the people of the state to pray for Amosun because he is suffering from “political amnesia and out-of-office loneliness.”
The party, in a statement issued yesterday by its Publicity Secretary, Tunde Oladunjoye, described the ex-governors claim that Abiodun did not win the 2019 election as “an after-lunch belching of a man suffering from political amnesia and loneliness.”
“The quoted statement was not only an insult to the psyche of the people of Ogun State but also a sad indication that the former governor is yet to purge himself of extreme arrogance and intolerance that were his trademarks, which earned him a suspension from our party, even as a sitting governor.
“The APC, therefore, calls on the public, and particularly our esteemed members, to pity and pray for the former governor as he suffers from political amnesia, loneliness and absolute lack of touch with reality.
“There is absolutely no truth in the specious utterance of the former governor who is still sulking from the electoral defeat of his surrogate party in 2019. Our party and candidate not only won fair and square but the victory of Prince Dapo Abiodun was also attested to by his co-contestants, many of whom later joined APC and are still in APC.
“Having been witnessing the frustrating exodus of his former political allies who openly said they were tired of endemic lies; and his failure to wrest the party structures from the incumbent governor, the recourse by Senator Amosun to “elated” after-lunch belching is understandable and pitiable.”
“Furthermore, Amosun is still pained that despite the violence wrecked on our members, despite unfinished projects whose costs were mostly paid 100 per cent upfront, despite the handover without a handover note, despite the wanton destruction of public facilities including pipe-borne water taps in Abeokuta, and notwithstanding the untoward provocations and shenanigans; Governor Abiodun remained focused and determined to leave Ogun State much better than he met it.”