The All Progressives Congress has vowed to punish the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, for allegedly instigating thugs that attacked the leaders of the party, including the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, at the presidential rally in Abeokuta on Monday.
The crowd at the rally pelted Oshiomhole with stones and water sachets when he introduced Dapo Abiodun as the governorship candidate of the APC in Ogun State.
Other leaders of the party, including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, were booed at the campaign, which was marred by violence involving the APC and the Allied Peoples Movement’s supporters.
The spokesman for the APC Caretaker Committee in the state, Mr Tunde Oladunjoye, had on Monday alleged that the hoodlums who disrupted the rally were sponsored by Amosun.
Expressing regrets at the disruption of the campaign, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement on Tuesday said those responsible for the “premeditated attacks” would be dealt with.
The party said the sanction would be delayed till after the elections.
The statement said, “This is one act of indiscipline too many. The APC will not condone acts of indiscipline, indiscretion and anti-party activities from any party member no matter how highly placed.
“The party will review this gross misconduct of deliberately positioning thugs to attack and embarrass the President and the party leadership. The party will take a decision on this matter immediately after the elections.
“It must be stated that party supremacy and discipline, according to our constitution, are not matters of choice but binding principles which must be adhered to by all party members.
“The APC is a party known for discipline, justice, fairness and equality hence any plan to destroy what this party stands for would be rejected. No single person will be allowed to put his personal and selfish interest ahead of the wishes of the people of Ogun State and elsewhere.”
The APC said the decision of the National Working Committee on post-primaries remained unbendable.
“Post-primaries, the decision of the National Working Committee to uphold the wishes of party members is unbendable. Therefore, whatever means being presently deployed by persons intending to undermine the wishes of the people for personal gains will not be tolerated.
“We urge our teeming party supporters and members not to be disturbed by Monday’s condemnable incident. We urge all to continue trooping out en masse for our remaining campaigns and vote massively for all and only the APC candidates in the forthcoming general elections,” the statement added.
Although Issa-Onilu did not mention the governor’s name in the statement, the Publicity Secretary of the pro-Amosun APC faction in the state, Wole Elegbede, when contacted on the telephone, described the threat by the national leaders of the party as a media trial and jungle justice.
Elegbede, who spoke with one of our correspondents,said, “It is common for the National Working Committee of the party to subject members of the APC in Ogun State to media trial and jungle justice.”
He added, “The dissolution of the APC executive in the state was done without inviting us to face any disciplinary committee in accordance with the constitution of the party. They just announced the dissolution in the media. That is nothing but media trial and jungle justice. They have started again. This issue of disciplining the governor of Ogun State will end up the same way. We believe that it will end up the same way: Jungle justice and media trial.”
He also blamed the national leadership for the protests and the disruption of the rally.
He said, “The APC, Ogun State chapter under the leadership of Chief Derin Adebiyi, will not like to reply anyone. But what happened involved the APC supporters in the state. Some supporters are aggrieved over the emergence of Dapo Abiodun as the governorship candidate, while some like it.
“But our APC supporters are happy with President Muhammadu Buhari and are ready to vote for him in the forthcoming election.
“As you can see, all the APC supporters agree to vote for Buhari, What really happened could be traced to the emergence of Dapo Abiodun as the governorship candidate.”
When asked whether his faction of the APC was happy with the development or not, he said, “No dedicated member of the party will be happy at such development. What happened was caused by the leadership at the national level.
“What happened was not planned by anybody. It was not planned by the governor, and it was just a spontaneous reaction from aggrieved members who do not like the emergence of Dapo Abiodun.”
Meanwhile, the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has called on electorate in the state to ignore Amosun’s comment that they should not vote for APC’s candidates except President Buhari.
Osinbajo, who did not mention Amosun’s name, described those who promote other parties while still claiming to be members of the APC as “bad cutlasses.”
The Vice-President spoke in Yoruba language during a town hall meeting held at the palace of the Ebunmawe of Ago Iwoye in Ijebu North Local Government Area, Oba Abdulrazak Adenugba.
Osinbajo also reiterated same while speaking with some traders at Olabisi Onabanjo Market, Ota Osun in Ijebu Ode.
The town hall meeting was held on the sidelines of a door-to- door presidential campaign held in Ogun East Senatorial District.
The Vice-President later solicited votes from the residents of Ijebu, explaining that only the APC meant well for the people.
Osinbajo said, “Vote for the APC alone in all the elective offices because, we don’t know of those who are meddling or promoting another party because any one caught in such act can be described as a bad cutlass.
“Vote for the APC alone in all elective offices, Remember that ‘ Oju kan ladani , ada toba loju meji tidii adakada’ (a cutlass has only one sharp edge. Anything short of that makes such a cutlass a bad one).
“You need to vote for the APC because, even, the most hardened enemy of President Muhammadu Buhari knows that he is not a thief nor is he corrupt. And secondly, you have to vote for us because of the many things that we have in store for you.”
Those things, he said, included “the N -Power scheme which presently has a capacity of 500 in this area and this will be increased to 1,500 when we win the coming election.”
“Another is the ‘tradermoni’ and market money scheme which is targeted at empowering traders and whenever you pay back the money given to you, another will be given to you.
“Another is employment for the youth which is as well very important among others.”