Former Director General of the Ibikunle Amosun Campaign organisation, Bode Mustapha, has vowed to prevent the governor from imposing his successor on the state in 2019.
His grouse is that the governor reneged in his promise to help him secure a federal appointment.
Mr. Mustapha, a former member of the House of Representatives and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, was Mr. Amosun’s chief campaigner in the 2015 governorship election.
The governor, who was re-elected on the APC platform, will vacate office in May 2019 when his second tenure ends.
Speaking in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, Mr. Mustapha said the last time he saw Mr. Amosun was in September last year, vowing not to beg the governor again for favour.
He said, “Must I be going to beg the governor to see him? No. And I think I deserve respect. I have to take a retreat.
“A Yoruba adage says ‘Eni to sun mo oba loba” (meaning – a close associate of a king risks being a victim of murder and as long as I don’t want to be a victim I have to keep a distance).”
Mr. Mustapha said though Mr. Amosun had not discussed the issue of his successor with him, the choice of who becomes the next governor of the state in 2019 would be carefully made by all member of the APC in the state.
He also said the next governor would not be allowed to make verbal commitments to members of the party as did Mr. Amosun.
“2019 is not going to be business as usual; it is going to be a different ball gain,” the APC chief said.
“I have not spoken with the governor. The governor has not told me he has a successor and there is no law that says I must support his successor. I am not a dummy that has to be push around.”
“At 66 I must be able to separate wheat from the shaft. I must know the quality of the person I want to support to succeed. I am not just going to follow anybody blindly.
“I am an elder statesman. I am a stakeholder. We will have to sit down; we have to analyse who wants to be governor.
“There must be commitment and not just verbal commitment because verbal commitment has become the order of the day and people renege.”
Mr. Mustapha alleged that Mr. Amosun had allowed the governorship position to becloud his sense of judgement and reminded him that the position was a temporary one.
The ex-federal lawmaker also faulted some of the governor’s policies, particularly the creation of Local Development Areas, which he described as “misplaced.”
Mr. Mustapha, a former national auditor of the Peoples Democratic Party, hailed the return of a former governor of Ogun State, Segun Osoba, to the APC.
According to him, Mr. Osoba’s return from the Social Democratic Party to which he defected before the 2015 poll, would unchained many APC members who had been under political slavery in Ogun State and also pave way for the party to regain its lost glory in the state.
He said many members of the party had learnt some lessons in a hard way following the former governor’s defection to the Social Democratic Party before the 2015 poll.
He said, “It is certain that Osoba is our leader. A lot of us have learnt lesson. A lot of people have realised that Chief Osoba is a rally point in politics in Ogun State and in the country.”
“And we are all ready to file behind him and there is no doubt about that. It is going to change the political landscape.”
The APC stalwart praised the national leaders of the party, including former Governor Bola Tinubu, who persuaded Mr. Osoba to return.
Stating that Mr. Osoba had paid his dues in politics and should be accorded respect, Mr. Mustapha urged Mr. Amosun to create time to go and beg the former governor for forgiveness.
While vowing to support Mr. Osoba, Mr. Mustapha said he had started already started to mobilise support for the former governor ahead of the 2019 political contest in the state.
He said, “I got excited when my former boss came back to the party – that is Chief Osoba. I call him boss because he is a political leader. I have gotten to a stage in my life that I must be known to stand for something in my life, principle.”
Mr. Mustapha also spoke on the 23rd anniversary of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.
He said June 12 should be observed as the real Democracy Day instead of May 29.
According to him, the democracy Nigerians were currently enjoying was as a result of the sacrifice made by the presumed winner of the election, Moshood Abiola, who died in detention 18 years ago.
“I also think that it is only right for the government to immortalize him in a very big way as a sign of appreciation to him and for the world and Nigerians to know that the longest democracy so far in the history of Nigeria came about from the sacrifice he made,” Mr. Mustapha said.