A letter by Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, directed to one of his predecessor, Chief Olusegun Osoba, has revealed the cause of the intractable conflict, which ruptured the relationship between the two leaders, According to report from ThisDay.
The letter revealed that both parties have been in running battle since 2011. According to the report, “Consequent upon the disagreement between the two leaders, investigation by THISDAY revealed that Osoba’s group, comprising three senators and nine members of the House of Representatives, had concluded plans to defect to Social Democratic Party (SDP) after the Osun State governorship election.
Likewise, a group of political actors from different political parties in the state including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) among others, had secretly created a body named ‘Amosun Must Go’ (AMG) due to what they allegedly ascribed to the governor’s high-handedness.
But the letter, which Amosun personally authored and dated January 23, 2011, also revealed that the incumbent governor had long been plotting to undermine Osoba’s influence in the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) before the party finally fused into All Progressives Congress (APC).
The letter, which was titled: ‘Ogun State ACN Candidates and Electoral Fortunes in April 2011 general election,’ expressed Amosun’s disapproval of the candidates that contested various legislative elections. But the candidates who contested the legislative elections were said to have emerged and their names already sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before Amosun formally defected to the defunct ACN late 2010.
In the nine-page letter, Amosun disagreed with the process of picking the party’s candidates, claiming that he should be given opportunity to make some input being the party’s governorship candidate.
He argued in the letter that the process of picking candidates “should be based more on electoral value and acceptability of aspirants as it is only through such process that can lead to emergence of candidates that enjoy the confidence and support of the broad segment of party’s members.”
Amosun further expressed concerns that the process of selecting candidates for three senatorial and nine House of Representatives slots were shrouded in so much secrecy that he had to depend on information picked bits and pieces from different sources within and outside the party.
He noted: “Unlike the House of Assembly candidates, whose election held the same day with his election, we cannot afford to be indifferent to the National Assembly candidates, who are the lighthouse to the general elections.” But a source in the Osoba group said the party leaders did not approve Amosun’s suggestion to reverse the candidacy of Senator Gbenga Obadara (Ogun Central), Sen. Gbenga Kaka (Ogun East) and Senator Akin Odunsi among others because the candidates had emerged before Amosun’s formal defection. The source added that Amosun only agreed to the candidacy of Hon. Olumide Osoba, who is the biological son of the former governor, among the candidates that emerged for the House of Representatives. The source explained that Amosun had been working “to undermine the influence of Osoba in the defunct ACN immediately after he defected to the party, perhaps because he worked with his immediate predecessor, Mr. Gbenga Daniel, against the former governor in the 2003 governorship elections.” The source said Amosun had no reason “to fight Osoba because his position as the state governor is not threatened. He came from the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), used our structure and party platforms. Amosun is simply fighting unnecessary battle, which may affect APC in the State. “Amosun now plans to replace Obadara with Mr. Lanre Tejuosho who came with him from the ANPP, Senator Gbenga Kaka with the Managing Director of Independent Communications Network Limited (Publishers of The News Magazine and P.M. News), Mr. Bayo Onanuga and Senator Akin Odunsi with Senator Iyabo Anisulowo. “In 2011, Amosun promoted Mr. Lekan Abiola, a son of the winner of June 12, 1993, presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola, on the platform of ANPP against Osoba’s son. He should be asked why he is not friendly with three senators and nine members of the House of Representatives from the state.” The source, therefore, blamed the APC national leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, for the crisis between Osoba and Amosun, noting that Tinubu had been supporting him against the popular interests in the state. Of the nine House of Assembly slots ceded to him in 2011, the source said Amosun won four while those in the camp of Osoba won all their slots, thereby wondering why Amosun should complain about electoral value of the candidates that emerged from the group of former governor. The source debunked Amosun’s claims that he spent N7 billion on his election, noting that the governor only contributed N70 million to the then ACN out of the N350 million he promised to contribute.”