• Ogun Says His Pardon Is A Welcome Development
The news of the pardon granted the immediate past Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun by the All Progressives Congress (APC) sounds like a joke of the century, considering several moves by the Senator to undermine the party in the state.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party at its meeting at the party secretariat on Monday, announced the lifting of the suspension of five of its key members suspended months ago, as part of moves to end the lingering crises within the party.
They include Amosun, who is currently representing Ogun Central at the Senate; Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu; ex-Imo governor, Rochas Okorocha; the Director General of Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu and a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru, based on allegations of serial anti-party activities in the build-up to 2019 general elections.
In the race to the 2019 elections, Amosun had on different occasions seen publicly backing opposition candidate to succeed him in the state, while contesting the Upper Legislative House slot on the platform.
Amosun declared his support for Adekunle Akinlade of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), the party he floated and sponsored, even though Dapo Abiodun was the party’s choice for state.
According to the party’s spokesperson, Lanre Issa-Onilu, while announcing the pardon, he said: “We hope the concerned party members will seize this opportunity to fully reconcile themselves with their ward, local government, and state party structures, key into the party activities, and continue to make their own contributions to the growth and stability of the party.
“We urge them to also take steps to reconcile with groups and individuals that are important to ensuring a lasting solution to any conflict that may exist in their respective states.”
But based on the pronouncement, especially as it concerns Amosun, political analysts have termed the APC as party of jesters, one, because of Amosun’s relentless efforts through the Governorship Election Tribunal to the Supreme Court, to ensure that his candidate upstage Abiodun as the sitting governor of the state.
Two, because despite being on ‘suspension’, he control the party structure of the APC in the state, as almost all the federal appointments from the state are his candidates.
Amosun has shown that he is no small fry, in the common parlance, despite his suspension. Political analysts claim the former governor gained an upper hand over his successor, Abiodun, in the scheme of things at the federal level. The persons who have clinched federal appointments in the state give a clearer perspective.
Even a former governor and chieftain of the party in the state, Chief Olusegun Osoba, who stood firm with the party when Amosun kept campaigning for Akinlade, seem not to have the kind of influence Amosun has at the federal level.
The Guardian checks learnt that all federal appointments due to the state under the current administration, whether done discreetly or openly, have gone the way of people loyal to Amosun, and as expected, this development has boosted his support base, especially by the beneficiaries and those still eyeing federal appointments.
For instance, Amosun’s childhood friend and his Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure during his eight-year term, Olamilekan Adegbite, was appointed the Minister of Mine and Steel Development.
Amosun also succeeded in pushing his ally, Adeleke Adewolu, to be appointed as the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Engagement, at the Nigerian Communications Commission. He replaced Sunday Dare, who is now the Minister of Youths and Sports Development.
Adewolu had contested but lost the House of Representatives seat in Ifo/Ewekoro Federal Constituency on the platform of APM, this is view as compensation for his loss.
In addition, Amosun was able to push for his former Commissioner for Agriculture and Urban and Physical Planning, Mrs Ronke Sokefun, to be appointed as the chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, despite the fact that a nominee, Chief Bode Mustapha, had been screened by the National Assembly for the position.
Amosun was also instrumental to the appointment of the serving Postmaster-General/ Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Postal Services, Bisi Adegbuyi.
When the sacked chairman of the APC in the state, Chief Derin Adebiyi, who worked with Amosun, was contacted on phone, he declined to make any comment on the development. “My brother, I don’t have any comment.”
But the current state Chairman, Chief Yemi Sanusi told The Guardian that the pardon is a welcome development. “Amosun is a leader in the party and a former governor of the state, he is welcome.
“The party doesn’t have the intention of sending anybody away, what has been done is to douse the crisis within the party and whatever happens, anybody that is ready to come back to the party will do. The door of the party is wide opened to everybody and everyone should come in to move the state forward for its progress.”