BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – Immediate past National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, says his central role in ongoing campaign for the election of the party’s governorship candidate for Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has nothing whatsoever to do with any ambition or plans to return as National Chairman of the ruling Party.
This is as he also said that President Muhammadu Buhari has again warned political actors in the forthcoming Edo governorship elections to shun any act capable of disrupting the socio-political order in the state.
Oshiomhole told State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Buhari at the State House, Abuja, on Monday, that he briefed the President on what is happening, adding that the attitude of the President is always clear that the rights of the Nigerian electorate must always be respected.
He said that anybody using unlawful weapons, violence, to intimidate the electorate will never get the support of the president, saying; “and on that, we are together.’’
Oshiomhole therefore said that he is not interested in re-contesting for the position, adding that when he was removed as national chairman, Edo was APC thus does not have to win Edo to become the chairman again.
He said; “Do I look so unemployed? I’m 68. So, what they don’t understand is that it is not the office of National Chairman that made me who I am.
“It is my pedigree from my days as a labourer in the textile industry to General Secretary of Textile Workers all over Nigeria and becoming the President of NLC.
“There is no village I go to that people do not know me. It is this that I used to override the godfathers in Edo State for two consecutive terms and even got the governor elected through elections, no violence, before becoming the APC National Chairman.
“So, if you remove the office, it’s like our president now, though I cannot compare myself to him, but it is like President Muhammadu Buhari, by 2023, when his tenure would have elapsed as President, those who believe in him, in 2024 and beyond, each time they see him, that trust they have in him will always be there.
“He bonds with the people, that bond was not created by the fact that he is the President, in fact he became the president because of that bond.
“So, it takes an empty brain to suggest that I only want to stage a comeback to become the National Chairman. For what? To go and do a reseat? So, my attitude is not to reply the noise,” Oshiomole stressed.
He recalled that while he was in the NLC, the police a couple of times shot and killed some of his supporters, stressing that he never asked people to go after the Police.
The former governor said; “I had run elections as governors in Edo three times, and there was no violence. So, what has changed now that people are talking about violence, the people are still the same.
“The only thing that has changed is: who is the governor, who boasts of his immunity and so on.
“So, the President is excited at the process of having a free and fair election, devoid of violence and the fact that the laws are clear when people misuse firearms as to what should be done.
“The courts are there, the police are there and they will do their job. It doesn’t matter which party anybody belongs, the laws are the same,” he said.