APC rancorous primaries: Faces of the big losers

Except for the presidential primary, the ruling All Progressives Congress’ primaries were rancorous in some states of the federation.

In this piece, BODE OLAGOKE writes on some of the big losers across the country.
The struggle for power and tickets of the governing APC at all levels in the last few weeks has generated hiccups.

In fact, in most cases, the exercise seems to have turned the ruling party against itself, and left some of its key members to battle one another for available tickets.

Whereas some powerful persons deployed their political clouts and influence to advantage, many could not draw on their connections and assumed influence and deep pocket to influence the result of the primaries in their favour.

Little wonder in the end, the battle left some with bloodied noses while others barely exhibit any visible scar.

So there are big gainers (those that were able to secure the party’s tickets) and losers, who in spite of their inclination for and determination went home empty handed.

Some in particular had desired to transit from government to either the green or red chamber but were muscled out by those with stronger Abuja connection, which may have stretched up to the Villa.

That perhaps was what the meeting between the Presidency and the aggrieved seven APC governors must have been all about because shortly thereafter hitherto concluded primaries were declared inconclusive or out rightly cancelled to make room for a fresh exercise that expectedly was in favour of the ‘protesting’ governors.

As is often the case, some that may have seemingly lost in the primaries and those persuaded to drop their ambitions may have put in line for ministerial and other board appointments.

Below are some of the people that hitherto had big ambition but were forced to consign same to history.

However, there were those the outcome of their participation was easily predictable on account of the forces that were wielded against them.

In Lagos, it’s Ambode Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos will go down in history as one of the sitting governors who lost his re-election ticket to his appointee, Babjide SanwoOlu, the preferred candidate of the National Leader of APC.

No, Ambode in practical terms stands out as one of the achieving governors as evident by the infrastructural transformation very visible in Lagos.

True, he may not have ‘empowered’ boys the way the National Leader did nor strictly adopted the Keep Lagos Clean regime mentality of the Babatunde Fasola administration.

But what assessment methodology one adopt to evaluate and measure success, Ambode for now remains the only governor that has realistic bestow on Lagosians the dividends of democracy.

Until recently, nobody could have predicted correctly that Ambode would end up as a one-term governor, given to the testimonies of his performances, the real and well-meaning accolade he severally received from people that got respite from the woes and ugliness that Lagos had hitherto represented.

In fact, compare to other states Lagos is a micro-paradise all because Ambode performed beyond average in term of infrastructure development of Lagos state, payment of salaries and other For governor Ambode, nobody could save him.

He had the option of picking ticket of other political parties, particularly the main opposition PDP that both explicitly and implicitly was making advances.

Ambode though declined to bite the bait because he obviously knew the repercussion.

He could easily have been impeached by the State Assembly that is common knowledge is in the hand of the Leader.

So, Ambode is a big loser.

performance indicators.

It came like a joke initially, when the god-father himself (Tinubu) kept quiet for a long time on the drama that he wasn’t going to support Ambode.

For some weeks, many analysts felt that Babatunde Raji Fashola’s experience before he got the second term was the one repeating itself but at the end, immediately Tinubu declared his support for Sanwo-Olu, it became clear that Ambode’s tenure has ended.

For governor Ambode, nobody could save him.

He had the option of picking ticket of other political parties, particularly the main opposition PDP that both explicitly and implicitly was making advances.

Ambode though declined to bite the bait because he obviously knew the repercussion.

He could easily have been impeached by the State Assembly that is common knowledge is in the hand of the Leader.

So, Ambode is a big loser.

In Oyo state, Adebayo Shittu, Akala lost out The current embattled Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu and the former governor of Oyo state, Alao Akala couldn’t believe their experiences.

Until few days before the governorship primary in the state, Shittu especially, considering his closeness to the President and being a serving Minister, no one could imagine he would be shelved aside with relative ease by the powers that be.

Perhaps he thought he belongs but has been taught some rude political lessons in blind loyalty.

That you neither express a will nor exert personality, you merely just follow along wherever the leader/s want or design for you.

Little wonder he was with impunity screened out, without as much as a hoot.

Although, his scandalous skipping of the one year mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) was clearly a disadvantage to him, were he in the good books of the NWC may be his case could have suffered some sort of mitigation.

The Minister, who has been in political tussle with his governor, Isiaka Ajumobi, was finally silenced when the leadership of APC screened him out of the governorship race because of the NYSC certificate scandal.

For Alao Akala, the processes leading to the governorship primary were from the onset not in his favour.

So, the former governor with his supporters decided to leave APC to the Action Democratic Party (ADP).

Governor Ibikunle Amosun could not have his way in Ogun In Ogun state, the closeness of the outgoing governor Ibikunle Amosun to the President could not save him as his governorship candidacy practically lost out of the race to Dapo Abiodun.

Although, Amosun will fly the Senatorial ticket of the APC but his preferred successor won’t see the light of the day, it remains a pipe dream.

The electoral panel of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress announced Dapo Abiodun winner of the direct governorship primary.

Abiodun was announced despite not being backed by the local APC chapter that had backed by Governor Ibikunle Amosun candidate and therefore had announced a different winner for the primary.

Abiodun, an oil magnate, polled 102, 305 votes to emerge winner.

Jimi Lawal, 51, 153 votes; Abimbola Ashiru, 29, 764 votes; Gbenga Kaka, 17,771; Abayomi Hunye, 9,110 and Adekunle Akinlade, 23, 443 votes.

In Delta, Prof. Pat Utomi lost out.

Days after governorship primary in Delta state, Prof Pat Utomi, was heard crying like a baby.

He lost out in the primary won by Chief Great Ogboru.

He is very pained and discomfitured by the lost so much so that he easily believes that the party will lose the 2019 gubernatorial election in the state if the injustice done to the people of Delta North was not redressed.

As a governorship aspirant, the founder of Lagos Business School said he was actually looking for the venue of the APC governorship primary when he was told the result had been announced.

Welcome to the real school of politics, the professor surely would have something to tell others in his business school by economic politics and Nigeria’s brand of bestial democracy.

Regarding his threat to quit the party if the issues were not addressed, he said: “On July 25, I sent a text to the National Chairman telling him that rumours going around is that Jones people are going about telling people that you (Oshiomhole) are behind them in what they are doing.” In the text message read to reporters, he said: “We pray that it is not true, if it is true, my reaction will be to quietly resign from the party.” Since the list has been submitted and his surely was not found therein, and nothing in form public protest from him, perhaps he has true to his words ‘quietly’ resigned from the APC.

Some would say good riddance! Mama Taraba lost in Taraba For mama Taraba, the immediate past Minister of Women Affairs,Aisha Alhassan, who also obtained nomination form to contest governorship ticket in Taraba state, was disgracefully screened out for allegedly being loyal to the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who is now the presidential candidate of the main opposition PDP.

Although, Mama Taraba did not waste time in tendering her resignation as Minister and also dumped the ruling party for United Democratic Party (UDP), it is obvious she is loser in view of the vintage position and limelight association with the ruling APC could have conferred on her.

The former Minister lost out in the equation of things in the ruling APC even as a serving Minister.

In Rivers, Senator Magnus Abe lost Is Rotimi Amaechi in control of Rivers APC? Well that poser was laid to rest during the primaries.

The senator, who had hitherto attempted to court the Minister of Transport, Amaechi by addressing him as the state party leader but was rebuffed, got a rude shock when he found that he was a leader without following.

If nothing is done at the end of the day to address the crisis in Rivers state, Senator Magnus Abe, who sought for the ticket of the APC to contest for the Rivers state governorship seat will be one of the biggest losers.

Before the parallel primary election, Senator Abe and the serving Minister of Transport, Rotimi Ameachi, were on each other’s throats for the party’s governorship ticket.

No, Amaechi did not want to return as governor having served the constitutional two-term, no he wants a stooge, someone to call upon with the snap of the finger and may be discovered that Abe won’t just be that.

While Ameachi was supporting Tonye Cole, Sen. Abe believed he was more qualified to fly the ticket.

But at the end, the APC NWC recognised Ameachiled governorship primary that produced Ameachi’s candidate.

Who wouldn’t considering what Amaechi brought into the tilt of the APC in 2015.

After all he is President Muhammadu Buhari’s Campaign DG.

Abe has, however, blamed the Transportation Minister, Amaechi, for his defeat and the crisis rocking the state’s APC, even as he rejected the adoption of Tonye Cole as the governorship candidate of the APC by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.

According to him, “The battle has just begun.

The party has set up an appeal.

We will take advantage of the appeal panel and forward our case.

“The result of the indirect primary remains unacceptable and will remain unacceptable.

The indirect primary was a charade set up by a few individuals to bring in their candidate.

We will not accept that result.

“We are now faced with a fact that a man who just joined the party can claim to be a candidate of the party.

This is against the wish of everybody who has worked for the party.” For now, Sen.

Abe who currently representing Rivers South senatorial district in the Senate might end up being one of the biggest loser because, as it appears he won’t fly the governorship ticket of APC and also not going back to the Senate.

And other many losers at all levels Since the conclusion of the primaries, there have been protests daily at the national secretariat of the party.

For example on Monday scores of members of from Kano, Niger and Nasarawa states, besieged the party house in Abuja to protest against the most of the outcome of party primaries in their states.

Only yesterday, Cross River, Zamfara like Kaduna, Oyo, Benue and Delta had their own fair share of protests.

The Kano protesters came to protest against emergence of the Senator representing Kano South Senatorial district, Kabiru Gaya.

The protesters, who shutdown the main entrance were seen chanting “Oshiomohle barawo”, “Oshiomohle must go”, “APC is a fraud” among others, are still currently demonstrating.

Apart from the above three states, many other states and stakeholders are nursing their wounds, leaving the structures of the party more fractured.

APC set up Appeal panel As part of the efforts to reconcile the party members across the states, the Comrade Adams Oshiomohle has inaugurated a 6-man Appeal Committee, to look into the grieviences arising from the just concluded primaries across the country, headed by the former governor of Edo state, Prof.

Osarhiemen Osunbor While inaugurating the panel, national chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomohle, charged it to look at petitions, arising from the outcome of the primaries.

The APC chairman pleaded with the committee to look at each petition, dispassionately and be fair to all.

“You understand what the stakes are.

The petitions are quite a lot.

Look through them, identify the petitioners, and ensure you put a face to the petitions.

There must be fair hearing, the individuals mentioned in the petitions, call them.

You must do what is just, bearing in mind the constitution of our party and the Electoral Act.” If the appeal committee effort will however remedy the damages done to the divided house of the ruling party before the general elections, time will tell.

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