Politics

Oshiomhole Labels Defectors As “Masquerades Without Electoral Value”

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Adams Oshiomhole is now APC Chairman

The National Chairman of the , , on Tuesday met with President Buhari a few hours after some members of the party in the National Assembly dumped the party.

Oshiomhole told State House correspondents at the end of the meeting with the President that he and the party were not disturbed by the gale of defection.

He said, “My attitude is like I have told you before, as the National Chairman, I am committed to listening to very legitimate grievances and engaging all those who are aggrieved that we can see through their grievances, but I insist that I will not miss sleep for one minute over mercenary activities.

“I have said it and I want to repeat it that this business of governance must be driven by men and women of honour.

“If the only motivation is personal interest; ‘what is in it for me?’ ‘What have I gained?’ and ‘How many people have I done xyz for?’ If that is the basis, the earlier those in this business of personal gains return to where they belong, the better.

“This party that I am privileged to chair is not worried at all, we are not disturbed. I am not going to miss my sleep and we will go into the campaign.

“Check the electoral results, you will find that a lot of those who claimed to have defected, on a good day, the votes they got that made them members of the Senate, our President got much more votes in their constituencies. So, we are not fooled at all.

“The thing going on is that you have a lot of so-called big masqueraders with very little and no electoral value.”
Oshiomhole said he had tried his best in trying to give comfort to those who claimed to be aggrieved.

He however said he would not appease those who had other hidden agendas that were not negotiable.

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He said those under such category were those who expected a level of personal return and the system was not delivering.

The party chairman said he was happy that over time, water would find its level.

He added, “If you remember what I said the day I formally declared my interest to contest; I said to be a progressive party means we must be clear that it cannot be a party for everyone
“We have to be sure that you subscribe to the values and ideals of a progressive party. If indeed you belong to the extreme right, and you mistakenly find yourself in a progressive party, obviously that is not where you belong.

“As soon as you realise that you can’t adjust to the requirement of the progressive, which is people-driven, people-based, people-oriented and you choose to return to the right wing where you know that the name of the game is, share the money, it is your choice.”

On the adjournment of Senate plenary, Oshiomhole said it was their choice if the lawmakers found it more politically convenient to suspend the process of legislation ahead of time because it was not convenient for their political interests.

He also said he was not privy to the circumstances surrounding the reported siege at the houses of the Senate President and Deputy Senate President, hence he could not comment on it.

“To be very honest with you, it is better you formalise where you belong and be properly identified by your father’s name than purporting to bear my name and you are working for my opponent.

“Every observer knows that there has been opposition to this APC government, that opposition has come within the ranks of members of the APC, some in the National Assembly.

“I mean, how can we be in the majority for example and we use that majority to elect opposition to take the number two slots in our own party? How could we have been in the majority and the President makes nominations and those nominations are lying on the floor of the Senate and the Senate will not confirm those nominations?

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“Even if that Senate was formally led by the opposition, the issue will be much clearer. But they have become much more complicated when those refusing to confirm the nominees purport to be members of our party. The earlier everybody properly identifies where he belongs in my view, the better.

“It is not in anybody’s interest, certainly not in the national interest that we continue to patch this democracy in a way that birds that are incompatible find themselves in the same nest.

“The point I have been trying to make is that we need to build a political party that goes beyond the platform for election. So, if you find that you can’t win because there is somebody in your constituency in the same party then you jump to other party so that you can win. And once the election is over we wait for the next four years, that’s not good enough,” he added.

PUNCH

Olumide Anifowose

Olumide Anifowose

A graduate of Anthropology, University of Cape Coast.

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