By Amah Baldwin
National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lanre Issa-Onilu has condemned the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria, VON, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, for disparaging the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole.
Adams Oshiomole APC National chairman
The aspirant for the Enugu West Senatorial ticket of the party also lamented that Oshiomhole was displaying “I too know attitude”.
But speaking with newsmen at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja, Issa-Onilu said Okechukwu’s main reason for the vituperation on Oshiomhole was because he did not win the party’s Senatorial ticket.
His words: “He is a highly respected and senior member of our party, but you can also understand that this is not about him and the party, it is about his quest to pick the Senatorial ticket of his constituency and that is about ambition.
“When that does not happen-like the Yoruba would say, you won’t beat a child and say he must not cry. He has a right to ventilate his anger and it is for the party to also listen to him. He may have gone overboard making all sorts of unfounded allegations but you also have to understand the situation that he is now, he lost out.
“If that same process had favoured him, he would be in his office in an air-conditioned atmosphere drinking coffee and taking a laugh at whoever was complaining but that didn’t happen so you would expect him to complain. There would be someone to blame in such a situation so he has picked on the National Chairman unfortunately. But the chairman has no blame in this.
“If you have issues with the process, you can complain about the process. We had an appeal panel, you could take recourse to that. The internal mechanism for dispute resolution of this party is fairly strong and responsive and it is there for every party member no matter high or low to access. And a lot of people have done that and a lot of such issues have been resolved.
“If he does have very good reasons to have redress, he would get that but he has chosen to go that path which is quite unfortunate. It is not everybody who has lost an election that has the capacity to soak it in. Some must express themselves in the way Osita Okechukwu has chosen to go about it.
“It is not about the National Chairman like I have said, it is about the fact that he is a party to the dispute and in such a situation, not everybody would win, some must loose. He lost it in his reaction to it, everything he said was completely at variance with the real situation.
“There are five members for each state on the panel (which conducted the primary). We have 36 states and the FCT for the National Assembly and he (Osita Okechukwu) mentioned only nine panel chairs (from Edo state). Definitely, the others are from some states.
“By the time you add up the figures, you find out that the appointment of nine cannot be called nepotism in a situation where you have 36 states. When you pick what suits your cause that is what he has done but by the time all the facts are laid there are no issues. Everything boils down to the fact that he lost out and he is not happy about it, there must be a culprit, somebody must be blamed for it.”