ON NOVEMBER 17, 2018
Despite last Saturday’s statement by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole that his encounter with the Department of State Security Services, DSS, was not an arrest as being speculated, Saturday Vanguard learned that the forces against him were unfazed in the resolve to achieve preconceived objectives.
Already, exclusive reports by some influential online platforms had indicated that the DSS in its report to the Presidency, recommended the prosecution of Oshiomhole over its alleged findings.
Saturday Vanguard could not confirm the veracity of the existence of the report from the DSS and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, but top party sources said there was nothing like that.
They, however, said the protest against the Chairman at the office of Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, and the said DSS report were part of the efforts of those opposed to Oshiomhole at achieving their aim.
One of the sources said the ultimate objective was to co-opt President Muhamadu Buhari in the anti-Oshiomhole camp.
He said it would be difficult to get the President’s support for the move, adding that those against Oshiomhole had since lost the President’s support for failing to accept the solutions he (Buhari) proffered as the leader of the APC.
In fact, he told Saturday Vanguard that there was a day the President asked one of the aggrieved governors, who was visiting him at the time, to speak to Oshiomhole on the phone in his presence so they could resolve the matter.
He added that instead of having the peace talk President Buhari suggested, the governor started insulting Oshiomhole on the phone, using unprintable words.
This scene which happened in the presence of the President, was said to have lasted more than 30 minutes.
The scenario was said to have convinced the President that the aggrieved governor and others were being driven by self-interest.
The source, who was even privy to the conversation Oshiomhole had with the DSS, said top party members and political office holders, have resolved to defend the chairman.
He noted that this support played out when Oshiomhole honoured the DSS invitation, adding that the party chieftains and public office holders immediately mobilised in solidarity, threatening to defend the national chairman at all costs.
Sources privy to the event told Saturday Vanguard that the party members, who were taken unaware immediately mobilised to Oshiomhole’s Abuja residence when they got wind of the matter.
Prominent among those, who immediately responded to the situation was a top presidency official in charge of the administrative workings of the government, a serving governor, and minister among others.
The scandalized officials were said to have threatened that should the interrogation continue, they would not mind if their defence of Oshiomhole’s integrity led to the implosion of APC.
However, Saturday Vanguard further learned that contrary to insinuations that President Buhari had prior knowledge of the operation, the President and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were called when it had ended.
The duo were said to have been rattled that such treatment was meted to the party’s National Chairman.
The incident, one of the sources said, was hatched by some top political office holders, who seem to have influence over some officials of the institution that was used.
The aim was to intimidate Oshiomhole into signing a resignation letter which would be presented to the public.
To achieve this, he was presented with a series of allegations of financial impropriety allegedly made against him.
Money from Lagos State governor
The allegations included the collection of money from Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode; senators; Kano State aspirants; Zamfara State aspirants and Imo State APC members among others.
These accusations, which the source described as cheap, were brought before Oshiomhole, who was said to have punctured them with superior and logical responses.
Saturday Vanguard learned that Oshiomhole, who saw the claims as laughable and pedestrian, told them that it was illogical to suggest that he collected money from Ambode when the outcome of the primaries in Lagos was not even being challenged by the governor.
On the allegation of collecting money from senatorial aspirants, it was learned that the APC chairman considered it a cheap one since he did not succumb to the pressure of being financially induced by those seeking higher offices.
APC primaries in Kano
In fact, the source said the allegation implied that those behind the matter could go to any length in their bid to oust the National Chairman.
The source, who said Oshiomhole’s response to the questions exposed the intelligence level of those, who made the allegations, said questioning him over APC primaries in Kano was needless.
His reason was that Oshiomhole gave the party a new lease of life in Kano with the return of a former governor of the state, Ibrahim Shekarau to APC after Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso’s defection.
Explaining further, the source said: “What happened was the handiwork of a few people, who used the influence they think they have to intimidate the chairman. They wanted him to resign his position as the National Chairman to pave the way for their selfish interest. They invited Comrade and he honoured the invitation as a law-abiding citizen. He was taken aback when they started asking him questions about issues that didn’t exist.
“Even the President was not aware of it as some people claimed.
“The President and the Vice President were informed about the incident on phone and they were very angry because it is obvious that some people who are not comfortable with comrade’s resolve to ensure that candidates were not imposed on the party are ready to make the party implode.
“They asked him questions regarding Kano State, Imo State, and Zamfara State among others. The funny aspect is that they said he collected money from Lagos State governor, Akinwumi Ambode.
“That was just a petty lie because the outcome of the Lagos primary was not a subject of controversy and Ambode did not even kick against the emergence of the winner.
“In addition to that, they said he collected money from senators. That is absolute nonsense because Comrade is a former governor, who has attained the peak in public office.
“How could he have collected money from a senator, who collects about N13 million monthly? The allegations against him lacked substance.
“The morning after the incident some governors, ministers and other top functionaries visited his house and were threatening to defend comrade, adding that they didn’t care if the party experienced an implosion. That scene is better imagined.
“Of course, their reaction was expected because the incident was on the heels of threats by an aggrieved governor that comrade would be forced out of office.
“The call by the opposition that the Interpol should arrest comrade was unnecessary because he committed no crime to have warranted such.
“It even showed that the main opposition party in this country does not engage in constructive criticisms.
“If the incident had happened to the National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus they would have described it as an abuse of power.
“Since Comrade is the victim, it does not amount to an abuse of power anymore. That is the kind of destructive politics people play in Nigeria. It should be on record that nobody would be allowed to bend the rules of the APC.
“Even Comrade and President Buhari do not have that power to subvert the will of the people. Oshiomhole’s position on the matter is simple. He stands for the rule of law not imposition of candidates.
“That is the reason he refused to succumb to all attempts at making him allow illegality in states where arrangements have been concluded to impose candidates on the people.”