- OGUN: Amosun behaving like an emperor
“In the APC Constitution, the only body authorised to conduct primaries is the NWC of which I am privileged to be the chairman but there are processes that must be followed before this exercise is made a possibility.
Our National Executive Committee NEC met and decided to invoke the relevant parts of our constitution which among other things allow us to conduct either direct or indirect primaries in which every card-carrying member of our party is entitled to vote.
“In the case of Ogun state, Governor Ibikunle Amosun like any other governor convened a meeting of the State Executive Committee SEC as directed by NEC and those meetings were meant to include not just the SEC members but critical stakeholders for the purpose of primaries. There can be no question that anyone who is standing for an election is obviously a stakeholder in the process particularly when the matter on the agenda is how to conduct the primaries. And in order to ensure transparency in the process, the NEC also resolved that when a state opted for any of the options, the state executive is obliged to ensure that majority of the members sign the resolution and not just one or two on behalf of the others.
“Amosun convened a meeting that substantially met the requirements as resolved by the NEC. I talk about substantial compliance because there were people who were supposed to be invited to that meeting but were not invited. These include former senators, former governors or deputy governors. At the meeting, Amosun in his wisdom decided to introduce a third element which did not feature in the resolution of the NEC.
He announced that Ogun State was going to adopt consensus and he proceeded to define what in his view constitutes a consensus. Having defined it to mean the pronouncement of the governor, he went on to announce a consensus candidate, one Akinlade as the next governor. He proceeded to announce another gentleman as the running mate.
He went on to proclaim himself as the next senator and also said the current senator in his own zone, Sen Lanre Tejuosho, would step aside so that he, Amosun, at the end of his tenure would proceed to the Senate. He announced also that another senator from Ogun State would step aside and another gentleman would come in his place. Not done, Amosun went on to announce a particular gentleman as the next Speaker and another one as Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly.
Gov. Amosun also unilaterally pronounced that of the eight seating House of Representatives members, seven were not going to return. He went on to list the names of the House of Assembly members who would seek re-election and those who would not seek re-election, announcing a total of 40 names. When he was done in a manner that an emperor would do to his subjects in a feudal society, the people of Ogun state at that meeting rejected the imposition.
Gov Amosun did not recognize that democracy is a game of numbers, not a game of power. He went on angrily to announce that if they did not accept the imposition, he was going to do direct primaries which the people agreed. Upon this decision, the SEC wrote to the NWC copying the office of the chairman to inform me
Source: Vanguard Newspapers