“We should prepare for political war and not bloody war.”
The crisis in the Ogun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, shows no sign of abating as a leader of the party and former state governor, Olusegun Osoba, vowed not to accept the decision of the headquarters of the party to recognise a parallel state executive.
Two sets of executives were elected across the various strata of the state APC as the party split into two factions. One faction is loyal to Mr. Osoba and the other to the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun.
The national leadership of the party on Thursday swore-in the chairman of the faction loyal to Mr. Amosun in Abuja; a stance, Mr. Osoba kicks against, saying it would lead to another war within the party in 2015.
Mr. Osoba said this in Abeokuta on Friday while speaking with hundreds of party supporters.
He said the party congress held by his loyalists was the authentic one having met the party’s rules and guidelines, which include payment of required fees by all contestants and production of bank tellers.
He said he wondered why the faction which failed to follow the rule of law and due process would be seen as the rightful executive.
Mr. Osoba declared that the development was no threat to him, asking his supporters to be firm and calm.
“The APC ship belongs to us all. We shall soon do away with strangers. Let us face where we are going. The fight is a political fight, it is not judicial issue. It is not free for all, we shall wait for God’s judgement,” he said.
The ex-governor asked his supporters not to be provoked to violence.
“We should prepare for political war and not bloody war. Never engage anybody in warfare. I have come here to preach peace. People’s power will determine who is who soon. Don’t entertain any fear, truth would soon prevail,” he said.
Mr. Osoba also spoke on the rumour that his faction of the APC was planning to move to the newly registered Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN.
He said he would not leave the APC as the party belonged to him and his supporters, and not to strangers; a seeming reference to the governor, who had left his former party to join the then Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, one of the parties that merged to form the APC.
The former governor said he and his members have documents to back up their claim of being the authentic APC in Ogun.
“The party says anybody with tellers is qualified for election. We have documents of the payment, so how can those who did not pay now be declared winners.
“There will be light after darkness. Let us start mobilization. How can somebody who does not pay for WAEC examination or fill form gain admission?” he asked.
He asked his members to hold regular ward, local government, and state APC meetings.
He alleged that the APC congress committee chairman was the only person that signed the report that endorsed Mr. Amosun’s faction without input of other members; and questioned how such report would be accepted by the national headquarters.
The meeting between Mr. Osoba and his supporters was concluded with the presentation of an “official car” to the chairman of the faction’s APC, Olu Agemo.
Meanwhile, the Ogun APC chairman sworn-in in Abuja, Roqeeb Adeniji, said in a statement on Saturday that the elected State Executive Committee of the party (the Amosun faction) will be inaugurated on Monday.