The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, certainly hasn’t been the same man since the governing political party concluded its primaries for the 2019 election.
There are rumours that Oshiomhole fled the country and that he is on the run. But why exactly would he do a thing like that?
First, there are a couple of state governors who can’t stand Oshiomhole right now. Three of these governors are Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo and Rochas Okorocha of Imo. All three have gone on the record to label Oshiomhole one of the worst things to ever happen to the APC in recent times.
Amosun fell out with Oshiomhole after his preferred candidate to succeed him, Abiodun Akinlade, wasn’t handed the APC governorship ticket for Ogun. Instead, the Oshiomhole led APC National Working Committee (NWC) settled for Dapo Abiodun.
Thereare also reports that the Department of State Security (DSS) grilled Oshiomhole before he fled the country. and Punch extensively reported how President Buhari gave his blessings for Oshiomhole to be questioned for allegedly receiving bribe money from aspirants during the primaries.
quotes a DSS source as saying: “The comrade (Oshiomhole) is expected to return for further interrogation when he returns to the country. That’s why we released him on administrative bail.
“We are still looking at his statements and also carrying out further investigations. This type of operation is not meant for the members of the public”.
adds that “presidency sources told one of our correspondents that the president actually asked the secret police to “go ahead and do their job” when he was told about the allegations of the party chairman".
There have also been strident calls for Oshiomhole to resign as APC Chairman.
APC chieftain, Osita Okechukwu, has asked the DSS to probe Oshiomhole’s call logs for the period the party’s primaries lasted. “I, therefore, once again stridently call on Comrade Oshiomhole to instead of pontification, grandstanding and running away from the country, do the needful by honourably resigning the chairmanship of our great party", Okechukwu says.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has also typically waded in.
According to PDP spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan: “It is ludicrous in its lying proclivities, believes that by dismissing Oshiomhole’s arrest as a rumour and aiding him to momentarily flee the country, it would succeed in getting him off the DSS hook as well as sweeping the matter out of public discourse with its famished broom”.
There is a huge possibility that Oshiomhole is being hounded by the powerful toes he stepped on and that the governors whose handpicked candidates were overlookedby Oshiomhole, would stop at nothing to kick him out. There is a sense that governors who were so used to having their way and who imposed candidates however they deemed fit in the past, can't stand an Oshiomhole who is now putting them in their places and cleaning up the party.
The one interesting thing about this whole story is that Oshiomhole hasn’t uttered a word about being grilled by the DSS or fleeing the country. Which begs the question: for a man who never misses the opportunity to rant, blare, and spit invectives in people's faces, why has the APC Chairman gone quiet?
Instead, pictures of Oshiomhole having drinks with his wife in an exquisite restaurant abroad, have suffused the internet.
However, there comes a time, like now, when silence is no longer golden. Oshiomhole needs to speak up to refute or confirm reports that he was indeed grilled by the DSS and state why he was taken in for questioning. He is the chairman of the governing party for chrissake! Silence and propaganda photographs won’t cut it anymore at this point.