All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirant, Dr. SKC Ogbonnia, speaks in this interview with FELIX NWANERI on recent developments in the party and his grouse with the leadership style of the party’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole
Your views on recent developments in your party seem to have pitted you against its leadership, particularly the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. Why the face-off at a time the APC is in dire need of cohesion?
I have been portrayed as one of the mischief makers in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who are marauding as APC members. It is also said that I sat idly by while crisis was rocking the party.
Ordinarily, I would not have dignified such uncharitable remarks with a response, especially when it is assumed to come from a belligerent, gabby, shambolic cum egocentric character understandably desperate for attention since leaving office as Edo State governor. But I am compelled to respond, at base, to lend credibil ity to my party that has taken a toll since Adams Oshiomhole grabbed its leadership a little more than a month ago.
Frankly, it has become obligatory to inform the chairman that he is becoming an embarrassment to the party.
This latest outburst against a presidential aspirant only goes to show that Mr. Oshiomhole lacks the capacity to lead a ruling party. Oshiomhole’s team ought to have done some research on my background, including what I did or did not do before our victory in 2015 and throughout the crisis that has exacerbated under the current leadership. In short, any genuine effort could have apprised Comrade Oshiomhole that I have contributed more to the growth of APC than himself. But it is easy for a then to become a forgettable history.
What do you think is responsible for the perception the APC leadership has about you?
My sin is that I am a patriotic Nigerian, who happens to belong to the patriotic wing of the APC. But my politics is committed to professing the truth without minding whose ox is gored. The truth in this whole saga is based on the following objective facts. President Muhammadu Buhari no longer has what it takes to lead a 21st Century Nigeria and must not be the nominee of our great party in the 2019 presidential election.
What are your reasons for such a damning verdict on the President, who, according to most members of your party, has done well to merit a second term?
I am the best choice for the party at this point in history. Nigerians from all regions are yearning for a dynamic, visionary, charismatic, and detribalized leader with the capacity to unleash the abundant potential of Nigeria to greatness. Nominating Buhari over SKC Ogbonnia can bring PDP back to power and, by consequence, worse than the annulment of the June 12 election. President Buhari is the real problem in APC; his second term bid is ill-advised and central to the crisis rocking the party.
How does the party’s national chairman come into this?
Oshiomhole was elected chairman for all APC members, not an emperor for the ambition of President Buhari for a second term in office. Oshiomhole’s war with other APC presidential aspirants, besides Buhari, negates a principal vision of the APC to promote rule of law and internal party democracy. Oshiomhole’s leadership style since assuming office, typified by a pattern of reckless utterances and intimidation, is an embarrassing failure which, of course, hastened the mass exodus of members to the opposition ranks.
I must not conclude without giving credit to where credit is due. I am at home with the line that suggests that Oshiomhole has what it takes to crush PDP, for good, based on the claim that the comrade brought the PDP godfathers to their kneels during his time as governor of Edo State. Interestingly, shaming the same PDP at the 2019 poll is what I am set to do. But charity begins at home.
However, I will begin by ushering in true reforms to the APC where the same Oshiomhole appears to have graduated into a grandiose godfather and now joining to form a wall against the younger generation of leaders.
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