How APC spent billions of naira to win Kwara, Imo, Ogun in 2019 – Oshiomhole

Former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, has opened a can of worm on how his All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC)-led leadership spent billions of Naira to secure victory in some states during the 2019 general elections.

He said the party’s NWC under him spent N1.6 billion to prosecute and win the governorship elections in Kwara and Ogun states, adding that the party was also instrumental to Hope Uzodimma’s emergence as governor of Imo State.

The former labour leader also stated that the party under his watch refunded money, totalling N220 million, which other candidates contributed to contest against the incumbent Kwara governor, adding that it was in line with the declaration of a must fight and win battle in Kwara.

Oshiomhole equally revealed that his leadership doled out N20 million and N10 million each to the senatorial and House of Representatives candidates, respectively, to bankroll their campaign and elections, emphasizing that the financial support were all grants not loans.

He made the revelations at a book launch, ‘APC and Transition Politics,’ authored by the party’s former vice chairman, North-West, Salihu Moh Lukman, in Abuja yesterday.

The Senator, representing Edo North senatorial district also took a swipe at the Governor Mai Mala-Buni-led Caretaker Committee, accusing it of squandering all the savings his NWC left in the party’s coffers.

He equally attacked the Abdullahi Adamu-led NWC, alleging that they even generated more money than his regime but preferred to pay themselves.

Delivering his goodwill messages, Oshiomhole said: “To my credit, which Lukman refused to comment on, when I became chairman of the APC, I felt that party supremacy should go beyond giving people a platform. It is on record that some governors were to fund, through contributions, the states where we don’t have APC governors.

“Our NWC for which I am proud, took the APC money, no governor contributed a dime to us, and managed our resources without going cap in hand. We summoned the CBN governor to inform him that the governors have reneged on their promise to support states where we don’t have governors.

“We sent almost N800 million to reinforce the Otoge agenda, and I am happy that we wiped out the Saraki political dynasty. It was not a loan but a grant from the APC treasury. We even refunded the N220 million that other candidates contributed to contest against the current governor because for us, it was a battle that must be fought and won because we must put our money where we are putting our mouth.

“In Ogun, the governor who was rebelling against the party thought that he would use money, but we raised N800 million from the APC account to support that governor and I am happy that he won.

“We supported Hope Uzodimma, and I was happy that he won. All of them got between N500 million to N600 million. We also gave in Taraba, but somehow, we lost that one. I want to say that Lukman never amplified the APC that contributed money to support candidates running elections on its platform.

“We supported all the 109 senatorial candidates with N20 million each to support their campaign. Every member of the House of Representatives, numbering 360, including the then Speaker, got N10 million each to support their campaign,” he revealed.

Justifying the party’s action, Oshiomhole said: “We did it so that when we say party supremacy, they know that we are not only giving them money, we did not only campaign for them, but we also funded them. Lukman never found space to write any of these innovations.

“Nobody did such before us and nobody had done it after I left. If anything, the people that took over from the caretaker committee raised two times the resources more than what we raised but they paid themselves. Let me not reveal the party secrets.

“But, I just like to say that we managed our resources, no governor contributed money. But there was no month we did not pay salary,” he said.

Recounting the incidents that led to his sack as national chairman, and how the Buni-led caretaker committee cleared his savings, Oshiomhole said: “The governors summoned me as the chairman of the party to their own preferred venue, not the one that I wrote them, an office that the party hired.

“And one by one, to the hearing of Lukman, told me that they are the generals in the field. They told me that they know the terrain and I cannot tell them anything. They were banging the table and telling me I cannot do it, threatening to leave the party. I don’t know if they are still around the party.

“They harassed me. Lukman was with the governor’s forum when they had a meeting and decided that they will tell me who they want to be governor. I will do all the formalities, but whoever they want must emerge. And I told them they were talking to the wrong person.

“I will not mortgage, neither my office nor the authority of the NWC. I told them to take the job, while I keep my conscience, but I will not mortgage my conscience. I told them that if it pleases them to take it, they should take it and they took it.

“While we are battling for internal democracy, Lukman will attack the NWC as useless. He supported those dictators because they were picking his bills. They sacked me and brought in a caretaker committee, and he called them the new hope.

“How can a democrat like Lukman describe an unlawful removal through zoom, even when the chairman who summoned the meeting has resigned to contest election and didn’t seek re-election to return but was elevated to chairman overnight, as new hope?

“Lukman did not fight with pen or ink to say that this manner of removal was unfair. He celebrated the caretaker that came in and cleared the account. All the money we left in the bank, they cleared them. They started doing other things and developed their own ambition and Lukman started feeling it because he has been isolated,” Oshiomhole stated.

Meanwhile, former governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has urged APC leaders to live up to the expectation of telling President Tinubu the feedback from Nigerians not what he is hearing in the Villa where he is ‘locked out.’

Delivering his goodwill messages at the launch of a book, ‘APC and Transition Politics, Fayemi said every progressive party always has people like Lukman, and the only way to give credit to such people is to continue to regard them as the conscience of the party.

“If there is anybody who can be described as the conscience of the APC and progressive politics in Nigeria today, more than any of us, is Salihu Lukman. So, our being present here is a token; it is paying homage to the voice of the voiceless, and to that individual who was committed to be the voice in the wilderness that our party must be progressive.

“This party leader should be the one that tells our President that this is the feedback from the communities and constituency out there, not what he is hearing in the villa where he is locked out. All of us who hold public offices know how it can be.

“The book should be a compulsory read for members of the National Working Committee at the national level, state level, local government, and ward level, so that we can begin the rebuilding process of this organic party. Dr Umar Ganduje is highly committed,” he said.

In attendance at the launch were the former governor of Osun State, who doubled as the chairman of the event, Bisi Akande, the national chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, representatives of Vice President Kashim Shettima, former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, former APC spokespersons, Bolaji Abdullahi and Lanre Issa-Onilu, and former VON DG, Osita Okechukwu, among many others.

Speaking during the launch, Lukman said: “One of the driving forces for me was basically to stimulate discussion within the party, and hopefully, get the party leaders to own it, and maybe, mainstream it into the structures of the party.

“One of the things we were afraid of when planning the event, was a situation where we would end up talking to ourselves. This, indeed, reflected a lot in the presentations here, keeping the kind of image I know I have acquired for myself; it will be difficult to have the confidence that leaders will be here.

“Umar Ganduje is now the National Chairman, after all, and including all that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has reflected on, even after all I have canvassed publicly, it is a clear demonstration of the fact that this party (APC) has a clear future.

“What is required is to try and give critical support to all our leaders so that they can revive all the structures of the party. Part of the issues we keep debating is the future of our children. Looking back to where we are coming from, we (parents) had it better than what our children are having now. The whole concept of progressive governance or progressive politics is about making a better life. We will continue to write and we will take all the advice given. We will remain who we are and we will try to serve the party to the best of our knowledge,” he noted.


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