The relationship between APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, and the governor of Ogun state, Ibikunle Amosun, is currently at a low ebb. Amosun is believed to be leading the forces from the South West striving to whittle down Tinubu’s influence within the party nationally and in the zone.
That wing of the party which also has a federal minister, Kayode Fayemi, within its ranks, gained a stunning victory last month when its candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu, emerged as APC candidate and then governor-elect of Ondo state in the governorship election.
Amosun is not denying the fact that all is not well within the APC at the moment. He describes the goings-on in the party as evidence of a “difficult period.” However he rejected any notion that he is now the leader of the party in the South West as a result.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I am not, by any stretch of imagination, the leader or new leader of the APC in the South-west,” said Amosun in a statement he signed personally.
The governor pledged his loyalty to the party and to President Muhammadu Buhari and expressed confidence that the party will emerge from its issues “stronger, more viable and united.”
Below is an excerpt from his statement:
Addressing the issue of his assumption as the new APC leader in the South-west, the governor added: “I have noticed with consternation the recurring misnomer and mis-description in political nomenclature particularly as they relate to the politics of the South-west, and by extension, the country as a whole.
“I refer to the emerging tendency of referring to me and some other members of our great party as the ‘Leader(s) of the South West’ or ‘New Leader(s) of the APC in the South West’.
“When that phrase was first brought to my attention, particularly during the weeks preceding the Ondo State gubernatorial election, my immediate reaction was to ignore same as yet another distractive antics of the opposition.
“Somehow, the misnomer stuck and it came to appear rather more frequently in several other fora and publications, including respectable gatherings and the media.
“Lies and misconceptions, when told and asserted repeatedly with gusto, have the tendency to assume the toga of the truth. It is for these reasons that I have considered it of critical importance to set the records straight.
“As the governor of an APC controlled state, Ogun, I am a huge stakeholder in my party. In all that I do, in the open and in private, the bigger interest of our party remains the guiding principle for my actions, decisions and alliances.
“I grew up in the old Western Region, where loyalty to corporate goal and party supremacy was the hallmark of a true party member, and indeed every citizen.”
Amosun maintained that “true leadership” could not be by conjecture or wishful thinking. “From the template that we inherited from our forbearers, it is usually earned. In political parlance, leadership also evolves. If we take this as our guide, even as governor, I have leaders from my state and at the national level.
“By the grace of God, I currently serve my people as the governor of Ogun State. My total preoccupation and commitment is to continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to the good people of Ogun State that the Almighty God used to give me the opportunity to serve them.
“We will not take the support of our people for granted. We shall work even harder to justify their confidence and, by the grace of God, leave the state better than we met it and in a blaze of glory.
“These, rather than some insensitive, phony and imaginary leadership contest, are my aspirations,” he stated.