‘Those blaming Tinubu for defection are insincere’
House of Representatives Minority Whip Samson Osagie has described those blaming former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for the defection of some APC members as “lily-livered”.
Osagie noted that the populace would lose faith in the political class, if party leaders failed to show commitment to some basic ideals and stopped being men of faith in the fight against the ills of the society.
The lawmaker, who represents Uhunmwode/Orhiomwon of Edo State, said those blaming Tinubu are “political heavyweights” who quickly defect when their political interests are not met.
Osagie said: “I have observed with dismay that some so-called political heavyweights, who shouted on top of their voices to clamour for change in the nation’s political landscape, are the ones who are quick to defect once their immediate interests are not met. They are the ones who would quickly blame Asiwaju Tinubu of having overbearing influence in the running of the APC. I ask:How?
“Unlike the Jagaban (Tinubu), those people have no record of staying outside the comfort zone to remain consistent in opposition parties for long. This attitude worries us, the younger generation of politicians so greatly. Some of the self-acclaimed leaders should learn to live by certain guiding principles and bequeath to the generations coming behind a political tradition that instils confidence rather than having to jump ship once an ambition is not met.
“Like or hate Asiwaju, he has remained very consistent with opposition politics since 1999, even with all the might of the Federal Government, which sought to forcefully coerce the Southwest into the ruling party at the federal level. But he remained dogged and fought back. Today, at least four of the six states in the zone are firmly in the grip of the opposition party.
“We must all defend what we believe in and fight for it, the same way those holding our development down continue to hold on to power to ward off the opposition.”
“No matter what, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is one rare breed of a consistent, dogged and committed political figure that even the international community acknowledges. No government can also ignore him today. I am sure if the ruling party were to lay hold on him today, they will prize him much more than any of these petty defectors. Let’s stop the blame game and focus on our collective destiny through credible and consistent leadership.”
Also, All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman Chief John Adigie-Oyegun has said a former leader of the party, Chief Tom Ikimi, is a “boisterous politician” who “overpriced himself”.
The national chairman said Ikimi accorded “to himself undue importance which he does not deserve”.
Odigie-Oyegun was reacting yesterday to some comments credited to Ikimi, after his defection from the APC, that he (Odigie-Oyegun) was imposed on the party.
But the national chairman said the former Foreign Affairs Minister was giving “himself an influence he does not have in Edo State and Nigeria”.
He added: “Ikimi is so boisterous that he has overpriced himself. But I will sit down and respond to all his nonsense in the papers.
“Ikimi is giving himself undue importance, which he does not deserve. He is insulting all the leaders of the party – from the North and South – that he was the only sensible person in the party. That is not true; that is not possible. What he is doing is reporting himself to the nation, displaying the kind of person he truly is.”
The national chairman noted that the wave of defection of former members of the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was a process of ideological purification.
He said: “What is happening, really, is that the PDP and APC are being purified. All the birds that ought to flock together are beginning to fly together. That is a good thing for this country, it is good for the APC and the PDP.
“We don’t want people who don’t think like us, don’t have the same ideology and the same commitment to the ideology of the APC.
“We are losing some and gaining others. The process of ideological purification is underway. Those who don’t share the same belief with us are leaving and we have no regret about that.
“I don’t know how many votes he (Ikimi) controls that will make us lose Edo State and Nigeria. But we will see.”