Published On: Mon, Jan 29th, 2018

Concern over Adebayo Shitu/Ajimobi feud 

.           As campaign for 2019 kicks off

Olusesan Laoye

The second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari  began in Ibadan the Oyo State capital,  as the  first zonal office for their campaigns was commissioned by the former  Senate President, Ken Nnamani and the former Abia State Governor, Chief Urgi Uzor Kalu whose outburst at the occasion, exposed the feud between the Governor of Oyo state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, and Barrister Adebayo Shittu, Minister of communications who is one of the people in contention to take the seat after Ajimobi in 2019.

The commissioning of the South west Zonal office of Buhari/Osinbajo Dynamic support Group for the 2019 presidential election, was also used as an occasion to launch the open declaration of Adebayo Shittu’s for the Government House Agodi Ibadan.

The occasion was described as a twin one because the Commissioned building situated beside the veterinary centre Mokola, Ibadan, accommodates the presidential campaign office of Buhari and the governorship campaign of Barrister Shittu.

Before the political train moved to Mokola for the commissioning of the first zonal office of Buhari Osinbajo presidential bid, they first gathered at the s University of Ibadan  International Conference centre, where speeches were made on why Buhari deserve a second term and Shittu is fit for the governorship, being one of the oldest politicians  in the state who has been tested politically since he was 26 years of age as the youngest parliamentarian   in the South West in the second Republic under the then Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).

What actually baffled the APC leaders from other parts of the country who were present were the absence of the entire south West Governors, or their representatives and notable leaders at the gathering which they described as very important to the second term aspiration of President Buhari to rule the country.

Before the former Abia state governor got into the podium, nothing drew the attention to the danger which the absence of the South West governors portends to the second term bid of President Buhari. Even the chairman of the occasion, Senator Ken Nnamani in his opening speech did not touch the matter.

But Kalu known for his controversial out-bursts, did not shy away from what people know as the danger for both the president and the All Progressives Congress (APC), and even to the governorship ambition of Adebayo Shittu the convener and the National Chairman Board of Trustees of the Mohammadu Buhari/Osinbajo Dynamic Support group.

Chief Kalu who said that he could not hide his feelings and pretend not to know what was happening, argued that it was bad that none of the south west governors was present to identify with the aspiration of President Buhari. He argued that what bothered him most was that he could not even see Governor Ajimobi the host governor at the event and not even his representative or government officials.

‘’This to me indicates that all is not well between Governor Ajimobi and Alhaji Shittu which portends a great danger for the APC both in Oyo state and the entire South West.‘’

He said that all hands must be on deck to ensure that the rift between Shittu and Ajimobi is settled and it must be immediately without wasting time as the APC should not play with the chances it has in Oyo State and the South West.

’’From what we have all witnessed today, and the absence of the host governor here, everybody in this  hall will agree with me that there is a breakdown of communication between our Governor and the Minister of Communications Alhaji Adebayo Shittu and we don’t want that to continue. If people in this hall at the University of Ibadan wants the quarrel to continue, I and my senior brother, (referring to  Senator Ken Nnamani)have decided that it should not continue and it must end.’’

He said the minister and the governor should be the best of friends.’

“I have decided with my senior brother the former Senate President Ken Nnamani and the Minister of Health Professor Adewoye that we are going to take it upon ourselves to wade into the matter, take it to the highest level of the party and make sure that the whole thing comes to an end. If both of them are quarrelling, there would be no progress and peace in Oyo State. What we should all realize is that we are going to be fighting a big party which is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who would like to capitalize on any gap and we are not ready to take chances and we don’t want to lose any vote and sympathy here in Oyo State.’’

Speaking on what they had come to do in Ibadan, he said ‘’ it is the right of both President Buhari and his vice President Osinbajo  to ask for a second term as it is enshrined in the constitution of Nigeria. Although they have not told us that they would run we are waiting and I know it would come soon. It is their right to aspire to run again because every president of the world ran for a second term. Also in Nigeria here, former President Olusegun Obasanjo got   a second term. He then asked the crowd, will Buhari not get a second term and the crowd of party supporters at the hall shouted yes.’’

In his opening address former Senate President Ken Nnamani who was the chairman of the occasion said that they have everything to celebrate President Buhari and his vice. He called for the unity of the country saying that it was necessary for all Nigerians to live together in peace and harmony.  He called on Nigerians to support the APC and the president in his bid for a second term saying that continuity would bring greater development for the country.

He frowned at the rate of killings going on in the country by the herds’ men. He said the ravaging of people’s farms by Fulani cattle rearers was a threat to national security and called on President Buhari to ensure that those who were involved in the wanton killings of innocent people in Benue, and Taraba states and other parts of the country should be apprehended and brought to book while those whose properties were destroyed  and their people killed should be compensated adequately .

In his own address, the Minister of Health, Professor Adewoye said that unknown to many people in Nigeria and In the South West,’’ Ken Nnamani is the son of the soil because he lived in Ibadan and attended Ibadan Grammar School, and speaks Yoruba fluently. I want to tell everybody here not to try cheat on him by speaking Yoruba because he would reply you in Yoruba and you will be defeated. His coming here today should be regarded as coming back to his base’’

Professor Adewoye said that the gathering was not a mistake because; Ibadan has always remained the political and intellectual headquarters of the South West. The minister while acknowledging the presence of the former Abia State governor described him as an elephant and a political guru. He commended him for his bold comment about the crisis between Ajimobi and Shittu, saying it was true that if they work together as a party, they would achieve progress

He promise that they would fill the gap and bring progress to the state and the entire party  and thanked Shittu whom he described as very hard working for bringing all of them to Ibadan for the event which has to do  with the second term bid of President Buhari and Osinbajo.

He said there are many reasons why president Buhari should be celebrated especially for bringing sanity to Nigeria and for his forthrightness.

‘’Many of us actually used this to sell Nigeria outside the country. There was a time when nobody would like to touch us or do business with us and would want to cast aspersions at you because you are a Nigerian but things have changed now because we have a president who is forthright not corrupt and we have every reason to celebrate him and his hard working vice and I want to tell you and let the people know today that we are solidly behind our president’’

‘’ What the present government is doing is to rebuild what has been destroyed. I can assure you that 2016 was for planning and planting, 2017 was for us to water and I can assure you that we shall reap in 2018’’.

While addressing the gathering, the Minister of communications, Shittu said that the coming of President Buhari and Osinbajo to rule Nigeria was not a mistake but what was designed by God.  He pointed out that when he was approached to be the chairman Board of t

Alhaji Shittu said he is interested in the governorship of Oyo state because he is the most capable and has been in governance and politics much longer than those who have ruled and who are still ruling now. He then enumerated what he has done for the people of Oyo state before he became the Minister and as a minister, some of which include various empowerment programmes , sinking of boreholes and job creation which has benefitted hundreds of citizens of Oyo state. He also said that he is noted for honesty, transparency and accountability which he would bring into the governance of Oyo State to make a difference.

On the issue of his feud with Ajimobi raised by Kalu , the Minister said that he has always been a peace lover and he will be willing to cooperate with the leaders on the matter while he agreed with them that the party needs total unity to be able to carry on the affairs of the state and win the next governorship election.

On why they decided to commission the MBO Zonal office which is the first in the country, he said that it was in appreciation of the good work of the duo of Buhari and Osinbajo.

’’As a privileged member of  the Federal Executive Council under  President Buhari I have participated and seen how much this government has done for the people of Nigeria and I have discovered that those who should be covering their heads in shame  due to the maladministration of their  government, due to the level of corruption, which almost grounded the development of Nigeria, unfortunately, they still keep talking and dominating the media space of Nigeria and I wondered why this could be so’’

He said that what the Buhari administration did in two years surpass what the PDP government did in 15 years. He pointed out that because there are not much written about the good work of the present federal government which he is privileged to be a member, he decided to compile the accomplishment and achievement of the Buhari -Osinbajo administration from 2015 to 2017.

He said that the pamphlet to show-case the mile stone achievement of the present Government which was launched simultaneously with the South West Zonal campaign office has ten chapters which are the PMB milestones, Buhari administration Mid-term facts sheet, Anti-corruption and transparency, Security, Diplomacy and International Relations, Looking back at 2017, Agriculture Revolution, a 2017 timelines, Activities of Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Achievements in the Health Sector, Activities and achievements of the ICT Sector under the administration – May 2015 to December 2017 and Reports of Personal Achievements of Barrister Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu.

 

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