Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta
Ogun East socio-political group, Ijebu- Remo Forum, Thursday declared its unflinching support for the emergence of Dapo Abiodun, an oil magnate and an Iperu-Remo Prince, as the Ogun State governorship standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The group said the outcome of the authentic primary of APC is a vindication of the clamour by the forum for the turn of Ijebu-Remo (Ogun East) to produce the next governor.
The Forum also commended the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, for standing firm behind the authentic primary that produced the candidature of Abiodun, saying the “uncommon courage shown” by him saved the outcome from turning into a different thing.
The position of the Forum was contained in a statement issued by the Chairman of the group, Aare Olu Dawodu, and Secretary, Prince Segun Aderigbigbe, and made available to journalists yesterday after the Forum’s meeting held in Sagamu, Ogun State, on Wednesday to review the just concluded APC primaries in the state.
The group noted that efforts were made by some un-named forces to hijack the process of the primary in the name of the party attempting to foist a particular candidate from Ogun West on the party members by conducting an unauthorised primary election which it had no power to do and which, regrettably, almost resulted to anarchy.
They also hailed President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo for standing firm in support of due process and discipline of the party’s primary.
According to the Ijebu-Remo Forum, members of the National Working Committee (NWC) electoral panel posted to Ogun State led by Alhaji Muhammad Indabawa (Chairman) and Senator Gbenga Aluko ( Secretary ) as well as other colleagues-Ali Magashi, Mathew Omeagara, Kabir Ahmed, Osita Okechukwu, Echeza Oshogwe and Alhaji Abdul Azeez Anuhi-should also be commended for “their forthrightness and admirable courage and integrity in the face of serious intimidation and coercion.”
They, however, assured the state that despite the intensity of the contest that attended the race for the APC governorship ticket in the state, the Ijebu and Remo people are not enemies of the Yewa and Awori people, saying they (Ijebu and Remo) are a people with a deep sense of history, justice and fairness which they seek for themselves and others.
According to the Forum, “We the leaders of Ijebu/Remo Forum are delighted by the triumph of an idea we have championed at all levels for nearly two years that it was the turn of Ijebu and Remo to produce the next governor of Ogun State which cause has now been vindicated.
“We observe that an effort was made to hijack the process in the name of the party in Ogun State to foist a particular candidate from Ogun West on the APC by conducting an unauthorised primary election which it had no power under the party constitution to do and which, regrettably, nearly resulted in anarchy.
“We observe that it took a very determined NWC appointed committee to be able to carry out its mandate and conduct the gubernatorial primary even in the face of serious security threat and intimidation.
“We observe further that the security situation in a state which had hitherto enjoyed relative peace under the present administration became extremely tense as some people attempted to unleash mayhem on the people of Ogun State generally and to harass party faithful in order to impose their agenda.
“We have always believed that from the perspective of history, precedent, social contract, fairness and justice, it was the turn of the Ijebu/Remo axis of the state to produce the next governor in support of which we had repeatedly appealed to all concerned that the effort to change the time hallowed process was ill-advised and was bound to fail or could cost the APC the gubernatorial election.”