The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has faulted reports that he, alongside chieftains of the party, offered about N450 million to Senator Iyiola Omisore as part of the bargain to ensure victory for its candidate in the Osun State governorship, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola.
Oshiomhole, who spoke to reporters in Abuja, also denied the claim that he offered to ensure the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) dropped corruption charges against Omisore as part of the deal.
The APC chairman, who maintained that the party recorded victory at the poll in a free and fair manner, blamed the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for peddling such rumour in a desperate bid to portray the APC in negative light.He said: “Whenever you hear money, that must be coming from the PDP, because that is the only dialect they speak. And there is no better proof than the matters in court arising from the Dasukigate.
“It is not an after-thought, because there was negotiation and we had a deal that had to do with the welfare and the governance of Osun State. I didn’t go with tons of money and I didn’t have money to give to anybody. He didn’t ask and there was no basis for him to ask, because we didn’t sponsor him.”
On the alleged deal to drop the EFCC charges against Omisore, he retorted: “Do I look like an investigator or policeman? Do I look like a prosecutor? Do I have the mandate of any of these agencies to negotiate on their behalf? “But even among those in PDP contesting election, are they not having cases with EFCC? So, I think when PDP parades some of these things, you can reverse the question by asking when Senator Saraki and PDP leaders went to Omisore at his residence in Ile-Ife, was that what they offered him? Was it about money?”
Regarding the issue revolving around offering automatic ticket to Omisore, he said it couldn’t have been possible since he was supposed to participate in the party primaries in accordance with the provision of the Electoral Act and the constitution of the party.
Describing Omisore as a seasoned politician who was part of the progressive family right from his days as deputy to former governor of the state, Chief Bisi Akande, Oshiomhole acknowledged that there was an understanding between the party and Omisore to join the APC and vie for any position of his choice.
He justified the decision to disqualify the Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Aisha Jummai Alhassan, from the Taraba State governorship primaries, saying it was based on the realisation that she was no longer a loyal member of the APC.
Oshiomhole disclosed that no fewer than 16 million registered members of the party spread across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are billed to participate in the presidential, governorship, national and states assemblies primaries of the party.Promising to make the outcome of the presidential primaries known as soon as results were made available to him from the 36 states of the country, saying there are possibility that some of the registered members of the party may not be able to cast ballot for President Muhammadu Buhari in the entire direct and indirect modes primaries elections of the party.