By Samuel Ogundipe
here is confusion in Ogun All Progressives Congress and the relations between Governor IbikunleAmosun and his deputy, Prince ‘SegunAdesegun, may have been worsened following a newspaper report that the latter had defected from APC to the Social Democratic Party.
A few weeks ago, a controversial letter the deputy governor allegedly penned to his boss was leaked to the press. Some of the weighty allegations in the letter ranged from non-payment of salaries and emoluments to deprivation of basic domestic facilities.
But the report that the discord had led to the defection of the deputy governor, and some other political office holders loyal to Chief OlusegunOsoba from APC to SDP has further affected relations between Amosun and Adesegun.
But after speaking with some of the concerned parties, WESTERN POST authoritatively gathered that contrary to the aforementioned report, many of those alleged to have defected, including Prince Adesegun, are, in fact, yet to leave APC.
Speaking with WESTERN POST on Thursday evening, the beleaguered Adesegun, who was Commissioner for Works during the AremoOsoba regime in the state between 1999 and 2003, said “I’m still a member of APC.”
He, however, did not deny the ubiquitous rumour that he’s mulling an exit from the party he helped found.
“I’m still in the party ( APC). But that does not mean I plan to be here for long. Whenever I leave, the people will know I had left.”
Speaking in the same vein, Senator Gbenga Kaka, who served as deputy governor under Osoba during the same period said in a text message that he’s still a member of the APC.
He also fell short of issuing an outright denial of the alleged defection.
WESTERN POST also spoke with Mr. Shola Lawal, the APC Spokesman in Ogun State, who denied any knowledge of the defection of the deputy governor and other leaders of the party to SDP.
“What evidence do you have that they’ve decamped?” He asked the WESTERN POST in a telephone interview. “As far as I am concerned, and in my authority as the Publicity Secretary of Ogun APC, the individuals you mentioned are still members of our party,” he retorted.
Amosun had defected to the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, shortly before the 2011 general elections and was subsequently presented as the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the state.
Since then, the crisis has continued to steadily exacerbate, reaching its climax when the two warring factions held a parallel state and local government congresses in April.
Mr.RoqeebAdeniji and Mr.OluAgemo emerged the chairman of Amosun and Osoba’s parallel state executive committees, respectively.
A power sharing formula was believed to have been mutually devised between Osoba and Amosun’s caucuses.
Contained in the agreement, said to have been reached at the residence of Chief RafiuOgunleye, a former deputy governor and APC chieftain, who’d since decamped to the People’s Democratic Party, was the concession of the position of the deputy governor and all National Assembly candidates to Osoba while Amosun will take the governor slot and appoint all commissioners and special advisers. It is unclear what decision was reached over what to do with House of Assembly positions, but a source within the party, who claimed he maintains a neutral stance in the dissonance, said they were evenly distributed among the two caucuses.
But the Amosun regime had been battling the Osoba camp since its inception in 2011.
A few weeks after the governor was sworn in, SIA Group, a political action committee loyal to the governor, started making concerted efforts at fielding only the political operatives who came with the governor from his previous party, the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, for political appointments. Most contracts awarded by the state government allegedly went to those who belonged to SIA Group.
This infuriated other members of the party who felt slighted by what they claimed was the governor’s indifference to their plight.
They alleged the governor continued to encourage the group’s action because he did not want to completely integrate his structure with that of Chief Osoba. The governor said he was under no obligation to give appointments to party members loyal to Osoba because all Ogun State members of the National Assembly elected on the platform of their party were fielded by the former governor.
Several national leaders of the party across the country had either mediated or offered to mediate in the crisis on several occasions, but none yielded a positive outcome as Osoba had insisted he would not yield groung even if God was used to beg him.
Lai Mohammed, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, said the party takes the crisis in its Ogun State chapter particularly serious and that the party will leave no stone unturned in the efforts aimed at pacifying the aggrieved members.