Thursday, May 24, 2018

Oshiomhole Bashes Obasanjo Over Treatment Of Opposition

Former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole has again lambasted former President Olusegun Obasanjo for decimating the opposition during his tenure as president between 1999 and 2007.

Oshiomhole, who was President of the Nigerian Labour Congress during Obasanjo’s administration, made this known on Wednesday, Leadefship reported.

Oshiomhole, who is in contention to be Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), said the former president deliberately weakened the opposition by causing chaos within their ranks.

He added that the internal wrangling within the APC show that the party is a democratic one, adding that the issues will soon become a thing of the past.

He said, “I believe that APC has been formed by men and women and seasoned politicians who over the years have come to the conclusion that for Nigeria’s democracy to flourish, we must move away from having just one party after the 1999 elections which was conducted by the military.

“Beginning with the elections the then ruling party manipulated and co-opted everybody that was co-optable, compromised everyone that was available for procurement and in the process neutralised the opposition and forcefully took over the AD from the South-West. It planted internal contradictions in the ANPP by co-opting its chairman as an advisor to then President Obasanjo and took other measures that were designed to make sure that they were no viable opposition.

“The result of this was that we had a fragmented opposition with a very powerful ruling party and a president who was battling to understand between a military head of state and elected president who must function according to rules and laws, who has executive powers but not legislative and judicial powers.

“We can argue to what extent the party has bonded because, we can say that they should have been an organic reaction after the merger leading to a cohesive, virile political party. Some may say it is a physical reaction where the different parts seem to be wobbling and are not able to bond and these are the manifestations in some of the crises you have seen here and there.

“But any party that is tilted towards the progressives, that is pro-people, that is not governed by one god father, people who feel that they are equals in a voluntary association are bound to engage in internal contestation, even when they agree on the objectives and the destination. It is always a viable thing to have a debate around various policy choices and tools available even to arrive at the destination, which is not in dispute. This doesn’t necessarily lead to implosion.”

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