By Lanre Adenle
Not a few people wondered what pushed the immediate past governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, into the presidential race of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the first place. People actually wondered why Amosun entered the race and bought the N100 million nomination forms.
While some analysts saw him as a pretender rather than a contender, some described him as a spoiler. The doubt on Amosun’s sincerity was not unconnected with his track record of anti-party activities, for which he was previously suspended from the party even as a sitting governor. It was unbelievable that a man who reportedly had no control of the executives of the party at the ward, local and state level and had not a single delegate out of the 60 delegates from his state would want to contest the presidential primary.
At the last convention of the party in Abuja where the national officers were picked, out of about 242 delegates from Ogun State, the Amosun group had only 12, and they were statutory delegates. Returning from the convention, and realizing that all pre-convention boasts by their boss amounted to nothing, his major supporters started leaving his dilapidated camp in droves and visiting the Ogun State governor, Prince DAPO Abiodun, to pledge their loyalty to the mainstream APC. All persuasions and subtle threats to make them stay in the unpopular camp were rebuffed.
Among the supporters that left Amosun in the few weeks preceding the APC presidential primary in Abuja were Senator Lekan Mustapha; former Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye, and former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Jide Ojuko, to mention but a few.
It was with this serious dilemma of a sinking ship that Amosun hurriedly jumped into the presidential fray. To those who are discerning, it could be seen that Amosun who had touted the name of President Muhammadu Buhari to heaven and back realised he was going to become an orphan in 2023 at the exit of Mr. President, under whom he has been accused of ruling with impunity. Given the Buhari Estate scandal, the alleged mismanagement of OPIC revenue, illegal stockpiling of 1000 pieces of AK47 riffles and many more, not a few people believe that Amosun’s definitely has a date with the law enforcement agencies after this dispensation.
Additionally, it would be remembered that it was the former governor was accused of failing to rein in the urchins on the platform of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) who stoned President Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, and other APC national leaders in Abeokuta on February 11, 2019 during the APC presidential rally, where the governorship flag was handed over to the current Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun.
With all these questions waiting for him to answer in due course, and realising that Asiwaju might probably be the President in waiting, Amosun put one and one together and “stepped down” for him during the presidential primary in Abuja. This was a tactic to save face, adopt Asiwaju as his new political godfather and eventually secure immunity from prosecution after President Buhari’s exit.
The gleeful manner with which the “stepped-down” speech, pictures and video were shared on social media showed that Amosun’s stepping down was self-serving, face-saving and a vainglorious attempt to hide from his shadow.
Earlier on, Amosun and four others that were considered unserious had been asked to step down at the South West meeting held Saturday before the presidential primary and chaired by Chief Olusegun Osoba and Chief Bisi Akande.
The question is, where did Amosun step down from? He had no single delegate from his home state! He neither campaigned anywhere nor consulted like the serious ones. He was just another pretender that kept dropping President Bihari’s name, daydreaming that Buhari would hand over to him like a family inheritance! Of course, only the left-over followers believed that cock-and-bull narrative.
He would have scored zero like his counterpart Rochas Okorocha. Previously, he was said to have consistently vowed that anybody but Tinubu would emerge the APC candidate. He obviously joined the train of those that were stepping down when all their plans failed. We are sure this is not lost on Asiwaju.
Lanre Adenle, writes from Ibara Abeokuta