Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), is gradually regaining his lost ‘territories’ in the South West with support from Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the embattled national chairman of the party, Daily Independent has gathered.
A member of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said one of Oshiomhole’s major assignments since assuming office is to put some states in the South West that were hitherto out of Tinubu’s control under his command.
He said it is likely that he will also make incursions into other states such as Kogi and Kwara.
The states, according to him, are Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo and even Lagos, where the incumbent governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, tried asserting his independence before he was subdued.
According to our source, Tinubu will likely take control of the political structures of Kogi State where his efforts to install one of his protégés, James Faleke, lawmaker representing Ikeja Federal Constituency as the deputy governor to the late Abubakar Audu, who died in November 2015 before a winner could be announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
But for high-level politics and opposition by the cabal and the former national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Faleke would have stepped in as the governorship candidate. However, the party gave it to Yahaya Bello, the incumbent governor, who came second in the primaries.
Our source, who said Tinubu is also making incursions into Kwara State, especially with the party’s victory in the just concluded bye election in the state, said the moves might not be unconnected with Tinubu’s rumoured presidential ambition in 2023.
He added that the recent impeachment of the principal officers of the Ondo State House of Assembly is also one of the moves to put Tinubu’s loyalists in charge.
He said, “Oshiomhole is doing Tinubu’s bidding. People like Amosun and Akeredolu know that and that is why they want him removed as national chairman.
“You can see what is going on in some states of the South West. They are trying to change the existing structures and put in those loyal to Tinubu.
“What is going on now is that those who fought with Tinubu during the tenure of Chief John Oyegun are now being attacked, people like Amosun, Fayemi, Akeredolu and others. It is more of a retaliation. He is trying to gain back the powers he had lost in the region. To do that, he has to use Oshiomhole to do the dirty job.
“Most of these things are just about the presidential ambition of one man in 2023”.
On the fate of Oshiomhole, he said majority of the party members want him out but are trying to be careful so the crisis won’t affect the party’s chances especially with few weeks to the general elections.
“Almost everybody in the party is not in support of him. They all want him to go. Those who are not coming out in the open, especially the ministers are doing so out of respect for President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The only thing is that we are trying to be careful so as not to give the opposition the opportunity to take advantage of the crisis in our party.
“If we say the national chairman is corrupt or he was removed because of financial misconduct that means he has to be arrested and tried. That is what the party stands for, fighting of corruption.
“Already, the Buhari administration has been accused of shielding corrupt APC members. So, if this happens in the case of the national chairman, PDP will be on our neck that he must be prosecuted and we can’t afford to take chances with few weeks to the election”, he said.