A former chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has chided the Progressives Governors Forum’s Director General, Salihu Lukman, one of his critics within the party.
By Samson Adenekan
Mr Oshiomhole, shortly after his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, on Wednesday, compared the forum’s DG to a ‘pig’ which he (Oshiomhole) will not wrestle with.
“You want me to engage in a fight with a pig? If you engage in a fight with a pig, the pig already is stained by its nature and you will wear your white garment, and in my own case, kaaki to go and wrestle with a pig? I will not,” he told journalists.
Mr Lukman, who heads the secretariat of the APC governors forum, had faulted Mr Oshiomhole for the party’s crisis in Edo State which led to the incumbent governor’s decamping to an opposition party and his (Oshiomhole) ouster as party chairman.
Also in one of his recent statements published by PREMIUM TIMES, he cautioned the party’s former chairman against playing a front role in Edo State’s governorship campaign. He advised him “to emulate (APC leader) Bola Tinubu’s model of campaign”.
“The APC campaign is personalised around Comrade Oshiomhole and the candidate of the party, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is an onlooker. We need to appeal to Comrade Oshiomhole to ‘calm down’. This campaign is not about his person,” Mr Lukman had said.
In his reaction on Monday while adressing the Presidential Villa correspondents, Mr Oshiomhole compared his reputation in Edo State to that of President Buhari whom he projected would remain relevant even after his tenure elapsed in 2023.
“There is no village I go to that people do not know me and is this that I used to override the godfathers in Edo State for two consecutive terms and even got the governor elected through elections, no violence before becoming the national chairman.
“So, if you remove the office…is like our president now, though I cannot compare myself to him, but it is like President Muhammadu Buhari by 2023, when his tenure would have lapsed as President but those who believe in him, in 2024 and beyond, each time they see him, that trust they have in him will always be there.
“He bonds with the people, that bond was not created by the fact that he is the president, in fact he became the president because of that bond,” he said.
Mr Oshiomhole took a swipe at Mr Lukman alleging that he is only doing the bidding of his (Oshiomhole) critics within the ruling APC.
“So my attitude is not to reply the noise and it is coming from somebody who says he is an employee and appointee of Progressives Governors Forum, he is just like the cowards that are using him that are not able to come out.
“Otherwise, you should ask this guy, who is now an election expert. He contested for Senate against Makarfi, he lost. He even contested against governor El-Rufai during the primaries and he lost, before (governor) Fayemi unilaterally appointed him the DG,” he said.