The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has said he will work against the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Oyo State, Adebayo Adelabu, in 2019 elections.
Shittu, who was disqualified from participating in the governorship primary election in the state, said there would not be peace in the party without restitution.
The minister joins Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun; and his Imo state counterpart, Rochas Okorocha, who had threatened to work against the party’s governorship candidates in their states.
Recall that the National Working Committee of the APC raised a Peace and Reconciliation Committee for each of the six geopolitical zones to reconcile aggrieved members ahead of the 2019 generals elections.
Shittu accused the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; and Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, of being responsible for his exclusion from the party primary election.
He said, “I will be a bastard to be defrauded in a party primary election and behave as if I am a slave.
“They asked us to pay N22m (for nomination form) and didn’t advertise any condition other than what was provided in the constitution.
“After we have been screened and certified, the chairman of our party unilaterally and in violation of the constitution got me out of the way so that they could impose a newcomer on the party. Somebody who was barely two months in the APC.
“You cannot expect me at my level to support such candidate. I believe I gave enough warning. Before you talk of reconciliation, you must talk of restitution.”
The minister said he would pursue his case in court to the end despite warning from the APC to members to withdraw their cases in court.
He added, “As for me, I don’t recognise the candidate of APC. I am in court and I believe I will triumph over those who were less than intelligent to foist a stranger on our party in Oyo State.
“Of course they had the opportunity and they missed it and the party will certainly pay for it.”
He said he would not buckle under threats of expulsion or any sanction by the APC.
“I have passed that stage where any party will be threatening me. The loss is not mine but that of the people of Oyo State who deserve the best in governance.
“We are not going to beg them, they can go to blazes. If justice is not done, there will not be peace. If people will not talk about restitution, we will not talk about reconciliation. Somebody felt he had money from shadowy source and you sold the ticket to him,” he said.
Shittu attributed the crisis in the party to the APC NWC, saying the President as the leader of the party had no extraordinary powers under the party’s constitution to overrule what the national executives of the party decided.
According to him, the President is giving the party a free hand to conduct its affairs unlike what was obtainable in the Peoples Democratic Party under former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
He said, “Under Obasanjo as President, the NEC became a toothless bulldog. He was the one calling the shots.
“I won’t blame him, I know he sympathises with all of us that have been unfairly treated.
“In the circumstance of nurturing a better political party, I don’t think Buhari would have insisted on a particular cause of action. The temporary loss is not mine but that of the people of Oyo State who deserve the best in governance.”
The minister lamented that some leaders in APC were worse than some PDP members they were accusing of impunity and corruption.