Primaries: Governor offered Oshiomhole $500,000 bribe in cash
by Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
Fresh details yesterday indicated that the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole became a target after refusing $500,000 bribe cash from a governor.
The governor wanted the APC chairman to adopt his anointed governorship candidate.
But Oshiomhole insisted on applying the guidelines of the party for primaries.
Also, there were indications that the APC leadership tried its best to strike a fair deal with Governor Rochas Okorocha on a 55-45 per cent basis.
The Imo governor however opted for 100 per cent concession which was unacceptable to APC.
Findings by our correspondent revealed that contrary to allegations, the refusal of Oshiomhole to collect bribes from godfathers and candidates accounted for the plot against him.
It was gathered that many godfathers and governorship candidates were desperate for tickets but Oshiomhole stood his ground that he will not compromise party guidelines.
A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “At a stage, a governor became agitated and offered Oshiomhole about $500,000 to make sure that his candidate got a governorship ticket.
“The bribe sum was later hauled in cash to Oshiomhole’s office by one of the emissaries of the affected governors. But the APC chairman rejected the bribery.
“What the APC chairman did was to brief some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) on what transpired. He also intimidated some leaders of the party too. The party adhered strictly to its guidelines and the governor’s candidate lost out.
“The governor later turned out to have joined forces in the plot to remove Oshiomhole to teach the APC chairman a lesson. It was surprising to see the governor coordinating nocturnal meetings to sack Oshiomhole.
“The facts and witnesses are there. In the fullness of time, the name of the governor will be released. Maybe when he does not have immunity again, he will pay the price.”
As at press time, it was learnt that President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Department of State Security Service (DSS) to stay away from party affairs and issues.
Also, the President has appealed to those aggrieved among APC governors to sheathe the swords.
A government source said: “The President has waded in the crisis of confidence between the governors and APC national chairman. We expect peace to return to the party. There might also be some reconciliation within the substitution window allowed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“The President has however ordered DSS to avoid dabbling in party affairs. He said if there are petitions about any infraction, they should be sent to appropriate agencies. Buhari was worried that the same challenge which the DSS faced on the arrest of judges had re-occurred.”
Meanwhile, there were indications that the APC leadership did its best to offer a fair deal to Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State on the party’s candidates for 2019 poll in the state.
A reliable source said: “Okorocha is respected and loved by most of our leaders but we discovered that he cannot get all he wanted in 2019.
“APC leaders met the governor and it was agreed that as the APC leader in the state, he should go back and do justice.
“We offered him a fair deal. We said he should take 55% of the available seats and concede 45% of elective offices to others in the state. He accepted the deal but he returned to Imo to take 100% control of everything.
“At this point, we have no choice than to leave his fate to APC members to decide. This was why he lost out.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “If Okorocha was keen on his son-in-law as APC governorship candidate, there is nothing bad if he abandons his senatorial ambition.
“What made matter worse was when APC got intelligence report that the proposed running mate to his son-in-law as APC governorship aspirant has been found to be dating another girl in the governor’s family.
“This was why Oshiomhole came out to say he was not elected APC National Chairman to preserve any dynasty. We conceded a lot to Okorocha but he wanted wholesale party machinery in his care to do what he likes.
“If you look at the structure in the state, it is disproportional. Okorocha is the governor, his former Personal Assistant is the Deputy Governor, his son-in-law was a former commissioner and aspiring governorship candidate; his sister is the Deputy Chief of Staff/ Commissioner; the governor has also secured a senatorial ticket and he has given tickets to many loyalists.
“If he defects to any party, none can tolerate such indulgence because it is a mockery of democracy.”
As at press time, it was learnt that APC may still retain the current deputy governor, Eze Madumere as running mate to its governorship candidate, Chief Hope Uzodinma.
“We may give deputy governorship slot to Madumere again,” a top party source added.
Credit: The Nation