There was heavy booing and shouts of “no no” on Monday, as President Muhammadu Buhari raised the hands of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun.
Buhari raised Abiodun’s hands after he had told the teeming supporter to vote for any candidate of their choice across party divides.
The Ogun State APC had been involved in controversy since the party failed to pick the preferred candidate of Ibikunle Amosun, the incumbent governor, Abdulkadir Akinlade as the candidate of the party.
The party rather went for Dapo Abiodun, a move which made Amosun vow never to support him.
Akinlade and the governor’s supporters subsequently left the APC and joined the Allied Peoples Movement APM, a party Amosun has openly been supporting ever since.
An indication that the president’s rally was going to be filled with trouble emerged earlier when both camps of the APC loyal to Governor Amosun and ex-Governor Segun Osoba set up parallel groups to receive the president.
The party in Ogun State has been factionalised. A faction is led by a former governor of the state, Segun Osoba, while the other is led by the state Governor, Ibikunle Amosun.
Amosun has been allegedly sponsoring the Allied People’s Movement while he is a senatorial candidate of the APC in the coming election.
The Osoba faction, which is in control of the caretaker committee of the party in the state, has been running the affairs of the party weeks after the party primaries, which were characterised by controversies.
It was gathered on Sunday that while Osoba’s faction was planning for Buhari’s visit, Amosun was said to have mobilised various people and organisations across the state to the venue, MKO Abiola International stadium.
Osoba’s faction had issued a separate statement signed by the state Publicity Secretary of the APC Caretaker committee, Tunde Oladunjoye, announcing the visit of Buhari to the state.
The statement reads in part, “The rally, which will hold on Monday, February 11, 2019 at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abeokuta, Ogun State from 10.00 am, will see President Buhari handing over the flag of the party to its gubernatorial candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun.
Amosun’s faction, in its move to host Buhari, sent a statement also announcing the coming of the President to the state.
The Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, in the statement he issued, which was forwarded to many people in the state including our correspondent, announced that the President would meet with members of the state traditional council.
The statement reads, “Public service announcement: President Muhammadu Buhari ‘s scheduled visit to Ogun State for the APC presidential campaign rally and parley with the chairman, and, members of the Ogun State Council of Traditional Rulers will now hold on Monday, February 11, 2019.