THE Ogun State Caucus of the National Assembly has responded to a letter the Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun wrote to Senator Gbenga Obadara last week.
Amosun in the letter, among other things, accused Obadara and other National Assembly legislators elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of conniving to cause violence in the State.
But in an open letter to the governor, copy of which was made available to The Guardian in Abeokuta yesterday, the legislators said: “Ordinarily, we should not have responded but it is important that we put the records straight as your letter is replete with so many deliberate misinformation.
“Your accounts of events that took place in broad daylight at both the APC state secretariat and that of Wasimi amaze and amuse us. So, the journalists who were attacked do not know the Ogun National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) top shot who led the thugs?”
The Federal lawmakers insisted in the letter that it was rather Amosun who is fomenting trouble in the state. They also accused the governor of treating his group SIA, (Senator Ibikunle Amosun) within the APC as a “parastatal” of his government.
The NASS caucus denied that they have been disrespecting the office of the governor, saying “It is regrettable your assertion that we disrespect you possibly because you did not play any role in our
emergence as candidates in 2011. You could not have played any role in our emergence because you were an aspirant like all others, including ourselves, but for different positions. No wonder you derided us after our emergence as candidates that we had no electoral value.”
The letter accused Amosun of “stage-managing” his endorsement for second term. According to them Amosun had threatened to “deal” with those opposed to him, in response to this the legislators warned: “We know we are not troublemakers but we have resolved firmly too that should any harm befall us, our family or our supporters we shall hold you personally responsible.”
They said: “Henceforth, all security agencies are put on notice. No member of National Assembly from Ogun State is known to have a violent background.
Ogun State people know those with a record of violence. Besides, APC members and the good people of Ogun State know those harassing them with thugs at every twist and turn. The fact is that no member of National Assembly is involved in these ungodly acts”.
The letter stated: “Your threat after your meeting on Monday, January 20, 2014 that by the time one of them (National Assembly members) is gunned down, others will run for cover has gotten to us”.
They wondered why Amosun always “destabilises any political platform he joins”. They mentioned the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the defunct All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressives Change (CPC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and APC as the parties Amosun had at one time or other joined and destabilised them.
The lawmakers also accused the governor of always playing politics of intolerance and exclusion. The letter read in part: “Your Excellency may have conveniently forgotten that Ogun State was in the same position yesterday before your assumption of office. Secondly, yes, you were in the Senate about one decade ago (2003 – 2007 on PDP platform). But you failed to realise that today’s crop of APC National Assembly members are not mere bench-warmers. We sponsor bills, move motions and also facilitate visible federal projects for Ogun State. The records are there to show.”
According to the lawmakers: “In your letter dated January 23, 2011 to party leaders about all of us you said Kunle Adeyemi “is considered relatively weak in electoral value”, Segun Williams “was not strong nor has the resources or popularity to win”, Taofik Buraimoh “has no political clout nor the wherewithal to successfully prosecute and win in the elections, his choice as candidate is alarming, ridiculous and worrisome. That he is a nobody coming to Nigeria from abroad”, Kehinde Odeneye “did not enjoy the required broad-based support amongst the electorates in his own local government – Ijebu North East”. You totally rejected him. Alhaji Gbenga Kaka “had not enough money to contest as senator”, and so on.
They said: “You did not support anyone of us with a dime. You did not campaign for us. You wrote us off. But God did not. God supported us and we won our elections even before yours. You may also want to recall that you were selected by the party leaders, among 10 other aspirants. While you currently continue to boast that none of the current NASS members will make it back to their positions come 2015, we are resolute in our belief that it is only God who places people in positions. God is not asleep. We firmly believe it is God that’ll decide everybody’s future, not a mere mortal. In addition, what did you achieve with the nine House of Assembly slots you got from the leaders towards the 2011 elections? You lost six of them to the opposition”, they stated.
Commenting on the issue of Harmonization Committee which was the cause of the January 9, 2014 crisis in Abeokuta, the Federal lawmakers opined “You wrote as if this Committee is our creation. Meanwhile, it was created by the national leadership. That of Ogun State was delayed severally by you. But when you finally agreed to its existence, you personally picked the date (January, 9 2014), the time (4pm) and venue (Presidential Lodge, Abeokuta) for its inauguration. You housed your supporters in the Committee in Continental Suites, Abeokuta for two days for the same inauguration. Why are you now opposed to the same Committee?
“The incident involving political thugs and Senator Obadara in Wasimi, Ewekoro Local Government Area is another in a series, which we have kept quiet about for the sake of our party, the APC. The verifiable facts are already in the public domain along with those that took place at the APC Secretariat in Abeokuta. But it is good you are trying to turn the facts upside down”, they said.