Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has said the Bayelsa State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary was marred by violence, as guns were fired at the Samson Siasia Stadium venue.
Oshiomhole addressed reporters yesterday in Abuja after submitting the report of his committee to the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).
The governor said some people used AK-47 and pump action rifles with live ammunition during the primary.
On what happened during the primary, he said: “I was only a steward of the party. Seven of us were empanelled by the party to conduct the primary. We have reported back and we have signed a report by five of us. I have presented that report formally to the party, detailing all the issues as we know them. That is how far I can go.
“But the decision on what the party will do with the report belongs to the party. It is not for me, as a steward, to tell the master what to do with the report. But we have reported, giving them a signed document, which was signed by members of the committee.”
On his experience during the primary, Oshiomhole said: “I really don’t want to go back to those issues because these were not issues that transpired in the bedroom. I do think that one day we will get to the point where even the media must defend our democratic space. This thing happened in a stadium. I have been anxious to see an independent report. Gunshots were fired; AK-47 rifles were recovered with pump action guns and live ammunition. These were not actions that transpired in a bedroom. “I am not the issue and I don’t want to be the issue. There are issues that are important to me. I didn’t go there as a governor but as a party member who had been given a national assignment by the party. For me, that is a great honour. I have done that job along with my colleagues to the best of my ability. I have reported with the fear of God the truth as I know it. This has been signed by other members of the committee and I have forwarded the report. That is what is important at this stage. As far as I am concerned, this is still an internal affair of the APC.”
On the comment by former Governor Timipre Sylva, the Edo State governor said: “That is democracy. Are you surprised that my views are disputed by one aspirant? It should not surprise you.”
On the allegation that former Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Managing Director Timi Alaibe facilitated his transportation to Yenagoa on the day of the primary, Oshiomhole said: “Part of the challenge of leadership is that you have to have some capacity to accommodate all kinds of things. But I leave that to you. If you think that I am so helpless that I needed the help of someone…
“Again, talking about the media, there are things that a vigorous media can deal with. If they had said Comrade Adams is a he-goat and you come to ask me: ‘Comrade, they said you are a he goat.’
“Incidentally, we have gone through some tension in the last few years. You know that there was a time that I was going to Ekiti State and my chopper was stopped at the Benin Airport; I was denied the right to fly because the powers that be at that time did not want me to go to Ekiti. So, if you find from your research that this was the first time I had to use a chopper, then you can draw your conclusion. But as an Igbo proverb says: ‘If you are bathing in a local bathroom and a mad man collects your cloth and starts running, you get out of the bathroom naked and start running after him; people would call both of you mad men.’
“If there is one mad man already running, don’t insist that I join him. If they say that I am so wretched that I need an applicant aspirant, that someone who wants to be a governor is the one who has to support a sitting governor, I leave that to their judgment. I think there are more national issues for us to engage in… But don’t forget: even at this point, Sylva is my brother and will remain my brother…”