A former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on Friday said the alleged mistakes of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will work for the ruling party.
Oshiomhole said this after Governor Nyesom Wike hosted him in Rivers State, where he commissioned a flyover bridge.
Wike, who is the head of the G-5 governors calling for leadership change in the PDP, has been very critical of Atiku.
He and other aggrieved governors had pulled out of the PDP presidential campaign, demanding the resignation of Senator Iyioricha Ayu as condition for their return.
Speaking with State House reporters after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Oshiomhole said Atiku had depleted the opposition party’s chances by offending some of those who ought to be major backers of his campaign.
The former party Chairman, who cited the scenario with the G-5 Governors, also pointed out what he described as divisive campaign strategy, at a time that the country needed all leaders to pursue national cohesion.
He said this was at variance with the clear development agendas so far marshalled to various stakeholder groups by APC’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, stating that this was another indicator to the party’s superior winning advantages.
Oshiomhole, while speaking to the issue of depleting the opposition party’s chances, said PDP is now whittled in influence as it is now left with seven governors running the campaigns with the party’s candidate.
“You now have the G-5 Governors who said the understanding we reached in Asaba, voluntarily, both by PDP and APC governors, they stand by that agreement, namely that leaders must have character and that if you are not yet President and you are not obeying agreement, and Nigerians are talking of national unity you disobeyed the provision of your party constitution, which talks about rotation in order to service that unity and you can go to some parts of the country and say don’t vote for Igbo, don’t vote for Yoruba.
“Those are very damaging statements. It would have been better if you say don’t vote for this person, Obi, don’t vote for Tinubu, that is fine, you talk to their persons, but when you talk about race; don’t vote for Igbo man. So if he’s Igbo, no matter how good, he’s a bad man in his eyes, if he’s Yoruba, no matter how good, he’s a bad man in his eyes, at a time when we need national unity.
“So, if you ask me how we are doing, we are doing very well. Whereas the other is now battling with five governors that backed out and you find out how many governors they have, we have 23. Now, if you add 23 to five, I’m not saying the five are with us, but we have 23 with five, I guess that’s 28. If you subtract 28 from 36, it means only eight governors, in fact, seven, because the other one in APGA is not there.
“So, while he has seven governors working for him, we have 23 working for us and we have five who are neutral. You know when you are voting, when I was in ILO, you vote for, against or you abstain. Abstinence is as good as voting against.
“So, however you look at it, our campaign is going smoothly and the message is very clear. It’s very clear, it cannot be better. You saw us yesterday in Owerri. For me that was perhaps one of the best outings we’ve had. You listened to our candidate, you listened to those who spoke in Owerri, some of them offered to contribute towards the campaign because their concerns have been addressed by the APC candidate, because election is about interest, whoever will address your interests, not religious sentiment, not ethnic sentiment, because hunger doesn’t have religious affiliation, unemployment, do they have religious affiliation, whoever will address your concerns, if you are a trader, whoever would make sure that the port’s work more efficiently, you don’t have to pay toll to all kinds of people, that is the kind of person you want.
“Government is about providing those assets. We must talk about enabling environment and our candidate has laid out how he will do it,” he said.