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Thursday, 13 December 2018

Shittu: I won’t campaign for Oyo APC governorship candidate

Shittu: I won’t campaign for Oyo APC governorship candidate

Minister of Communications, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu

The Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, has dismissed any hope of reconciliation between him and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the 2019 general elections.

He said he would be “a bastard” to work and campaign for the party’s governorship candidate in Oyo State.

Shittu, who referred to the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, as “my former friend,” also said he lobbied President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint the former Edo State governor as Political Adviser, a plan he said led to his national chairmanship victory.

The minister spoke at an interactive session with correspondents in his office in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

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He said even though Oshiomhole joined forces with others to frustrate his efforts to become the APC flag bearer in Oyo State, he would not simply stay back and campaign for the party’s candidate.

Shittu promised to work for President Muhammadu Buhari.

The minister said if the party was interested in reconciliation, it must first tread the path of restitution and give back what was taken from him for justice to prevail.

Shittu, who recently closed the campaign office he opened for the President in Ibadan, dismissed insinuations that he had stopped campaigning for him.

The minister stressed that he closed the office because he could not afford the N3 million annual rent for the three-storey building.

When asked if he would campaign for the APC governorship candidate, he said: “I would be a bastard to be defrauded out of a primary process and simply behave as if I am a slave. It will not make sense. I have been a foundation member of the APC and twice, I aspired to be governor. In 2011, I aspired and was defeated by the incumbent.

“In 2015, I was defrauded in the primary at that time and I challenged the process, which gave Governor Abiola Ajimobi a second term. I went to court and was still in court when my appointment as Minister came and I had to abandon that case.

“Instead of the governor thanking his God that he was relieved of the case, he started campaigning against my confirmation by the Senate. He was blackmailing me and asking the Senate not to confirm my appointment. At the end of the day, common sense prevailed and I was confirmed.

“Since then, he has continued to attack me because he believes, and wrongly too, that he and his cohorts cannot have a President Buhari at the Federal level and another Buhari in me at the state level. He tells people close to him that if Shittu succeeds him, he will be in jail. Why he thinks so? I simply don’t know.

“So, the party announced that those interested in the various positions should apply and asked us to pay N22 million. They didn’t advertise any condition outside those provided for in the Nigerian Constitution. After we have paid, screened and were satisfied, the chairman of our party unilaterally and in violation of the constitution got me out of the way so that they could impose a newcomer into the system, somebody who is barely two months in APC, will be foisted on the party.

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