The National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, is not at peace with Taraba State due to the fear of impending defeat, Governor Darius Ishaku has said.
He also warned Oshiomhole to watch his utterances on issues about misfortunes of the APC in the state, saying he is not an absentee governor.
The Senior Special Assistant to Ishaku on Public Affairs, Emmanuel Bello, issued the warning in a statement on Tuesday, obtained by journalists in Jos.
He was reacting to the declaration by Oshiomhole that APC would give Taraba State a “resident governor” in 2019, an allusion that the incumbent was not always on his duty post.
Oshiomhole had raised the issue while inaugurating a factional chairman of APC in Taraba State, Ahmed el-Sudi.
According to Bello, the APC national leadership was scared of the rising profile of Ishaku, especially as the party can not seem to find a challenger within its fold to confront the incumbent in the 2019 election.
He said since Oshiomhole was aware that he cannot take Taraba State the way he did in Ekiti state due to Ishaku’s popularity, the APC chairman “is now resorting to a campaign of calumny.”
Bello said, “Taraba state already has a resident, people-oriented governor who is at home with the populace and doing a great job. This is the second time Adams Oshiomhole is vibrating and engaging in his trade-mark, unchecked vituperations against imaginary foes.
“The first time he spoke about Taraba governor, he said the mandate was stolen through rigging. He then announced that it was the time of the APC to also rig. The statement must have embarrassed even APC members in Taraba. How could a former governor and national leader of a party blatantly announce he has plans to rig using the electoral body and security forces? But there he was in all his infamy boasting of their ability to rig.
“Now he is calling governor Ishaku an absentee governor. This is a man with a terrible record in Edo state. Those records are in the public domain. This is a governor who elevated intimidation, abuse of office and exploitation to high heavens while he held sway in Edo.”
Bello said Ishaku has received numerous awards of excellence from reputable bodies on the basis of hardwork and innovations, adding that each time the governor leaves the state, it was to attract investors and connect with the larger world.
He said, “The governor is never absent. He may physically travel out of the state, but he keeps in touch with his team. Modern governance has made that very possible. No effective leader would stay in one place for too long. Interactions and the need to find development partners requires some form of travelling by serious executives.
“That is what this governor does. His recent trip, for instance, saw him forging strategic alliances with key countries in the areas of agriculture, education and health. The Kenyan model for inner city water scheme is one of the highlights of his administration. And it was a product of a state visit to Kenya.
“These are but a few benefits of such trips. Not the empty trips embarked by the leader of Oshiomhole’s party which has now left Nigeria the poverty headquarters of the world.”