Immediate past Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Olawale Oluwo has said the present quagmire in which the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) currently finds itself is self-inflicted, being a product of its brazen arrogance, insensitivity and impunity.
Oluwo, who resigned from Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s cabinet and defected to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in a controversial circumstances last Wednesday, said if his former party had been resourceful in managing its success in the state, the present uncertainty of its electoral victory would not have tossed from being a ‘sure banker’ into a ‘too close to call’ swing state.
The commissioner’s reaction comes on the heels of the party’s reaction. He said no matter how hard the Spokesman of Lagos APC, Mr. Joe Igbokwe tries to hide behind his finger; he still owes citizens genuine answers to the issues raised in resignation letter.
He said Igbokwe’s attempt to hoodwink the public over some issues he raised in his resignation letter to the Chairman of APC, Mr. Tunde Balogun.
According to him, “Igbokwe initially dismissed me as an inconsequential person who is not worthy of being glorified with a response. Within 24 hours, he reversed himself with a response that is very robust on fiction but completely empty on substance and facts.
“Rather than address the issues of internal democracy, abuse of power, manipulation of democratic institutions and disregard for extant rules and guidelines that I raised in my letter, he (Igbokwe) embarked on a wild goose chase of character assassination and employed every trick possible to divert his readers’ attention away from the facts.”
The erstwhile commissioner dismissed Igboke’s allegations that he tried to reap from the challenges of internal party democracy, saying, “This is not true at all. At the time the Action Congress (AC) was engulfed in crisis in 2006, I was an aspirant for the House of Representatives (Epe Federal Constituency) on the platform of PDP.”
Oluwo also dismissed Igbokwe’s claim that he (Oluwo) is an opportunist, saying he joined the Action Congress (AC) in 2007 and did not get any appointment until October 2015. According to him, “For the eight and a half years as a party member, I obtained no personal benefit but continued to spend huge resources to support the party and its members in and out of my constituency.”
While he denied engaging in any form of anti-party activities as claimed by Igbokwe, the former commissioner said, “Since joining the AC, ACN, APC platform, I have never joined another party until my resignation from the APC in December, 2018.”
Contrary to Igbokwe’s claim that Oluwo left APC because his wife was denied the chairmanship ticket, Oluwo said, “My wife, Dr. Arin, a University of Lagos PhD holder, contested and lost the primary ticket for Eti-Osa II House of Assembly to the incumbent-Mr. Gbolahan Yishawu in 2011 and I did not leave the party.
Again in 2017 when she was the leading aspirant, the party still denied her the primary ticket for chairmanship of Ikoyi-Obalende LCDA and I did not leave the party. She also vied for same Eti-Osa Assembly II APC primary ticket in 2018.
She has been a major pillar of financial support for the party and its teeming members, sponsors schools programmes and extends scholarships to indigent students in her constituency.
So my decision to leave the APC is independent of my wife’s aspiration.
“On his claim that my wife’s Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) membership is to court underserved visibility is another wicked lie. Dr. Oluwo’s visibility was already established before she was graciously offered, unsolicited, the Chairmanship of COWLSO.”
He added: “On his claim that I wanted to advance my political fiefdom: I joined AC in 2007 and I know it is absolutely impossible for any commissioner to impose an aspirant or aspire to advance his/her political fiefdom in a tightly controlled party like the APC. I have never nursed such ambition.
“On the claim that I am a mole of the PDP; it is a bogus fabrication. I have never been a full-time professional politician. In the eight and a half years 2007-2015 that I was in AC, ACN and APC before my appointment as a commissioner in 2015, I was in full time employment within which period I held executive management positions as Vice-President, Group Chief Marketing Officer, Deputy Managing Director, Executive Director and Managing Director in four major companies in Nigeria. Indeed, I must have been a very jobless fellow to do such dirty job of a mole for eleven and a half years eight and a half years as ordinary party member and three years as a Commissioner.”