…says Itse Sagay approached him to vie for Presidency’
National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole, has tackled those who have continued to fault the various diplomatic shuttles of President Muhammadu Buhari, arguing that former President Olusegun Obasanjo travelled more than the incumbent. Oshiomhole who stated this in Abuja also disclosed how the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption PACAC, Professor Itse Sagay, had prevailed on him to contest for the presidency in 2023, wondering why the current wave of criticisms by the presidential appointee.
Reacting to what was described as frequent trips by President Muhammadu Buhari, the ruling party National Chairman maintained that the President was yet to match one of his predecessors in visiting foreign lands. Oshiomhole, who faulted claims of critics, cited a book late Gani Fawehinmi wrote where he calculated the number of days Obasanjo spent in foreign lands during his eight-year tenure. According to him, “Saying Mr President is involved in frequent trips is not correct. I remember very well, there is no president in recent Nigeria’s history, since 1999 till now, that travelled out of Nigeria as much as former President Olusegun Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo did.
“If you check through your newspapers and playback some of your electronic coverages, you will find where Gani Fawehinmi (of blessed memory) took time to calculate the number of days President Obasanjo was out of Nigeria, visiting foreign countries.
“He even tried to calculate the number of hours he was spending on air comparing it to the number of hours he was spending on Nigerian soil. So, how can you, that was already an adult when Obasanjo was President suggest that Buhari travels more often than other persons? That is not correct.”
On Sagay, the party chairman said he would not reply him through the media over series of allegations levelled against him (Oshiomhole) about the crisis in the party and Edo State. He said he would rather call Prof. Sagay on phone or schedule a meeting with him and hear the issues he claimed he had with him, saying he decided not to reply him through the media because of the respect he has for him (Sagay).
Sagay had over the weekend reportedly accused Oshiomhole of creating more problems for the party with his aggressive attitude, adding that he would personally demand his removal as Party Chairman if Edo State, the only state controlled by the APC in the South-South, was lost to the opposition. Responding, Oshiomhole said: “All I can tell you is that I have a lot of respect for Prof. Itse Sagay. I do remember very well that he was one of those who said I should contest for President. I respect him, he is a very consistent fellow. He believes in what he believed in and he pays the price for it.
“So, I have a lot of respect for him. If he has said those things, I am not going to reply him through the newspapers. I will find out what he said and I will find out, call him and know what the issues are that he is not comfortable with. He is my brother and my elder statesman,” Oshiomhole said. (Vanguard)