By SAM OTTI
Senator Iyiola Omisore has blasted a leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Wale Oshun over his comments on the ongoing reconciliation process in the pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere. He said Oshun has no moral justification to castigate Afenifere simply because the group has chosen the path of genuine reconciliation. In a statement made available to Daily Sun, Omisore described the statement credited to Oshun as “careless,” insisting that the former lawmaker had no justification to denigrate the Yoruba group.
According to him, Oshun was quoted to have said that the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) refused to join the mainstream group because Senator Omisore was at the reconciliation meeting held recently in Akure. Part of the statement read: “It is an incontrovertible fact that Oshun has held no job since he left the House of Representatives in 1993, except the crumbs he picks as national administrative officer of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), so one could excuse him as a jobber that can cut his nose to spite his face,” he said.
The Senator explained his loyalty to the group, tracing his membership of the national caucus of Afenifere way back in 1999. He further recounted how he emerged one of the rallying points of the pan-Yoruba group, as deputy governor of Osun State, before the divisive politics that polarised the state was introduced. “Those familiar with the antics of Oshun will not forget in a hurry, how he destroyed the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 2000 during the convention of the party in Lagos between the late Ganiyu Dawodu faction and Bola Ahmed Tinubu faction.
Senator Abraham Adesanya appointed Oshun as the chairman of the convention committee. “Instead of providing a level playing field for credible convention, he decided to team up with the Tinubu faction when he gave each of the factions, different venue for the convention and showed up at Tinubu convention to rig the Dawodu faction out,” he said.
Omisore said it was the spillover effect of his highhandedness and brazen manipulation of the convention that led to AD being factionlised in Abuja and polarised Afenifere and nearly destroyed the Pan Yoruba socio-political organisation that was formed in 1951 by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his associates.
He noted that the cries of marginalisation by the Yoruba nation in the political system was partly due to ‘crass opportunism by Oshun and his paymasters, who teamed up with a northerner to rob the Yoruba of the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, which was zoned to it by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).