Kogi APC Primary: Ohiare Denies Sellout Rumour, Says Ebira Aspirants Refused To Listen To Him
As diverse interests in Kogi State continues to trade blames over the fallout of the APC gubernatorial primary election, which was won by Prince Abubakar Audu, Senator Mohammed Ohiare representing Kogi Central has revealed that he would have saved the situation if the aspirants from Kogi Central had listened to him.
Speaking with Daily Post in Abuja, Ohiare noted that those blackmailing him that he surreptitiously worked for Prince Abubakar Audu were not in the know of what happened.
He wondered how some politicians would go the whole hog to concoct lies in order to destroy ones political career that was laboriously acquired over the years.
“It is quite unfortunate that in politics, the greatest weapon to use against your opponent is blackmail; I occupy the highest political office in the Central zone, which of course, I will forever be grateful to my people, hence, I could not have done that,” he maintained.
Ohiare opined that he would have contested for governorship as part of the Ebira agenda, but that “having considered climate of things”, he retreated to enable him midwife the agenda to a conclusion.
He noted that they were able to convince the aspirants from the Western Senatorial to step down, while his kinsmen refused all entreaties.
“On this very gubernatorial bid, I had intention to contest, but after considering the climate of things, I withdrew to midwife the agenda of Ebira man becoming the candidate or at most, an Okun person, and God knows that was exactly what I worked for,” he stated.
He added that he had to close ties with Senator Ohize, whom he had been at loggerheads with for quite some time, for political reasons, stressing that they analysed all the contestants, in conjunction with other stakeholders, to arrive at picking Alhaji Abubakar Sanusi as the preferred person to fly the flag.
“Back home, I have decided to bury the hatchet with Senator Ohize whom I have been at loggerheads with; I invited him into the project to jointly choose a common candidate and of course when we analysed characters, we centred our interest on Sanusi”, he disclosed.
He further stated that Sanusi’s candidature was already accepted by delegates from Western zone, much of where victory would have come.
He described him as a notable philanthropist, whose pedigree transcended others in terms of commitment to the cause of Ebira land.
Meanwhile, the highly political Ebira people, in reaction to the loss trooped in a long convoy of cars and motorcycles from the Lokoja New Stadium to the centre of the town, chanting solidarity songs and raining curses and insults on the duo of Ohiare and Alhaji Abubakar Sanusi Gamji, who they said were used by former Governor, Abubakar Audu, the winner of the primaries, to break the block votes that should have accrued to their brightest chance of producing the governor of the state, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
Before the primaries, there were speculations that Gamji was brought in by Ohiare, with the tacit encouragement from Audu, who felt threatened by the growing profile of Bello as an aspirant.
He also alleged that Gamji remains a stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as he has not officially decamped from the party.
“Ohiare and Gamji successfully played the Audu game. Ohiare, in connivance with Audu, brought in Gamji, a PDP member to cause confusion in the central zone and deny the zone the APC ticket.
“Everybody knew that Yahaya Bello was the only threat Audu had and they needed to break his growing influence and make things easy for the former governor”, the chieftain said.
Another source said that Ohiare had always been an Audu person and was actually working for him.
“Senator Ohiare worked for Audu and was only pretending to be backing Abubakar Sanusi Gamji. It was pure politics of deceit he played there. I only pity Gamji because he was like a pawn in a game of chess. The intention of the Ohiare group was never about him but Audu”.
The source also added that aside playing the Audu conspiracy, Ohiare was actually on a revenge mission, haven been enlisted by the late father of Gamji, Alhaji Abu Inihaya, in 2007, into the governorship race against former Governor Ibrahim Idris on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN.
According to the source, Ohiare, who is was also a sitting Senator at that time, sold most of his landed properties to prosecute the election which he lost to Idris, adding that the Senator only paid back Gamji for what he termed sins of his father and at the same time, stopping Yahaya Bello, he and his camp considered too audacious.
Continuing, the source opined that the Ohiare camp and by extension, Senator Ohize, are afraid to allow the younger generation of leaders to take over, especially those they considered too independent, because that may signal their retirement from politics.
Daily post reports that Ebiras, in their thousands, marched on foot behind the convoy of the 40 year old business man, Yahaya Bello, from the stadium to his residence beside the Government House, Lokoja, on Sunday morning after the announcement of results, a distance of about six kilometres.