By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Senators Rochas Okorocha (APC, Imo West) and Ibikunle Amosun (APC, Ogun Central) yesterday slammed the ambassadorial nominee from Edo state, Mohammed Musa, for counting the 2019 primary election of APC which he conducted in Edo state, as part of his contributions to the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The senators, whose annointed candidates lost the 2019 governorship tickets of APC and defected to opposition parties where they eventually lost the general election, criticised the nominee for acknowledging his participation in the 2019 governorship primaries of APC as his contributions to the party, saying the primaries were just a sham.
During the screening of the 41 non career ambassadorial nominees and one career nominee by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Chairman, Senator Adamu Muhammad Bulkachuwa (APC Bauchi North), asked the Edo candidate to explain his contribution to APC in Edo State.
In his response, he said “I was in the fore front of party members who conducted primary elections for all our House of Representatives candidates in the South West, one of whom is the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila.
“I also headed the committee that conducted the APC primaries in Akwa Ibom, aside other national assignments which contributed to the success of the party at the polls”, he said.
He told the committee members that not only did he ensure total victory for candidates of APC in the area during the 2019 general elections, but did justice to national assignments given to him at the time by the party national leadership.
Apparently provoked by this remarks,
Senator Ibikunle Amosun immediately took the nominee up by telling him that what he described as achievement was sham.
“I am from the South West and I know all what took place during the so-called primaries conducted by your committee and those who assigned you then. Please such exercise is not something you should be referring to as achievement because as party members, we knew what happened then and those behind it.
“We don’t want you to carry this type of mindset to foreign post if eventually confirmed, so the earlier you erase such unbecoming assignments as personal achievements, the better for you”, he said.
Just immediately, senator Rochas Okorocha, whose inlaw lost the Imo governorship election to APC candidate, told the nominee to sit properly and warned him not to make such submissions anywhere again as achievements.
“You are here to be screened and possibly confirmed as an ambassador to represent Nigeria anywhere you are later posted to by the President and reminding us of worst primary elections ever conducted by a political party in Nigeria under a man that had been sent away now.
“Hope you are not being rewarded for the sham you called primaries and injustice done against loyal party members. Don’t ever mention that again or remind people of such stage-managed assignments, be it in Nigeria or wherever you are posted to, else, I will move against your nomination”.
However, rescue came the way of the nominee when the Committee Chairman appealed to the committee members to allow him to take a bow and go.
Aside the embattled Edo nominee, the committee also screened Ademola Seriki from Lagos, Umar Suleiman from Adamawa, C.O. Ugwu from Enugu, Kelvin Peter Adamu, from Adamawa, among others, even as the exercise continues Friday.