Monday, February 11,2019
The Director-General of President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election campaign, Rotimi Amaechi, and the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, faced a hostile crowd when they spoke at the party’s campaign rally in Ogun State on Monday, February 11, 2019.
The Ogun chapter of the APC has been divided for months over its choice of governorship candidate as current governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has turned against the party for allegedly manipulating the process to hand its ticket to Dapo Abiodun.
The governor’s preferred choice, Adekunle Akinlade, left the party to contest on the platform of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) with the governor’s very public backing.
With supporters loyal to Amosun showing support for Amosun’s candidate at the APC rally on Monday, Amaechi triggered the crowd’s anger by suggesting that they should only vote for APC candidates in the forthcoming elections.
“This is an APC rally. I belong to APC and I’ll vote APC, and I expect that for all of us who are here, we vote for the APC from beginning to the end,” he said.
His brief address was repeatedly interrupted by rowdiness from the crowd who repeatedly chanted, “APM!”
Oshiomhole later came on stage to shouts of “Ole (Yoruba for ‘thief’), as he’s been Amosun’s greatest antagonist on installing his choice as his successor.
When he mentioned Abiodun’s name, the crowd booed him and continued to chant “Ole”. A projectile was then thrown towards the stage, interrupting the former governor’s speech as he was swarmed by security operatives.
The crowd refused to settle down and continued with the chants when Oshiomhole returned to quickly conclude his speech before leaving the stage.
Amosun came back onstage to appeal to the crowd to settle down and not embarrass him with Buhari present.
“I beg you in the name of God. Please, our father (Buhari) is here, please don’t disgrace me here,” he told the unruly crowd.
When Buhari later came on stage to address the rally, he curiously told the party’s supporters to vote for whomever they like.
“I appeal to you to poractice tour civil rights to come out next Saturday and on the 2nd of March and choose whoever you like across the parties. This is your right and I have no problem about it,” he said to cheers from the crowd.
However, when he raised Abiodun’s hand as a sign of endorsement moments later, the crowd became unsettled again and the rally was brought to a hasty end.
The rally was generally plagued by violence as supporters of Abiodun and Akinlade openly clashed with security operatives struggling to contain the situation.