As former President Olusegun Obasanjo moves to strategise for the 2019 elections and actualize his opposition against the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari, one of Obasanjo’s main men, Chief Segun Oni has given up till May this year for him to decide his full participation in the “Third Force” agenda.
Chief Segun Oni is the Deputy National Chairman (South) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and one of those jostling to fly the party’s flag in the July 14, 2018 governorship election in Ekiti State.
He was expected at the meeting Obasanjo held at Protea Hotel, located at 42/44 Isaac John Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos with past Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, Co-Chairmen of the Nigerian Intervention Movement, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), and Dr. Jhalil Tafawa-Balewa, former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke; his Osun State counterpart, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; and a former Special Adviser to Obasanjo, who is the spokesman for the CNM, Mr. Akin Osuntokun, among other.
However, Oni was said to have sent message through Prince Oyinlola that he should be excused from open association with the group for now, so as not to jeorpadise his governorship ambition.
Source at the meeting said when Prince Oyinlola delivered Oni’s message, Obasanjo jokingly said; “Segun yi ma ntan ara e. Ta lo so pe won maa fun ni ticket ninu egbe awon onigbale yen” (This Segun Oni can deceive himself. Who tells him they will give him ticket in the APC?).
The source said a call was later put across to Oni, who was said to have pleaded that he should be allowed to at least see the end of the APC governorship primary, which he said he had the greatest chances of winning because he is the only credible person the APC can present.
“Baba told us that Segun Oni boasted that he will win the APC primary if it is free and fair, claiming that none of the aspirants, including Dr Kayode Fayemi can match him in terms of credibility and popularity. But Baba told him (Oni) on phone that he was sure they won’t give him APC ticket that he needs to make up his mind on time so that he can be factored into the Third Force arrangements for Ekiti State,” the source said.
It should be recalled that Segun Oni reportedly reached out to some aggrieved leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State with a view to getting them to buy the Third Force idea.
“Segun Oni is Obasanjo’s person 100 per cent and whatever he is asked to do by the former President is what he will do. Oni has said several times that if Obasanjo wants him as his gateman, he will willingly accept.
“Therefore, with Obasanjo going against President Buhari as he has done, Oni is as good as out of the main structure in the APC and it is only a matter of time for him to move out of the party to join the coalition being championed by Obasanjo to remove Buhari,” one of Oni’s close ally had said then.