Former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole has disowned reports which claimed he asked General Ibrahim B. Babangida, IBB to apologise to Nigerians for being behind the current mess in Nigeria, instead of asking for restructuring.
Oshiomhole’s denial was contained in a statement by Victor Oshioke, his personal assistant and media aide.According to the statement while it was true that Comrade Issa Aremu represented Oshiomhole at a function last week, the comments about IBB and restructuring was Aremu’s personal view not that of the former governor.
Making the clarification,Oshiomhole’s aide said ,“Our attention has been drawn to a news item trending on social media platforms and other conventional media suggesting that at a forum last week, Adams Oshiomhole called on former military President of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida to apologize to Nigerians for helping to bring the country to its present level, instead of asking for restructuring.
“It is important to make the following clarifications to avoid misconceptions that have trailed the news. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is currently out of the country attending to some important personal issues. It is on the basis of his unavoidable absence that he delegated a longtime friend and ally in the struggle, Comrade Issa Aremu , General Secretary of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers, to represent him as Guest Speaker at the 5th Triennial Delegate Conference of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PEGASSAN) in Abuja.
“Comrade Oshiomhole was invited to speak on the theme, “Emerging Trends in the Oil and Gas Industry and its Impact on Labour Movement in Nigeria”.
“In order to guide and properly articulate his position on the theme, Comrade Oshiomhole had a telephone conversation with Comrade Issa Aremu where he gave the latter his perspectives on oil and gas. He did explain to Comrade Issa Aremu that the oil and gas sector needs diversification and deregulation to make the right investment that will lead to additional job creation and employment for Nigerians.
“Since it was essentially a union affair, discussions were to focus on how best to create an atmosphere that will stimulate further enterprise in the oil and gas sector in the overall interest of the Nigerian worker.
“It is true that there was no prepared speech handed over to Comrade Issa Aremu but the conversation Adams Oshiomhole had with him spelt out the scope of the issues to be discussed.
“There was nowhere during the conversation that the name of former Military President General Ibrahim Babangida featured with respect to his comments on restructuring or otherwise. We were surprised therefore to read news report credited to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole asking “IBB to apologize to Nigerians instead of asking for restructuring”.
“We wish to state unequivocally that the view so expressed is entirely that of Comrade Issa Aremu and does not in any way represent the views of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
“When a speaker is representing another speaker in any public speaking engagement, the rules are very clear. If the representing speaker wants to deviate from the mandate and brief given to him, he will clearly inform the audience without lumping his thoughts and views as though they represent those of the real speaker.
The statement said Adams Oshiomhole’s opinion of former Military President General Ibrahim Babangida was eloquently captured in a personally signed paid advertorial to mark IBB’s 75th birthday on the 17th August, 2016 in several newspapers.
“ His respect for him has neither wavered nor faltered; hence he was quite surprised that such a statement was wrongly credited to him. According to Comrade Oshiomhole, this is a time for sober reflections when the country needs the voices of all elder statesmen and leaders of thoughts; especially former presidents to speak out in our collective effort and commitment to take the country to greater heights. Though a trying period, the country will come out stronger and more united.”