The crises rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) took a dramatic turn, yesterday, as governors under the party platform issued a directive to the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, to convene an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting or resign his position.
Director General, APC Progressives Governors Forum of (PGF), Salihu Moh Lukman, in a statement tagged: “APC and our inconceivable organisational challenges: Urgent call to our leaders” expressed disappointment over the continued rift between Oshiomhole and Governor Godwin Obaseki which has led to suspensions and retaliatory-suspensions.
The PGF also expressed concern over the crisis enveloping the party in some states, lamenting that the National Executive Council has failed to convene to salvage the situation.
“Information from Edo State indicate that members of the State Executive Council of APC have passed a vote of no confidence on Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of APC. In so many respects, it could be argued, it is a natural outcome of unfolding power play between Oshiomhole and Governor Obaseki since June 2019 with the contentious inauguration of the Edo House of Assembly.
“Possible retaliatory response from Oshiomhole, and groups such as Edo Peoples Movement loyal to Oshiomhole should be expected. In other words, there could be counter pronouncement suspending Governor Obaseki.
“Side-by-side with the news of the vote of no confidence was also the discomforting report of the Federal High Court judgment in Abuja disqualifying Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo as deputy governorship candidate for the November 16 Bayelsa election.
“While expecting that every necessary step will be taken to vacate the judgment, it is very depressing for every committed party member to be subjected to such ignominious reality, which only reminds us of our reckless conducts in states like Zamfara, Rivers, Bauchi and Adamawa, which chiefly gave away electoral victories to PDP.
“Instead of focusing on working to win elections, we are busy undermining ourselves. All these are ominous signs that we are about to re-enact the Zamfara, Rivers, Bauchi and Adamawa experiences in Bayelsa. It is Bayelsa today, Anambra, Edo and Ondo are being setup for similar experiences. Somehow, unfortunately, the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party, which is the organ vested with the statutory responsibility of responding to all these challenges appear to be suspended.
“The last time it met was August 2018. In its place, the National Working Committee (NWC), which is an administrative organ with the responsibility of implementing decisions of NEC and other higher organs seems to have usurped the powers of NEC.
“Sadly, even the NWC, as at today, is a shadow of itself, as it has lost many members either on accounts of appointment into government, or controversial suspension. For instance, Otumba Niyi Adebayo, deputy national chairman (South) is today a minister of the Federal Republic. Sen. Lawal Shuaibu, deputy national chairman (North) is allegedly suspended, Inuwa Abdulkadir, national vice chairman (North West) is similarly suspended.
“In June 2019, the NWC allegedly suspended Governor Rotimi Akeredolu. During the 2019 general elections, on accounts of the roles of former governors, Rochas Okorocha and Ibikunle Amosun, against the candidates of the party, they were similarly suspended. Whether all these actions are permissible by provisions of the APC’s constitution is highly contestable.
“Why should all these be allowed to happen?
Why is it impossible to convene a NEC or even national caucus meetings which are supposed to hold every quarter to resolve all these issues? Why should the NWC under Comrade Oshiomhole continue to imagine that it can conduct affairs of the party without mandatory meetings of party organs? What legacy is Comrade Oshiomhole hoping to achieve as a national chairman by running the party in a way that suggests almost zero commitment to issues of party development?
“It is very painful for many of us who have had the privilege of being mentored by Comrade Oshiomhole to see him being devalued to a local factional leader from a very high pedestal of an illustrious national leader. As National Chairman, Oshiomhole hardly appreciates that he now has a national constituency and not just a state constituency, which may have been responsible for his apparent intemperance in the handling of matters affecting Edo State.Wished he paid similar attention to handling of issues affecting Rivers and Zamfara states during the 2019 elections
“In the current circumstance, nothing short of a NEC or National Caucus meeting of the party can resolve all our increasing organisational challenges as a party. It is either Comrade Oshiomhole respect the provision of party constitution and convene superior organ meeting to deliberate on all our challenges or he should just accept his inability to manage the party and simply resign…The current public disgrace must end,” the governors said.
But Oshiomhole declined to comment on the threat as his Chief Press Secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, referred our correspondent to the party’s National Publicity, Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu.
Meanwhile, the National Working Committee (NWC) has set up a fact-finding and reconciliation committee to resolve the crisis in Edo.
A statement by Issa-Onilu, noted that the party’s leaders also approved the suspension of the state chairman, Anslem Ojezua by 11 of the 16 members of the Edo State Working Committee (SWC).
“The APC has watched with grave concern the political development within the party ranks in Edo State and is deeply disturbed by the recent turn of events. We note that this is happening in spite of various steps taken to find an amicable resolution.
“Party leaders such as the Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi; Chairman, Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) and Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Bagudu, and other party leaders had tried at various times to ensure that the issues do not escalate.
“Sadly, these interventions have not yielded the desirable results. However, the immediate concern of the NWC is how to ensure that unity returns to the ranks of the party in Edo State.
“In achieving this, we have decided to constitute a high-powered fact-finding and reconciliation committee of party leaders to meet with all disputing parties to ensure that all issues are addressed and resolved.
“Meanwhile, the meeting of the NWC, which held (yesterday), at the party’s National Secretariat received a notification of the suspension of the Edo State APC Chairman, Anslem Ojezua by 11 of the 16 members of the Edo State Working Committee (SWC).
“We have reviewed the process they followed and conclude that they have fulfilled the required conditions.”
We, therefore, uphold the suspension of the Edo State APC Chairman, Anslem Ojezua, while we await the outcome of the fact-finding and reconciliation committee.
“Please note that the NWC’s objective and cause of action is strictly to address the root causes of the disputations and reconcile all parties to make our great party even stronger,” he said.