Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) may be compelled to hold an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting early next month to address the issues arising from the primary elections, THISDAY has learnt.
THISDAY also gathered some powerful elements in the party are plotting to take advantage of the meeting to determine the fate of the embattled National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
However, a reliable source said that Oshiomhole’s loyalists are working hard to stop the meeting.
But the National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Isa-Onilu, has denied knowledge of any plan to convene NEC meeting.
He told journalists that he was not in the know of such plot.
Onilu said: “There is nothing as such, if it will happen we will actually make a formal announcement.”
A top party leader who confirmed the move to summon the NEC, said some elements are already lobbying for the replacement of Oshiomhole with “former governor of Cross River State, Chief Clement Ebiri or any other moderate fellow”.
It was learnt that those pushing for NEC meeting have been sending messages to party stakeholders and trying to convince them of the need to use the opportunity to review the outcome of the recently conducted primaries across the country.
The primary elections have generated much crisis with some governors and other party leaders openly calling for the removal of Oshiomhole as the National Chairman.
One of the governors who have openly expressed displeasure is Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who in a statement on Wednesday, described the National Chairman as “incompetent.”
A NEC member, who pleaded anonymity, said: “unless the current National Chairman is removed, the party might be heading for a defeat in 2019.
When asked how feasible it is to force NWC to convene a NEC meeting, the source said “Yes but that Oshiomhole is trying to prevent it”.
He said: Majority of the NEC members can call for a NEC meeting; that is what our constitution says. We can force him to call for a NEC meeting. The meeting is due because after the primaries NWC has to brief us (NEC members) on the reports of the primaries across the country. The reports have to be reviewed and we have demanded for it through the National Secretary’s office.
“Normally, after the primary they are suppose to call for a NEC meeting so that they will present the reports of the primaries to the NEC, because some of these decisions they have taken and said NWC has decided, there is nothing like that because NWC is not the highest organ of the party, it is the National Executive Committee (NEC) which the president and the Vice President are members. NWC is just a policy-making body of the party.
“So, currently the NWC under Oshiomhole has breached the constitution, and I can tell you categorically that there is no leader in APC across the country that is happy with Oshiomhole”.
He said there were fears that about 20 House of Representative members are planning to defect to PDP because of the badly handled primary election.
He also accused the NWC of granting automatic tickets to some serving lawmakers without consulting the real stakeholders in the various states.