Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is far from abating as the Director General of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), Mr. Salihu Lukman, has called on the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, to immediately convene a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting to resolve the lingering problems in the party or resign immediately.
In statement yesterday, Lukman, cited the ongoing political battle between Edo Sate Governor, Godwin Obaseki and Oshiomhole among many others crises facing the party.
He said in the current circumstance, nothing short of a NEC or National Caucus meeting of the party could resolve all the challenges of the party.
Lukman said: “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.
“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?”
He called on the national leaders of the party to rise to the challenge facing the party and take all necessary measures to convene superior organ meetings to begin to resolve all the challenges facing the party, adding that the current public disgrace must end.
According to him, it is painful for many of them who have had the privilege of being mentored by Oshiomhole to see him being devalued to a local factional leader from a very high pedestal of an illustrious national leader.
Lukman added that Oshiomhole hardly appreciate that he now has a national constituency and not just a state constituency, which might have been responsible for his apparent intemperance in the handling of matters affecting Edo State.
He said he wished the party chairman had paid similar attention to handling of issues affecting Rivers and Zamfara states during the 2019 elections.
Lukman stated that information coming from Edo State indicated that members of the State Executive Council of APC had passed vote of no confidence on Oshiomhole.
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 the deputy governorship candidate for the November 16, 2019 Bayelsa election, he added.
According to him, while it is expected that every necessary step would be taken to vacate the judgment, it is depressing for every committed party member to be subjected to such ignominious reality, which only reminds the party of its reckless conducts in states like Zamfara, Rivers, Bauchi and Adamawa, which cheaply gave away electoral victories to PDP.
Lukman said instead of focusing on working to win elections, the party was busy undermining itself, stressing that all these are ominous signs that the ruling party is about to re-enact the Zamfara, Rivers, Bauchi and Adamawa experiences in Bayelsa.
“It is Bayelsa today, Anambra, Edo and Ondo are being set up 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, appears 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,” he added.
He described the NWC, as at today, as a shadow of itself, as it has lost many members either on accounts of appointment into government or controversial suspension.
For instance, it said, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Deputy National Chairman (South) is today a minister; Senator Lawal Shuaibu, Deputy National Chairman (North), is allegedly suspended while Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, National Vice Chairman (North West) is similarly suspended.
He also recalled that in June 2019, the NWC allegedly suspended Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, while during the 2019 general election, on accounts of the roles of former Governors Rochas Okorocha and Ibikunle Amosun against the candidates of the party, they were similarly suspended.
He added that whether all these actions are permissible by provisions of the APC’s constitution is highly contestable.