- State chairmen demand his sack
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Director General of Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), a club of All Progressives Congress (APC) governors, Dr. Salihu Lukman, has clarified that he did not speak on behalf of the governors when he asked the National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole to convene the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the party or resign from office, stressing that he only expressed the sentiment of APC members.
However, despite the clarification, the forum of state chairmen of the APC has called on the governors of the party to sack the director general of its forum, accusing him of causing disaffection within the APC.
Lukman, had in a statement issued on Wednesday, demanded that Oshiomhole should convene the statutory NEC meeting to resolve some of the lingering crisis in the party or resign from office.
But, while addressing a press conference thursday in Abuja, Lukman called on party leaders to rise up and demand that the NEC meeting be convened.
He stated categorically that unless former President Olusegun Obasanjo is Oshiomhole’s role model in politics, then he needs to listen and convene the NEC meeting.
“I have not received any call that asked me why did you do that – not one, including from the governors. There is no meeting of governors where decision was taken on this matter. That is why I said first and foremost, I am talking as a Nigerian; two, I am talking as a party member; and three, as somebody who relates, I know the sentiment, everybody is worried,” he said.
He recalled that during Oshiomhole’s declaration speech on May 10, 2018, the national chairman had promised to ensure that all organs of the party meet as stipulated in the constitution, but lamented that the last time the NEC meeting was held was in August 2018.
He added: “I want to say that all that we tried to do especially with respect to the statement in question; first and foremost we are Nigerians; two, we are party members and three I can tell you that as privileged person, being the DG of PGF, I am privileged to relate with not just governors, I relate with virtually everybody in the party and to that extent, one can have a feel in terms of the concerns, the worry and really the frustration that exist in the party.
“I thought I need to make this background clarification because I received calls from people asking me whether the statement is coming from governors or I’m issuing it as a person. Those issues need not even come up. What is at stake is the substance, the content, if anybody wants to dispute it, let him go into the content.”
Lukman noted that the request for Oshiomhole to convene a meeting of NEC was inspired by his commitment when he announced his intention to run for the national chairmanship of the party.
Lukman said he predicted that Oshiomhole and the group loyal to him would move to pronounce the suspension or expulsion of Governor Godwin Obaseki, adding that his prediction has come to pass.
He noted that the NWC met on Tuesday and rather than deliberate on the court judgment that disqualified the Bayelsa State deputy governorship candidate so that appropriate step could be taken, it only deliberated on Edo APC crisis.
Lukman also said that with the purported cross-carpeting of Pastor Ize-Iyamu from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to APC, he predicted that the party is going to have a ‘celebration of fight’ during the primary that will produce the governorship candidate in Edo State, saying that it would be the beginning of the party’s undoing in Edo State.
He emphasised that the party can begin to address this issue by convening meeting of the statutory organ, which is the NEC, that can listen to everybody and make a pronouncement which everybody would respect.
APC State Chairmen Demand Lukman’s Sack
Meanwhile, the forum of state chairmen of the APC has called on the governors of the party to sack the Director General of its forum, accusing him of causing disaffection within the APC.
The forum made the call in a statement issued yesterday and jointly signed by its Chairman, Mr. Ali Dalori and Secretary, Mr. Ben Nwoye.
The forum noted that it had initially decided to ignore the director general, but as stakeholders in the party, it found his actions and comments very suspicious.
It added that the position of the National Chairman of the party is not a child’s play, adding that the forum would not allow it to be demeaned by Lukman.