By Nseobong Okon-Ekong
National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has weighed-in on the crisis rocking the party, describing it as ‘old Ambition-virus 2023;’ a sickness which he says affects the Nigerian political class along with their allies in the media.
Defending the embattled National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Tinubu noted that it would be uncharitable to remove the Chairman who had been a tireless campaigner and mobilizer for the party, adding that those working against the paty chair were undermining President Muhammadu Buhari.
He recalled that Oshiomhole had steered the party through difficult elections. He reminded members of the party that Oshiomhole’s “Contributions should not be undervalued now that the bulk of elections are behind us. To do so would be an act of ingratitude.”
Explaining his understanding of the anti-Oshiomhole campaigners, Tinubu identified them as those who “perceive the chairman as an obstacle to their 2023 ambitions.”
He hinted that these might be ‘powerful individuals.’
He said, “People went to court knowing full well the party constitution prohibits such action because these people had not yet exhausted all internal disciplinary procedures. We even had a national deputy secretary improperly call for a NEC meeting on the basis that he believed himself the acting national chairman. Clearly, this man would not have summoned the temerity to make such a move had he not been instigated by powerful individuals who he thought would reward or, at least, protect him for committing the wrongful act.”
Continuing his parody of the APC crisis as a debilitating disease, Tinubu concluded that President Muhammadu Buhari would be at the receiving end.
According to him, “In a broader context, those afflicted with the 2023 virus do a grave disservice to President Buhari and his administration. They should be trying their best to help the president. Instead of seeing President Buhari as our present leader and commander-in-chief, their sole contemplation is upon his eventual exit. Yet, not even a full year has passed since his second inaugural. How can they be committed to helping him realise his mandate when the fullness of their gaze is affixed to seizing this very mandate for themselves?”
He said further, “The president is faced with many challenges. He is fighting hard on security to keep the population safe. He is pushing for economic reforms that will augur future sustainable growth. His disdain for corruption remains unwavering. Add to it now the Corona crisis and its resultant social as well as economic impact. Politicians express loyalty to him but the words of too many of our politicians are like butter under a burning sun; they melt quickly away. Better to be loyal in deed. Instead of trying to manipulate party and other mechanisms solely to their political gain, it is time to shelve political intrigue for the time being. It is time for all party members to truly see what is at stake and work with Mr. President for the collective good of the nation.”
“It is no secret that the Chairman and Edo Governor Obaseki are in dispute. This is unfortunate. However, the party has moved through proper procedures within the proper organs of the party to hopefully resolve this spat. All party members know this. Such decisions are part and parcel of internal party governance. Yet, motivated by ambitions that have nothing to do with the quality of the Chairman’s performance, people shunned the agreed party reconciliation mechanism and resorted to other means to oust him. These self-help attempts are unwarranted. These attempts reveal more about the mala fides of their perpetrators than they do about the Chairman.”