Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Some Chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by the National Vice Chairman of the party, Salihu Mustapha, have said the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party did not approve direct primary for Edo State.
The founding members disclosed this in an open letter titled: ‘APC Crisis: It is time APC Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Demonstrates Democratic Leadership’, which was signed by Salihu Mustapha, Chief Polycap Udah, Captain Mohammed Bala Jibrin, Mr. Ray Morphy, Alhaji Umar Kachalla Zubair, Dr. Sylvanus Amechi, Alhaji Shaba Emangi, Chief Emeka Enechi, Hon. Charles Idahosa, Hon. Mohammed Aboki Mahmud, Prince Mackor Shaka Momodu and Alhaji Yesufu Omonemi.
They revealed that it was rather a unilateral decision by the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole.
The party chieftains who claimed to be part of the founding members of the party, in a letter addressed to Tinubu, said it was distasteful and undemocratic that the Constitution of APC and due process has been suppressed and suspended.
They wondered why the APC national chairman also wrote a letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to change the official address of the Edo State chapter of APC, contrary to Article 8 of the party Constitution, which also requires the approval of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party.
They equally queried why the chairman unilaterally gave one of the governorship aspirants, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a waiver without the approval of the NEC.
According to them, “Who gave Oshiomhole the power to convey the decision of the NWC to INEC, as critical as that of the mode of primaries for governorship election three days before the meeting of the NWC on the matter? The implication of this illegal, indeed irresponsible action, is that the NWC did not meet to approve such a decision. At best, the NWC was convened to rubber-stamp his illegalities.”
The party chieftains pointed out that it was time for Tinubu to demonstrate his democratic leadership and give life to the institutionalisation of APC and not create the perception that he is behind the current brigandage tearing the APC apart, with severe consequences for the capacity of the party to hold on in one piece as 2023 draws nearer.
They added: “Let us not be misunderstood. We are not in any way suggesting that Tinubu jumps into the fray in many of the festering and lingering internal disagreements within the APC requiring reconciliation.
“However, we expect that by now, he should be able to provide incontestably fair leadership to all party members through which some specific actions of the APC National Chairman, Oshiomhole, can be moderated and made to conform with internal due processes as provided in the provisions of the APC Constitution, no matter how loosely defined given the motto of our great party, which is ‘Justice, Peace and Unity’.
“We are also making this demand, bearing in mind that Tinubu is eagerly desirous of continuing from where President Muhammadu Buhari stops in 2023, and his response to issues of the day within the APC will signposts how the soup will eventually taste then. We made this assertion with all sense of responsibility based on the belief that our party deserves the best, and we are proud to have some of the best democrats Nigeria has produced as leaders of our party.”
The party chieftains, therefore, insisted that Tinubu needs to categorically declare his position on many of the contentious decisions of the party chairman.
They said despite the APC setting up a powerful reconciliation committee under the former National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande, nothing has happened till date.
They stated categorically that Tinubu would be doing party members a great deal of injustice without coming out and providing reconciliatory direction on this crucial matter of internal party disputes.