By Adedayo Akinwale
The Director General, Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Dr. Salihu Lukman, has lamented that the current situation the All Progressives Congress (APC) finds itself is very traumatic for every member, adding that more frustrating is the continued silence of President Muhammadu Buhari in the face of the ongoing crisis.
The DG added that the president’s silence as the party is embroiled in crisis could damage the legacy he would bequeath to the nation.
Lukman, in a statement issued on Thursday, said that while it was no longer news that the ruling party is having leadership crisis, what is news now is that the party is collapsing with no leader in charge, following the Appeal Court ruling sustaining the suspension of Mr. Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the party.
The DG pointed out that the inability of the party to find solution to the leadership crisis makes it also traumatic for all the leaders including those who serve as the face of the crisis, including Oshiomhole, National Vice Chairman (South-south) Hilliard Eta, Deputy National Secretary, Chief Victor Gaidom and their accomplices in and out of the National Working Committee (NWC).
He expressed worry that members of the NWC are already making desperate claims as to who is the Acting National Chairman, as if the party doesn’t have a constitution or those who operate the constitution are either ignorant of its provisions and have decided to set aside the constitution and embark on a free-for-all.
Lukman stated: “What makes the situation more frustrating is the reticence of President Buhari in the face of what obviously could damage the legacy he will bequeath to the nation. While, we must celebrate the fact that his leadership style is required to ensure that the party is managed independently and therefore made possible for the exercise of supremacy of the party based on decisions of organs, ‘old ambition-Virus 2023’ may have weakened the capacity of the party to benefit from the commendable leadership approach of President Buhari.
“Is it possible for a ruling party in control of the federal government, with President Muhammadu Buhari who is incontestably the moral leader, not to be able to resolve a matter as important as who presides as the National Chairman of the party?
“How can a party so blessed with experienced and very skillful leaders such as Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande, Chief Ognonnaya Onu, Chief Tony Momoh, etc be incapable of resolving the problem of leadership vacancy? With twenty governors and in control of the National Assembly leadership producing the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, shouldn’t that serve as a source of strength to be able to solve any leadership dispute in the party, no matter how complex?”
The DG recalled that in March when the ruling party had similar problem, it took the combined intervention of President Buhari, governors, Tinubu and other leaders to create the temporary reprieve, which was terminated by the ruling of the Appeal Court of June 16, 2020.
He added that before the intervention of these leaders in March 2020, the controversy around who has the authority to convene meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) given the suspension of Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the party was the dispute.
Lukman noted that with the resolution of the problem and particularly since meetings of NEC are statutorily required to hold quarterly, he wondered why the NWC refused to convene a NEC meeting between March and now when the crisis resumed.
He said: “May be the NWC members, including Comrade Oshiomhole are conscious of the high possibility of the party’s NEC taking steps to apply the right treatment to the ‘old ambition-Virus 2023’, which may include terminating the tenure of the NWC members responsible for the crisis. Termination of the tenure of any of the NWC members responsible for the crisis could mean destroying the ambition of the godfather behind the affected NWC member.
“As part of the treatment, it is very clear we need an organ transplant by way of replacing the members of the current NWC who constitute the problem. By provisions of our party’s constitution, it is only the National Convention that can discharge that function.”