By Adedayo Akinwale
The North-east National Vice-Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Mustapha, has said that the claims by the National Vice-Chairman (South-south), Mr. Hilliard Etta, that the Deputy National Secretary, Chief Victor Giadom, resigned to contest the 2019 deputy governorship election in Rivers State is not true.
Mustapha told journalists on Sunday that on September 14, 2018, Giadom was granted a waiver by the National Working Committee (NWC) in a letter signed by the suspended APC National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole.
A copy of the letter made available to journalists read: “I am pleased to convey the decision of the NWC to unanimously approve your application for waiver under Article 31 of the Constitution of our party.
“By the decision of the NWC to grant your application for waiver, you can continue to discharge your official duties as the Deputy National Secretary while pursuing your political campaign activities. On behalf of NWC please accept our best wishes.”
According to Mustapha, “The Deputy National Secretary did not resign his position, but was given a waiver to contest the deputy governorship election in Rivers State.”
He wondered why Giadom had carried out party functions and had been paid all the while if he actually resigned.
Mustapha recalled that Giadom was not the first to be granted waiver to go and contest election, adding that the former National Auditor, Chief George Moghalu, and the former National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, were all granted waivers to go and contest governorship elections in their states.
Mustapha added: “Just like Giadom, Chief Moghalu came back as National Auditor when he lost the primary election of the party in Anambra State.”
On the replacement of Giadom with Mr. Worgu Boms, Mustapha said it has no place in law and vowed to resist it same way he resisted attempts to oust the National Publicity Secretary and the Nation Organising Secretary.
“I know some of my colleagues will not be happy with this submission, but this is how I am built. I will not be a party to any injustice irrespective of who it’s meted to. The same way I didn’t support the ousting of the National Organizing Secretary and the Publicity Secretary, I will not accept that of Mr. Victor. We are all colleagues we should be more focused on reconciliation not baseless witch-hunts,” he said.
Mustapha further revealed that the party, through a letter written to Giadom by the Director of Administration, Abdullahi Yusuf Gashu’a, on May 24, 2019 accepted his resumption of office after the election.
The resumption letter signed by the former Director of Administration read: “Resumption of office as Acting National Secretary: I write to convey the resolution by the National Working Committee reached at its 37th regular meeting of 24 May, 2019 accepting your request to resume office following the conclusion of the 2019 general election which you were granted waiver to contest as governorship running mate for Rivers State.
“The NWC has also approved your resumption as the National Secretary in acting capacity in line with Article 14.4 of the Constitution of our great party pending the election of a substantive National Secretary.
“Please accept the assurances of the members of the National Working Committee.”
Responding, Etta said that the ruling party has it in its guidelines that if anyone is going to contest election, that person must resign.
He said: “I’m saying that if it was done, it was done in errors. It is a human organisation, it is susceptible to error. if as acting national chairman I have discovered that errors were made I have to correct them.
“If Chief Victor Giadom feels very bad or very strongly about what the resolution of the NWC, of course, like he is always doing, like his like are always doing, he can proceed to court, but that is the resolution of the NWC.”