By Adedayo Akinwale
One of the members of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress laying claim to the chairmanship of the party, Mr. Victor Giadom, has summoned a virtual meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC).
Giadom, in a statement issued Tuesday, said he was convening the meeting with the consent of President Muhammadu Buhari. He said that the NEC meeting of the party scheduled for Thursday, June 25, would take place at the State House, Abuja.
The statement read: “I, Chief Victor Giadom, having been duly authorized by Court Order to Act as National Chairman of our great party and to preside over all meetings of the NWC and NEC hereby and with the consent of the President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR (who is the leader of our Party) reconvene the NEC meeting that was earlier billed to hold on the 17th of March, 2020, but was postponed.
“The reconvened meeting shall hold on Thursday, June 25th, 2020. Venue shall be the State House, Abuja.
“However, in keeping strictly to the COVID-19 Guidelines, the postponed NEC shall proceed by virtual means. The codes would be sent by text to the phone numbers of all NEC members. Those to be physically present at the State House, Abuja, would also be communicated.”
Giadom’s statement is coming on a day when a detachment of the Police took over the National Headquarters of the party and prevented NWC members from gaining access, and barely 24 hours after some governors elected on the platform of the party met with President Buhari at the State House over the leadership crisis in the party.
The crisis in the party degenerated last week after the Court of Appeal affirmed the suspension of the party’s National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, by his ward in Edo State, and stripped him of his duties and privileges as party chair.
His suspension was the fallout of the conflict between him and Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, which dragged on for over a year and culminated in the governor’s disqualification from the party’s governorship primary.
Oshiomhole’s suspension triggered a bitter power-grab rivalry among contending forces in the party, leading to the emergence of three acting chairmen for the party in less than 24 hours of the suspension.
The party’s National Working Committee (NWC) met a few hours after Oshiomhole’s suspension and picked one of his zonal deputies, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, as the acting national chairman.
However, the next day, APC Deputy National Secretary, Chief Victor Giadom, riding on an earlier order of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, declared himself as the acting national chairman.
With Ajimobi in hospital, where he is receiving treatment for contracting COVID-19, the NWC, in line with the party’s constitution, asked the National Vice Chairman (South-south), Chief Hilliard Eta, to act instead.
Earlier on Monday, Eta inaugurated Mr. Worgu Boms as the party’s acting Deputy National Secretary, to replace Giadom who was said to have resigned his position in order to contest as running mate of the party’s flagbearer in the last governorship election in Rivers State.