By Adedayo Akinwale
The Forum of former members of the House of Representatives, who belong to the All Progressives Congress (APC) has expressed concern over the leadership crisis rocking the party, saying it has the potential of decimating the ruling party and making it possible to lose future elections in the country.
The former House members stated this in a letter dated June 24, addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, which was jointly signed by Hon. Isa Ibrahim Bio, Hon. Usman Balkore Mohammed, Hon. Chidi Duru, Hon. Eng. Janet Adeyemi, Hon. Dr. Shuaibu Abdullahi, Hon. Ibrahim Olaifa, Hon. Hassan Jonga, Hon. Lumumba Dah Adeh, Hon. Idris Yahaya Yahuza, Hon. Chidi Nwogu and Hon. Bala Kaoje.
The forum said: “The irrepressible factional crisis in the Edo state chapter of the APC which has resulted in the suspension of the National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomole from the party, and the subsequent disqualification of Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state from the party primary contest, has predictably snowballed into a leadership crisis at the national level.
“We are concerned about the crisis currently engulfing our party which has the potential of decimating it and thus making it possible to lose future elections in the country.”
The former legislatures stressed that conflicts had tested the party’s grit and ability to manage intra-party squabbles and disputes, adding that many are of the view that the major factors responsible for the present turmoil in the party are leadership deficits and lack of respect for its own internal processes and constitution.
They stated: “Apparently, the party is held hostage by a tactless, pliant and indifferent leadership bereft of skills, while it portrayed intolerant disposition to accommodate divergent views and dissenting opinions within the party.
The forum pointed out that among the remote causes of the crisis in APC was the long-drawn political maneuvers and rivalries to take advantage of the party’s leadership composition to make it amenable in the service of future political ambitions.
The forum noted the inability of the party’s leadership to manage and accommodate dissenting opinions within its ranks, which had generated chaos and disorder leading to needless suspensions, avoidable court actions and various acts of indiscipline and disharmony.
The forum said that the party was grossly disrespectful of its own laws and constitution which prescribes the interrelated functioning of all organs of the party according to certain mandatory roles to accomplish tasks.
The former lawmakers said the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the party was yet to be inaugurated six years after party formation, and only three National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings had ever been convened since the inception of the party, in clear contravention of the constitutionally provided quarterly NEC meetings.
The forum said it was safe to argue that the party was being administered and run against the grain of the rule of law and left to the whims and caprices of the leadership through the National Working Committee (NWC) which had serially substituted other relevant organs.
This attitude, the forum added, had culminated in the undemocratic conducts on the part of the NWC, and prodded up the legitimate resistances from other members of the party.
The forum said another contributory factor to the frictions in the APC was the glaring undemocratic usurpation of the powers of the NEC, party Caucuses, National Convention and the BOT which rendered them inoperative and comatose, while their powers were being exercised in breach by the NWC.
On the way forward, the forum called on the President to call for a NEC meeting to uphold constitutionalism in the midst of chaos and deep polarisation of the members of the NWC.
The forum noted that the NEC meeting would avail the members the missing thrust to resolve all pending knotty issues and discuss the way forward for the party.
“It is recommended that the meeting discusses the future of the current leadership which may involve its dissolution and appointment of a caretaker committee to organise a special national convention to elect new national officers within 12 weeks.”