By Adedayo Akinwale
The Director-General of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Dr. Salihu Lukman, has accused some influential All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains of plotting to return Mr. Adams Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the party.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, led by Oshiomhole was dissolved at an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on June 25, 2020, after a protracted leadership crisis within the ruling party.
Lukman, in a letter, addressed to the National Chairman of APC Caretaker/Convention Working Committee and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, a copy of which was made available to journalists yesterday, said: “Just like before the June 25, 2020 emergency NEC, issues of Edo State are dominating public discussions and considerations of issues concerning the party. This is being foisted on the party as a strategy to weaken the initiative of the caretaker committee from taking steps that could facilitate the resolution of the leadership crisis through ensuring that the forthcoming extraordinary national convention to elect a new national chairman and other members of the National Working Committee for the party different from [Mr.] Adams Oshiomhole is blocked.
“In other words, everything is being done to ensure that the internal politics of the party is manipulated to create situations whereby [Mr.] Oshiomhole is forcefully made a contender for the position of the national chairman at the extraordinary APC national convention.”
According to him, “Ordinarily, this should not be a problem, but given that unacceptable strategies are being deployed to blackmail and bully all leaders of the party to make Edo election the only priority of the party makes it very disturbing.”
Lukman noted that even more disturbing was the clear indication that the ruling party was not prepared to approach the Edo State election based on fair contests.
He said everybody in the APC was being blackmailed to accept the way the Edo governorship campaign was being organised as the best way to win the election.
He said this was wrong, warning that in the long run, it would be injurious to the electoral viability of the party.
He stated that the Edo election and its management should be reviewed by the party.
Lukman called on the caretaker committee to take every necessary step in order to achieve reconciliation and peace-building in the party.
He added that some of the steps required included encouraging internal debate without intimidating members with divergent views from those held by leaders.
Lukman said there is a need to convene a dedicated session of the national caucus to review the 2019 general election, including Kogi, Bayelsa States’ elections and now preparations for Edo and Ondo States’ governorship elections.
He equally urged the caretaker committee to convene a NEC meeting to consider and approve the proposed activities of the caretaker committee.