Fred Itua, Abuja
Immediate-past Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, has accused the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of deliberating sidelining northern members of the party.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja at the weekend, Lawal said the North currently has no ranking member in the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party. He wondered why available positions zoned to the North were yet to be filled.
He also questioned the suspension of key northern members of the NWC, despite plans to reconcile aggrieved members of the party by a new committee.
He said APC must put its house in order and review recent goings-on in the party, where about three states have been lost as a result of internal crisis rocking the party.
“APC in this form lost Rivers, in this form APC lost Zamfara, APC lost Adamawa, APC lost Oyo State and you can trace it to the party itself, its internal conflict and its management issues. So, APC needs to put its house in order in terms of election, whether you win or not depends on the candidate, how good he is and how popular he is and things like that.
“Look at what happened in Bayelsa. The court disqualified somebody because he did not have a certificate. Why was this thing not detected by the screening committee?
“The party’s constitution has a screening committee. If I turn up with a certificate bearing six different names, why did the party not detect it? The system has a mechanism for that but in this case the mechanism didn’t work.
“Oshiomhole, I believe, is doing his best. He could improve his style. It is important that, if he listens to me, he could improve his style, improve his communication skills with the people, personal skills with the party leaders, rank and file.
“I’m quite close to members of the NWC. They always complain about not being carried along. So, the chairman of a party is not an executive president where whatever you say is a law. You need to carry everyone along.
“Like I said, there is no reason why almost the whole North has been disenfranchised in the NWC. Last month, there was a major acrimony over the national secretary. So, why are they doing like this? It is not for the generality of the party members to solve this problem. It is Oshiomhole and his working committee, but it is not working,” Lawal said.