Magnus Eze, Enugu, Romanus Ugwu, Abuja and Chinelo Obogo
An appeal has gone to President Muhammadu Buhari and other party leaders to wade into the crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Yekini Nabena, told newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, that everything must be done to restore peace and orderliness to the party.
A major crisis had engulfed the party with some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) and declared as illegal, an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC), meeting scheduled for March 17.
Last Wednesday, the lingering leadership crisis took a new turn after a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court barred Oshiomhole from acting as national chairman following an application by some party members that he had been suspended by his ward in Etsako, Edo State.
But the following day, a Federal High Court sitting in Kano granted retention of the status quo. The police subsequently sealed off the national secretariat.
Nabena, while reacting to the confusion, urged Buhari to urgently intervene.
“We are progressives and our leaders have a duty to provide counsel and leadership so that we don’t go the way of the opposition party.
“The APC has serious business to deal with; there are deep problems in some state chapters while bitter fallouts from rancorous primaries have also hit many states.
“We also have to prepare for governorship elections in Ondo and Edo. We can’t make any impact if we remain divided.”
•South-south stakeholders insist on removal
The APC South-south Stakeholders Forum has said the region was fully in support of the removal of the party’s national chairman.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Ray Murphy, former senatorial aspirant and media adviser to Chief John Odigie-Oyegun said the region is fully in support of the emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting slated for March 17 to appoint an acting National Chairman to replace Oshiomhole.
“It is in the interest of our party to put Oshiomhole’s era behind it and move forward with new leadership, that is what we are saying. This conception of a party being owed by certain persons is completely wrong, we are stakeholders who built the party, we run the party from the structure, we fund it.
“As bonafide Stakeholders of South-south origin in APC, for instance, Victor Giadom is from the South-south, he has just called a meeting and some people are opposing that meeting. We are saying by the natural succession, Victor is the right person to call a meeting at this point in time because of a vacuum that exist in the party…
“As citizens of the south South, we know that we are people of excellence and we know that we can do better. As a matter of fact, as you know, there are thousands of very eminently qualified indigenes of the South South in APC who can discharge these functions in a very creditable manner.”
He added: “We lend ourselves seriously with the activities of those who suspended him right from his ward because he has not been carrying on the way we sent him. We read in the media about some people saying that the entire South-south is with him. No, that is not correct. That is the kind of dictatorial policy they have been operating. That is not correct. We are not happy with him. We certainly are not satisfied with what went on in the last elections that we took part in, there were low hanging fruits. Akwa Ibom was there. Delta and Cross River States were there and many other places.”
•State chairmen back Oshiomhole
Chairmen of state chapters of the All Progressive Congress (APC) rose from a meeting in Abuja, yesterday, and passed a vote of confidence on the former Edo governor hinging its stance on the need to defend the sanctity of the constitution of the party.
In a communiqué by the forum’s scribe and chairman of APC Enugu State, Dr. Ben Nwoye, the chairmen wondered why Oshiomhole was being vilified when he had led the party to more electoral victories than his predecessor did in 2015.
“We have resolved to ward-off all perceived and real threats by detractors and enemies of our party to inhibit the implementation of democratic ethos as currently being championed by our National Chairman, Adams Aliu Oshiomohle, and which has given sleepless nights to the opposition party.
“We observed that the issues presented before the two Federal High Courts that is tearing our party apart are political. Thus, we respectfully request all parties to seek political solutions. We urge all parties to return to the dispute resolution and reconciliation Committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari, and led by our founding National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande.”
•‘Enemies within want to decimate party’
In a statement by the state publicity secretary, Seye Oladejo, Lagos State chapter, said the crisis was a strategy by enemies within to decimate the party before their final onslaught.
“Lagos APC has resolved to throw its weight behind the national chairman, Adams Oshiomole over the needless and avoidable crisis in the party. We acknowledge and appreciate the dogged and passionate leadership of the national chairman which was mainly responsible for our victories in national elections…
As much as we will not like to say too much as the matter is already in court, recent reports that the crisis was borne out of 2023 ambitions underscore the desperation on the part of some members of the political class.
“At a time like this, Lagos State APC wants to identify with the majority of the noble, decent and honourable men who have pleaded for peace, decorum and discipline to reign supreme in our party. We dare say that no one is bigger than the party that has provided a platform and a voice for the gladiators to be relevant. However, we regard this as testing the waters for the ultimate strategy of the enemies within to decimate the party before their final onslaught.”