Romanus Ugwu, Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Godwin Tsa, Abuja, Tony Osauzo, Benin, Tony John, Port Harcourt, and Chukwudi Nweje
President Muhammadu Buhari has backed Victor Giadom, sacked deputy national secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as acting national chairman of the party.
Presidency spokesman, Garba Shehu, said Buhari decided to throw his weight behind Giadom based on the position of the law.
Consequently, the president would be attending the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting convened by Giadom slated for the Presidential Villa today.
“The President has received very convincing advice on the position of the law as far as the situation in the party is concerned and has determined that the law is on the side of Victor Giadom as acting national chairman. Because he will always act in accordance with the law, the President will be attending the virtual meeting Giadom called for tomorrow afternoon.
Because of the session, the Presidency has announced the cancellation of an earlier scheduled virtual meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC).
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who chairs the NEC, with all state governors and a few relevant ministers as members, made the announcement, last night
Permanent Secretary/Secretary, NEC, Olusola Idowu, announced the postponement in a memo tagged “radio message” dated June 24, 2020 and addressed to all state governors.
The message was titled “Notice of postponement of the 105th (5th in 2020) meeting of the National Economic Council.”
“A new date for the meeting will be communicated to you.
“Any inconvenience this postponement might have caused is highly regrettable.
“Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my best regards,” the statement said.
Last Sunday and Monday, President Buhari held separate meetings with Senate President Ahmad Lawan and some APC governors behind closed doors in what was believed to be a move to resolve the multiple challenges threatening the party.
The leadership crisis worsened following the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole as national chairman by the Appeal Court.
Multiple sources told Daily Sun that barring anylast minute change, members of the pro-Oshiomole National Working Committee (NWC) will get vote of no confidence.
One of the sources close to the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) said the resolution was part of the decision taken by the governors and other stakeholders after previewing what they termed iniquities of Oshiomhole and his national leadership.
“What is certain is that drastic action will be taken against the NWC to redirect the sinking ship of the party. The governors want to regain control of the party because they cannot continue to watch the fortune of the party deteriorate further.”
However, the party leadership has insisted that the NEC meeting is illegal, urging party’s “esteemed members” to shun it despite confirmation that Buhari will be in attendance.
A statement by the party’s Acting National Secretary, Waziri Bulama, maintained that having resigned his membership of the NWC, Giadom lacked the power to convene such meeting.
Meanwhile, founding members of the legacy parties that fused into form the APC have urged concerned NEC members to participate in the virtual emergency NEC meeting, saying it was a opportunity to “resolve most of the intractable issues bedevilling our great party.”
In a statement by Saliu Mustapha, Polycap Udah, Capt. Bala Jibrin, Ray Morphy, Umar Kachalla Zubair, Dr. Slyvanus Amechi, Shaba Emangi, Emeka Enechi, Charles Idahosa, Mohammed Aboki Mahmud, Prince Maxkor Shaka Momodu and Yusuf Omobeni, the forum hinged its appeal on the collective interest of the survival of the party.
Titled “Reconvened NEC meeting: APC Doctrine of Necessity,” the forum said: “We appeal to all NEC members to attend or participate virtually, as the case may be, for the collective interest of all and the survival of our great party. This crucial meeting is Doctrine of Necessity and the last hope of the recovery of the soul of APC because we have complained bitterly, wailed and lamented helplessly as our great party is sliding dangerously from 24 state governors in 2019 to God knows.
“And regrettably our sister political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which was on its knees in 2019, is today the ultimate beneficiary. This is why PDP national chairman, Uche Secondus, gloriously hailed our suspended chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, as their oxygen supplier.
“For the avoidance of doubt, may we for emphasis state once more that our rating of the reconvened NEC meeting as Doctrine of Necessity is because NEC, going by Article, 13.1 of APC’s constitution, is the principal executive body of our party. This being the case, since politics is jaw-jaw and negotiation is imperative for the resolution of any conflict, the meeting, therefore, presents a golden opportunity for us to resolve most of the intractable issues bedevilling our great party. We restate that this is a win-win meeting, let’s take the message and leave the messenger. This is more so when Mr. President has graciously not only assented to the meeting, but provided seamless venue.”
Ex-Reps write Buhari, suggest way forward
As part of measures to resolve the leadership crisis, former APC members of the House of Representatives under the aegis of Former Members of the House of Representatives APC Forum, have called for the sack of the NWC and appointment of a caretaker committee to preside over the affairs of the party for 12 weeks during which new officers will be elected.
They warned that the crisis, which culminated in the suspension of Oshiomole and disqualification of Obaseki from contesting the party’s governorship primary, is not only capable of costing the APC victory in future elections but could also lead to its disintegration.
The former lawmakers blamed the turmoil on leadership deficit and lack of respect for internal processes and constitution of the party. They claimed that the party was held hostage by those who were “tactless, pliant and indifferent leadership bereft of skills” and “intolerant to accommodate divergent views and dissenting opinions within the party.”
This was contained in a letter addressed to President Buhari yesterday, signed by Usman Balkore Mohammed, Isa Ibrahim Bio, Chidi Duru and 10 others.
Copied in the letter are the NWC of the party, Senate President Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and the Progressives Governors’ Forum.
“The irrepressible factional crisis in the Edo State chapter of the APC, which has resulted in the suspension of the national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, from the party, and the subsequent disqualification of Governor Godwin Obaseki from participating in the primary contest, has predictably snowballed into a leadership crisis at the national level. Undoubtedly, the APC is currently embroiled in an internal crisis of leadership tussle and this has engendered fears among concerned party members nationwide about its possible disintegration, if urgent and effective measures are not taken. The conflicts have tested the party’s grit and ability to manage intra-party squabbles and disputes.”
The forum listed four reasons for the crisis and blamed them on political manoeuvres and rivalries among those who wanted to take advantage of the party’s leadership composition for their future political ambitions as well as the inability of the party’s leaders to manage and accommodate dissenting opinions within its ranks, “which has created chaos and disorder, leading to needless suspensions, avoidable court actions and various acts of indiscipline and disharmony.”
Meanwhile, faction loyal to Adams Oshiomhole says they will not participate in today’s meeting, which they described as illegality.