Yesterday, the National Executive Committee (NEC), the premier organ of the All Progressives Congress(APC) took a seeming bold step to end the festering crisis bedeviling the party.
In an emergency meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari , the leader of the party, APC NEC sacked the National Working Committee (NWC), led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
The move is , expectedly, raising huge dust both within the fold of the party and in Nigeria’s political space.
For some, the action has the capacity to end the festering leadership crisis that has enveloped the ruling party. But others argue that it may kick-start a new duel.
In the last couple of weeks , the party has been on the lips of Nigerians. And it is for bad reason. It has been a house divided against itself.
The NEC’s intervention was not surprising. Key members of the party literally went on their knees demanding that President Buhari wades into the simmering crisis. It is on this score that many party faithul bleieve yesterday’s parley which held in the State House, Abuja saved APC from an outright descent to chaos. The meeting dissolved Oshiomhole’s NWC and replaced it with a Caretaker/Special Convention Committee chaired by the governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.
Governor Buni, who was the former Secretary of the APC was sworn-in by the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami. To further save the party from imminent implosion, President Buhari at the meeting advised that all litigations in APC should stop and urged aggrieved members to withdraw such suits.
The development also officially ended the turbulent and nearly chaotic tenure of Comrade Oshiomhole who took over the reins of APC from John Odigie-Oyegun. Since he became the national chairman of the APC following a voice vote by delegates at the party’s National convention on June 23, 2018, the party had known no peace.
Among others, Oshiomhole was accused of high-handedness, micromanaging the party and weakening the other organs of APC as well as establishing a culture of zero accountability in the party.
It was not surprising that he had had to contend with deluge of attacks. Interestinggly the flaks streamed from notable members of the party-Progressives Governors’ Forum, some NWC members, disgruntled party stakeholders, factional forum of APC state chairmen, non-NWC and NEC members.
His critics accuse him of leading APC into misfortune. They claim that since he became chairman of the party, APC suffered major electoral losses in Zamfara and Rivers states where the court disqualified its candidates from contesting elections in 2019 due to internal party crises and the failure of the party to conduct valid party primary within the time allowed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The party also lost control in key states like Bacuhi, Sokoto, Adamawa, Benue and Oyo States to rival PDP . His critics insist that his style of leadership resulted in the party cascading from from 24 states to 18 .
Arguably among the very few past national chairmen of the APC, Oshiomhole may go down in history as the man who faced and survived the harshest and most consistent sack threats.
Following his travails, Oshiomhole this year had described himself as a good tree with good fruits that must constantly attract stones, boasting that his detractors were fighting a lost battle.
Some political watchers seemed to have agreed with him because at every stage the battle to consume him had arisen in the past, some form of natural and human intervention saved him.
Recently, in an attempt to trivialise the spate of crisis rocking the party, he had noted: “Every time I pick up newspapers and see where they are writing that APC is in crisis and by the time you turn to the next page, they will announce that APC has won this or that elections, I was like, if crisis is what it takes to win election, maybe we will continue to be in crisis.”