Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has said that he has no regret for any action he took while presiding over the affairs of the party, stressing that as a leader he could not have pleased everybody.
Speaking at a world press conference in Abuja on Saturday, Oshiomhole said, though his tenure as chairman saw some states lost to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), he was, however, happy to record resounding achievement recovering Kwara State from the Saraki dynasty.
Accepting in “good faith’ the dissolution of his National Working Committee (NWC) during the emergency virtual National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on Thursday, the ex-party chairman insisted that he would not head to court to institute any legal action.
The former Edo State governor further noted that he took difficult decisions in line with the mandate President Muhammadu Buhari had given him to reform the party when he convinced him to contest in 2018.
Oshiomhole, who fought several battles while in office, said that despite sacking him after convincing him to take up the chairmanship, he would not hold anything against the president because he is very proud of his achievements within the two years he was chairman.
Announcing that he has withdrawn his case over his suspension at the Supreme Court, a sober Oshiomhole indicated that he is leaving office with his shoulders and head high.
Asked if he had any regret, he said: ‘The process of leadership requires that you take decisions. I am a man of very strong conviction. I lead by what I believe in. I recognise that for every decision you take, particularly when you want to embark on radical results, you are going to step on toes. That was meant to be and I am not assuming leadership for the first time.
‘I am happy with the decisions I have taken and at the end of the day how do you judge the performance of a party other than by electoral outcome. I believe that it is convenient for people to point at a few areas where we have challenges, especially the few states that we lost, forgetting that there are also states that we won.
‘For example, and it doesn’t matter what anybody wants to say, I remain proud that we were able to recover Kwara State which was an extremely important one for reasons I need not enumerate. I am happy that we recovered Gombe State, these are very strategic states. There are a couple of other things we did but today is not the day to celebrate. As for regret, I have none of it because you cannot lead a party as large as the APC in a country as diverse as Nigeria and expect that everybody will be happy with you. In life, for every one thing, people are clapping and some are not happy. It is like a football match, you score a goal, people jubilate while others mourn as if it is the end of the world,’ Oshiomhole said.
Speaking earlier on his decision to accept the dissolution of the NWC, he said: ‘I thought that it is important that I formally react to the recent events as it affects our party. We are all aware that on Thursday, a special NEC meeting was called and was attended by Mr President, governors, APC leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly and some other leaders of our party.
‘At the end of the meeting, as you all know, the National Working Committee was dissolved and, accordingly, I ceased to be the chairman of the APC.
‘Mr President graciously invited me to run for the office of chairmanship of the party in 2018 precisely about two years ago. The president told me then that if we do not reform the APC, we can as well forget about the party.
‘You know that reforms are challenging and it will entail taking difficult decisions. Mine has been a life of trouble and I accepted this and I believe I did my best. I’m happy that at the end of the day, 2019 elections have come and gone and, thanks to Nigerian people, our president had more votes in 2019 than we had in 2015. We have more members in the Senate and House of Representatives,’ he said.
‘Unlike 2015 when we were not able to manage our victory in the two chambers such that we had an APC president in the Senate and PDP deputy senate president, this time, working hard with my colleagues in the NWC and in consultation of leaders of our party across the board, we have the kind of unity expected in the governing party in the two chambers of the National Assembly.
‘I am happy that the leadership of the National Assembly is working harmoniously with Mr President. The APC under my chairmanship has done its best and the results are there. Of course, we have now been dissolved and I have accepted that dissolution in good faith.
‘I am not going into the question of legality or illegality. The bottom line is that the president who invited me to lead the party and who mobilised all the support for my emergence as chairman also presided over the meeting where the NWC has now been dissolved,’ Oshiomhole said.