Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
If tempers and tensions within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) household are anything to go by, the days of Adams Oshiomhole as party boss might be numbered.
A high party official told Daily Sun in confidence that, judging by the magnitude of a fresh plot against a beleaguered Oshiomhole, he might not last into January 2020 as the party’s national chairman.
The party source disclosed that the plot came to a head a few months ago with the involvement of many APC governors, but that the Presidency had moved to curb further escalation pending the outcome of the ruling on the Presidential Election Appeal Tribunal.
“I am sure you know why all the plots to remove him were put on hold,” the APC source said to Daily Sun, “and I am also sure you are not among those wondering why the hostilities and antagonisms from many quarters against him died down. The Presidency had intervened, pleading with every aggrieved person against Oshiomhole to temporarily pipe low and sheathe their swords until after the Presidential Election Appeal Tribunal rules on the outcome of the 2019 presidential election.”
The source explained that “the Presidency had said that it will not be good for the party to be divided ahead of the ruling because it will not only certainly send a negative signal but also portray the party in a light capable of affecting the outcome of the judgement. The Presidency, again, claimed that his services and approach was needed before the judgement.”
Speaking further, the party chieftain noted that now that the Tribunal has ruled, the clandestine plot to remove Oshiomhole as chairman has restarted, with mostly the aggrieved state governors leading the charge.
“There is overwhelming evidence to nail and remove him, and I can confirm to you that Oshiomhole cannot last as the national chairman of APC beyond January next year, that is if he survives the plot by December this year. We have had enough and he must leave before he kills the party. If he fails to take the diplomatic option of resigning honourably, be sure he will be booted out on or before the deadline I gave you,” the source boasted.
Only recently, a forum of the party’s Non-National Working Committee (NWC) and the National Executive Committee (NEC) members accused the NWC of usurping the powers of the NEC, of failing to constitute a Board of Trustees (BoT)/National Elders Council and to fill up the vacant positions existing in the party, warning that it will soon result in a major crack in the crisis-ridden ruling party.
The Forum chairman, Nelson Alapa, noted in the communiqué that:
“The fundamental basis of this communiqué is to create appropriate awareness necessary in the minds and souls of the founding fathers and leaders of this great party on the urgent and critical need to salvage the party from possible imminent fractures/cracks, if things are left in the present ways the party as being currently run/managed by the incumbent leadership.
“As provided in the 2014 APC constitution as amended, Article 11 (Party Organs) National Executive Committee (NEC) members of which this Forum falls, is the third highest organ after the National Convention and Board of Trustees and takes precedent before the National Working Committee (NWC).
“It is disheartening that NWC has usurped completely powers of the NEC the negative effects of which are currently hitting back to all levels of the Party signalling serious dangers to the stability, coherency, unity, loyalty, commitment and preparedness for continuity in governance.
“We use this time to call on all the key stakeholders to ensure that BoT/NEC, as the case maybe, is constituted within a reasonable time frame majorly to enhance our party Status and operation.
“All vacant positions in the party should be filled appropriately to guarantee equity and fairness. Such vacant positions include the following: Departmental Directors, National Secretary, National Auditor, Deputy National Chairman South and National vice Chairman North-West.”
This trailed the earlier personal letters to Oshiomhole from both APC Deputy National Chairman Senator Lawal Shuaibu and the Director-General, Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman, levelling a number of allegations against the chairman, not least of which were insensitivity and ineptitude, and calling for his immediate resignation.
Added to this was the recently issued ultimatum by the party’s chapter chairmen in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), addressed to the national party leadership and the Presidency oved what they described as a poor reward system in the party.
It had warned in the communiqué signed by the chairman and secretary of the forum, Ali Bukar Bolari and Ben Nwoye, respectively, “the party and the government to take all necessary corrective measures on the issues highlighted within 10 working days from the date of this publication or await an unpleasant reaction from all levels of our great party from the polling units, wards, local government areas, states and nationwide.”
Beyond all these, the APC’s secretariat staff have been angry with the chairman for relocating most activities of the party to his personal office at Asokoro, complaining the move has turned the headquarters into a ghost town lacking serious activity.
“We are feeling the effects of his decision to abandon this secretariat because there is no activity going on here. Stakeholders and party chieftains hardly come here again. We sit idle from morning till evening and return home empty handed. In fact, I cannot remember when last I saw the drummers permanently stationed at the entrance to entertain visitors. They have deserted this secretariat because of lack of activities here,” a staff complained.
“You can count the number of times the members of the NWC visit this secretariat and it is going to be worse now that the National Auditor, Dr George Moghalu, has left due to his new appointment by the Federal Government. We were happy when he replaced Oyegun without knowing that our situation would be worse under Oshiomhole.”
However, in a chat with Daily Sun, Simon Ebegbulem, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Oshiomhole, dismissed the removal plot as mere speculation and fake rumour, saying that nothing of such would happen.
“I don’t understand why people are always interested in fake stories about plots against the national chairman. It is not today the speculation started and the rumour that intervention by the Presidency saved him before the Presidential Election Appeal Tribunal ruling were part of wrong information they are feeding the media. We will see how events unfold when the time they gave comes and now that the Tribunal has ruled,” he stated.