Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Former Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, declared in Abuja, that he wants to be national chairman so as to reposition, re-organise and make the All Progressives Congress (APC) a “digital party.”
Before Imo and Edo governors, as well as APC faithful, Oshiomhole also declared that President Muhammadu Buhari is cleaner than his predecessors.
Oshiomhole said these when he formally disclosed his intention to contest for the national chairman position in the party’s June 23 national elective convention.
“I believe that with the zeal to work with the executive and legislative arms of government, we will engender renewed public confidence and support for our party and government at all levels.”
Insisting that even if president Buhari may have failed in everything, what towered him above his predecessors is that he is not a thief.
“I want to assure Nigerians that I believe with a new leadership of the APC and with our president, whom I believe is ever determined, no matter what anybody wants to say, there will be time to engage in all of those contestations as we approach 2019 electioneering campaign and those who wish to contest on various party platforms come to the open, we will know the players, we will know their coach, we will be able to engage.
“Until then, so that I don’t change headlines, there is only one thing I want to say here and now, that the worst critic of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, will agree that the president is not a thief. President Buhari is not a thief. That, for me, is the starting point and we will challenge others.
Although several APC governors, under the platform of the party did not attend the declaration, the event was, however, a gathering of political heavyweights; with governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo and Godwin Obaseki of Edo, to members of the National Assembly and several party chieftains present at the declaration.
He assured that the principle of separation of powers will be upheld under his watch as chairman but warned that he will not be a toy, at the disposal of anybody, and stressed that there will no longer be graveyard silence on issues concerning the party.
“As I present myself for the position of the national chairman of our great party, it is pertinent to reflect on what constitutes the APC. The APC is a progressive party which represents the collective will of all the members of the party in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“It is my hope that if, and when elected as national chairman of the party, we will reposition and re-organise the party based on its philosophy of social democracy, which basically means people-oriented, membership driven and mass-based political organisation. To be able to translate these into concrete action that is visible and verifiable.
“Under our leadership, we will naturally have to do a couple of things differently, in the day to day management of the party, while interfacing with all those elected on the platform of the party at all levels.”
Dignitaries at the event included Edo state deputy governor, Phillip Shuaibu, the state’s APC Chairman, Anslem Ojezia, National Vice Chairman, South South, Hilliard Eta, former Bayelsa state governor, Chief Timiprieye Silva, Speaker of Edo Assembly, Kabiru Adjoto and Senator Magnus Abe, among others.