Posted by News Express | 8 March 2020 | 1,107 times
Lobbying for the position of the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) gained momentum yesterday as the opponents and supporters of the incumbent chairman criss-crossed the country to curry the favour of past and present leaders of the ruling party.
Even governors elected on the APC platform were not left out as they held open and secret meetings to push their case for and against Oshiomhole to a logical conclusion.
Some pro-Oshiomhole governors resolved to meet with President Muhmmadu Buhari to resolve the imbroglio. They also reportedly agreed to confer with APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is alleged to have reached out to some leaders to persuade him to intensify his peace overtures.
But Oshiomhole’s opponents, who are working towards the APC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting slated for March 17, 2020, are not resting on their oars.
Sources in their fold said that the NEC meeting would be used to test the might of the majority leaders of the APC against the “desperation of a few persons” in the “outlived” Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
S’South zonal leadership passes vote of confidence on Oshiomhole
Meanwhile, the South-South zonal leadership of the APC has passed a vote of confidence on Oshiomhole and declared that the increasing actions of vested 2023 interests were out to destabilise both the party and its leadership.
The zonal leaders recalled that In line with the directive of our National Executive Committee (NEC), the South–South Zonal Executive Committee, zonal leaders and stakeholders met in 2018, and endorsed Oshiomhole as national chairman.
They added that at the 2018 national convention, the party delegates nationwide affirmed our zonal position by voting en-mass to elect Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the party to pilot its affairs of for the period of 2018 to 2022).
In the statement issued by the South South zonal leaders yesterday, which was signed by the zonal and state chairmen among others, they declared absolute support for Oshiomhole.
They said: “We state on our honour that the South-South zone will not stand by and watch individuals, vested interests, and mischief makers treat our duly elected national chairman, Comrade Adams Aliu Oshiomhole with disdain and disrespect. Any unprovoked attack on our national chairman is an insult and an attack on the South-South geo-political zone, and is unacceptable.
“In line with the position of the NWC at its meeting of 7th March, 2020, the leadership of the South-South zone completely dissociates itself from the illegal and unlawfully NEC meeting purportedly convened by unauthorized persons. Accordingly, we strongly advise all NEC members from the zone to ignore same and treat any such purported notice of NEC meeting with the absolute disdain it deserves.
“We reject and dissociate ourselves from the brigandage sponsored by mischief makers who are habouring sinister intentions and motives to disorganise the very foundation of our party and weaken its electoral strengths, all to serve their selfish 2023 political ambitions,” they said.
Among the signatories of the statement were the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
According to the statement, “the leadership of the South-South geo-political zone hereby passes a vote of implicit confidence on the national leadership of our great party, ably led by the national chairman, Comrade Adams Aliu Oshiomhole, and the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, the overall leader of our great party.”
Similarly, the APC vice chairman (South-South), Prince Hilliard Eta, has declared that those fighting for the removal of Oshiomhole were plotting to weaken the party due to their 2023 presidential ambition so as to move some members to another party where they can pursue their selfish ambition.
He debunked a report in a national daily that the people of the zone have abandoned Oshiomhole.
Eta asserted that Oshiomhole remains the best for the position, adding that “he is enjoying the support of the leaders of the zone contrary to reports in the media.”
He said. “I was surprised when I read that report that the South-South has abandoned Oshiomhole, that is completely untrue and being fuelled by those plotting evil against the national chairman. I am the national vice chairman of the party in the South-South zone, and I know better. The political leader of the zone who is the Deputy Senate President (Ovie Omo-Agege) was not contacted by anyone to know the position of the zone.
“So I wonder where that newspaper got its information from. As I speak with you, the zone is implicitly behind the national chairman of our party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. We are fully in support of our chairman and people from outside of our zone will not tell us how we will manage our office that was zone to our region,” he said.
While attributing the crisis in the party to 2023 presidential ambition of some governors, Eta explained that “every politician is propelled by his own interest; some interests are genuine while some are not. Their (anti-Oshiomhole governors) main reason for the grand standing within the party is the seeming altercation in Edo State. But the most fundamental and outstanding reason for their war against Oshiomhole is who becomes the candidate of the party in the 2023 presidency.
“Who will be the vice presidential candidate, that is what they are battling for. In fact, some are working with some elements in the PDP to do this due to greed. But we are telling them that these selfish interests have capacity to implode the party and the truth is that all of us will regret it. It will not pay any body. These tendencies, nonchalant attitude of these people fighting has capacity to destroy the party and we all will be the losers,” he said.
No going back on NEC meeting – Giadom
Also on Sunday, the deputy national secretary of the APC, Chief Victor Giadom, has defended the notice he sent out on Friday night, convening an emergency NEC meeting for March 17, 2020. Giadom insisted last night that Oshiomhole remained suspended.
In a statement he issued last night, Giadom who signed it as the “acting national secretary” of the party faulted some of his colleagues on the NWC for approving the nomination of Waziri Bulama as acting national secretary.
The statement reads in part: “My attention has been drawn to a notice with the above caption dated March 7, 2020, and signed by Babatunde Ogala Esq., Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu and one Arc. Waziri Bulama, which was aimed at discrediting the position of calling for an emergency NEC meeting as acting national secretary. The notice is not only aimed at creating mischief but it is aimed at misleading the esteemed members of the NEC and the general public at large.
“For the purpose of clarity and putting the issues in proper perspective, I wish to state that the decision to call for an emergency NEC meeting for March 17, 2020, was taken in strict compliance with the constitution of the party. It is on record that the erstwhile bational chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiohmole has been suspended by a court of competent jurisdiction. The two deputy national chairmen are no longer in office. The next most senior party officials should be the secretary-general of the party. But as we all know, our erstwhile national secretary in the person of Hon. Buni Mai Mala is now the executive governor of Yobe State. Hence, as the acting national secretary, I have the constitutional power to steer activities of our great party.
“Article 14.4 (i) of the constitution of our great party, the deputy national secretary is empowered to act as national secretary in the absence of the national secretary and all the actions taken since the emergence of Hon. Buni Mai Mala as executive governor of Yobe State are taken in my capacity as the acting national secretary. By Article 14.3 (ii) of the constitution of the party, being the acting national secretary. I have the power to issue notices of meetings of national convention, NEC and the NWC of the party. This is the power I exercised on the March 6 and March 7, 2020 calling for an emergency NEC of our great party in line with Article 25 (B) (ii) of the constitution of our great party.”(Leadership)
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