The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Tuesday affirmed the suspension of Comrade Adams Oshiomole as a member and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ruling on the interlocutory appeal filed by Comrade Oshiomhole, the appellate court upheld the decision of the Federal Capital Territory High Court delivered by Justice Danlami Senchi which in March ordered the suspension of Oshiomhole as well as restraining him from parading himself as the National Chairman of the party.
In a unanimous judgement in the first appeal delivered by Justice
Eunice Onyemanam, the court held that the FCT High Court had territorial jurisdiction to have entertained the suit as it did.
The court also withdrew his rights and privileges as National Chairman of the party including his security details.
The appeal court predicated its decision on the ground that Comrade Oshiomole as the first appellant is based in Abuja while the APC also has its national headquarters in the capital city.
In the judgment on the second appeal delivered by Justice Mohammed Lamido, the court disagreed with Comrade Oshiomhole that their right to a fair hearing was breached by the trial court.
Justice Lamido further said that there was no basis for the two appellants to hold that they were denied fair hearing during proceedings at the FCT High Court.
It further held that the suspension of Comrade Oshiomole from Ward 10 of Etsako local government of Edo state was ratified at the ward, local and state government level as required by law.
And the identity of those who suspended him was not in doubt because in their unchallenged affidavit they made it clear that they were party members and officers of the party, therefore the appeal lacks merit.
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the APC are the appellants in the two dismissed appeals.
Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, has reacted to the decision of the APC to disqualify him from participating in the party’s governorship primaries slated for June 22, 2020.
Governor Godwin Obaseki says he will not appeal the outcome of the screening exercise which disqualified him from participating in the primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the forthcoming governorship poll in Edo State.
In a communique by his spokesman, Crusoe Osagie, the governor said he watched the mockery of the democratic process, which “Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is administering and superintending” over in his party the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The governor stated that it has been an unfortunate, disheartening, and dreadful spectacle.
Governor Obaseki noted that he had initially asserted that going by the open display and enthronement of illegality by one man in the party that comprises several organs and eminent personalities, there is no way that he would get a fair assessment in the run-up to the nomination of candidates to fly the flag of the party in the forthcoming Edo gubernatorial election.
Obaseki said it is unfortunate that this “open show of shame, illegality, and travesty of justice is the brand of democracy which Comrade Oshiomhole has reduced the APC into”. Adding that the situation is quite saddening because this is a party supposedly reputed for change, equity and social justice.
“We have therefore decided that it would be an effort in futility to appeal whatever the unjust outcome of the evaluation and screening process of the APC will be, especially when Comrade Oshiomhole has declared that he is the Supreme Court and ultimate determiner of the fate and future of our great party.
“We wish Oshiomhole well in his maladministration of the party and trust that the Almighty will help our country to find the path to true liberty, freedom, and justice,” Godwin Obaseki stated.
He called on all party members and his teeming supporters to remain calm and await further directives.
The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, on Friday justified the disqualification of Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State by the APC screening committee from participating in the primary election on June 22 for the nomination of the party’s candidate for the September governorship election in Edo State. Oshiomhole said the party leadership complied with the APC constitution in the disqualification of Obaseki, his political arch-rival.
The APC screening committee appointed by Oshiomhole on Friday lost out of democratic norms strengthening Oshiomhole in the fight with Obaseki to disqualify the Edo governor from the party’s primary election. Obaseki clearly lost a structural battle to Oshiomhiole who controls the APC structures.
Former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Odigie-Oyegun has said that the disqualification of Obaseki by the APC Screening Panel is a hatchet job aimed at installing a stooge that will allow some people unfettered access to Edo Treasury.
Chief Oyegun noted that while the disqualification is not a surprise, it is a clear indication that internal democracy has been murdered in APC, a party that was founded on the principles of fair play and good conscience.
The APC chieftain said that the APC will suffer dire consequences in Edo state if this disqualification is not speedily reversed.
“As a matter of fact, Oshiomole is indeed the one who is guilty of anti-party, not Obaseki,” Oyegun stressed.
He further stated that Oshiomole is the one who is acting unconstitutionally not Obaseki.
Oyegun said he hopes that Oshiomole will not go down in history as the undertaker of APC.
Buoyed his clearance by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Edo State governorship primary of the party, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has expressed gratitude to the screening committee of the party for carrying out a thorough job.
In a statement on Friday in Benin by Mr John Mayaki, the Director of Communication and Media of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s Campaign Organization, he said that the progress made by completing the exercise revealed the true spirit and character of the year party premised on a bold insistence on fairness, accountability, and transparency.
The former Secretary to Edo State Government said: “I wish to send my deepest gratitude to all the members of our great party, the All Progressives Congress, for joyful cooperation that led to a seamless but thorough screening exercise.”
Having passed the screening tests, Ize-Iyamu expressed his consistent readiness to take the will of the party as the ultimate, regarding its laws and principles as the supreme guide for the execution of its affairs and assignments.
The APC governorship aspirant noted: “I urge all the members of our party whose indefatigable commitment, loyalty, and cooperation has led to the success we experienced in recent times, to remain focused and committed to our general ambition as a party, and in the same vein pursuant of our personal political dreams in light of our progressive philosophy.”
“As we prepare for the primaries and the election itself, it is time we bind together and close ranks, remembering that the greatest goal is the progress of Edo State, the moving forward of our great homeland, and the betterment of life for all of its people.”
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state has expressed his fears over the possible outcome of the seven-member screening committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) headed by Prof. Jonathan Ayuba.
Obaseki, who is seeking for re-election, showed up on the first day of the screening exercise, Wednesday at the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja, the venue of the verification at about 1:10pm.
Shortly after the screening on Wednesday night, Obaseki said the screening committee is still being manipulated by the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole.
The governor alleged that some of the questions asked by the committee showed that Oshiomhole has not distanced himself from the process of conducting governorship primaries in the state.
“Like I said, as a party man I have gone through the screening process but I do not believe that I will get justice because Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is an interested party in the Edo process.
“One of the questions that was asked was why I issued a gazette that will prevent the party from performing direct primary elections in Edo.
“That did I not see it as an anti-party activity? I just felt that if we put politics above the lives of the people of Edo State, then we may be missing the point,” Obaseki said.
Obaseki recalled that when he came to the party’s National Secretariat to submit his nomination form, he told a news conference that Oshiomhole should distance himself from the process.
“I have given them all the information they need; the controversial certificate from the University of Ibadan has been tendered,” he said.
The party has slated June 22 for its direct mode of primary in the state while Nigeria’s electoral body, INEC, has fixed September 19 for the Edo 2020 Governorship election.
Governor Obaseki and his predecessor in office, Adams Oshiomhole, who now leads the ruling APC, have been engaged in a protracted political battle which now threatens the party’s chances at the polls.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has asked Adam Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to reveal the name of the university he attended.
This was after Obaseki’s certificate from the University of Ibadan is questioned to have been forged.
Oshiomhole had called for an investigation into the alleged forgery while inaugurating the APC screening and appeal committees for the party’s Edo State primary elections.
“Someone should approach the UI and end this matter once and for all. If the certificate Obaseki parades is that of the UI, find out how did he pass senate screening of those days? I am aware that in those days when this man never dreamt of becoming a governor, every student, no matter your status or your family name, must pass screening,” he said.
Obaseki’s spokesman who spoke to The Punch asked Oshiomhole to reveal the name of the university he attended himself.
“The University of Ibadan is perhaps the most reputable university in Africa. The University of Ibadan awarded a BA degree in Classical Studies to his excellency the governor as far back as 1979,” he said.
“The university is still there. If anybody feels the certificate is not credible, why doesn’t the person go there to verify? Why are we just seeing this only in the media?
“Bear in mind that the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, was among an elite corps of illustrious alumni of the university people to deliver a national alumni lecture in August 2018. Do you think such an institution will call someone who is not an alumnus to deliver such a lecture?
“We have said before; these allegations are baseless and come to think of it, which university did Oshiomhole attend to know what the admission process is like? The responsibility of setting guidelines for admission into a university rests on the Senate of the institution. The lecturers who taught the governors are still alive and the institution is still there.”
Obaseki dismisses allegation of certificate forgery
“They say I forged my certificate. How can you forge the certificate of the University of Ibadan? I am not like those that burn buildings to cover up their certificate issues,” he had said during a meeting with ward leaders in Oredo local government area of the state.
“We have been practising democracy for 21 years now. We cannot continue to behave the same way. This time, we will change the narrative.”
The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, on Tuesday unveiled one of his plots to stop Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo from getting the party’s ticket for second term re-election in the September 2020 governorship election in Edo State. The APC chairman had earlier plotted to link the Edo Governor with certificate forgery to ensure the governor’s disqualification at the party screening before the APC primary election for the nomination of its candidate for the September poll. Oshiomhole had beguiled APC leaders into relying on the thesis that the party must avoid its bitter experience in the Bayelsa State governorship election while nominating its governorship candidate in Edo State.
Apparently, Oshiomhole, while inaugurating the APC screening and appeal committees for the party’s governorship aspirants in Abuja in preparation for the June 22 governorship primary election in Edo State, questioned the authenticity of the first degree certificate Governor Obaseki presented to the party he obtained from the University of Ibadan.
Oshiomhole, working on his grand plot against Obaseki, declared at the APC screening committee inauguration: “Someone should approach the UI and end this matter once and for all. If the certificate Obaseki parades is that of the UI, find out how did he pass senate screening of those days?
“I am aware that in those days when this man never dreamt of becoming a governor, every student, no matter your status or your family name, must pass screening.
“It is done every third term at the UNN (University of Nigeria Nsukka), then we ran terminal not semester programme. The final screening was in the third year, before you go in for your final year.
“How come the UI allowed him then? Did he do a remedial? Which was not unlikely. These are questions. Many came in, especially, in education and linguistics, did remedial for one year and if the result was good, gained direct entry and graduated three years after.’’
Oshiomhole in further deployment of his political decoy to stop Obaseki reinforced his certificate suspicion with the Bayelsa State election misfortune. He, therefore, instructed: “The screening is not a formality and we expect you to be very meticulous in every material in particular to protect our party so that it would not be said that we did not learn anything from Bayelsa. As you know sometimes when things go wrong, everybody sees it that NWC did not do a thorough job. So, people personalized it. They say, ‘If the chairman is thorough, if he has done his job this will not happen but that is the price for leadership.”
The APC national chairman further declared that if any aspirant is not satisfied with the recommendations of the screening committee, he should appeal, adding that the complaint will be communicated to the appeal committee.
Oshiomhole threatened that the APC NWC can reject the screening result [suspiciously if it does not favour his anointed aspirant.]
Oshiomhole had declared: “The NWC can reject the screening result. Screening committee is high court. The appeal committee is the Appeal Court and the NWC, the Supreme Court.”
Members of the screening committee were identified to include:- Prof Jonathan Ayuba (Chairman), Prof Agbo Madaki, Ibrahim Zailani, Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed Binani, Dr Jane-Frances Agbu, Fort Dike while Dr Rabe Nasir will serve as secretary.
The appeal committee constitutes of Dr. Abubakar Fari, Chairman; Daniel Bwala, Secretary; Prof. Sadeeque Abba, Gbenga Olubajo, Mohammed Idris and Esther Bepeh.
The six aspirants, who completed and submitted their expression of interest and nomination forms to the APC leadership include Governor Godwin Obaseki, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Dr. Pius Odubu, Chris Ogiemwonyi, Osaro Odubu and Mathew Aigbuhuenze Iduoriyekemwen.
Meanwhile, Governor Obaseki has challenged Oshiomhole to proceed to the University of Ibadan to confirm his certificate.
The Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Osagie, on behalf of the governor, declared: “The University of Ibadan is perhaps the most reputable university in Africa. The University of Ibadan awarded a BA degree in Classical Studies to his excellency the governor as far back as 1979. The university is still there. If anybody feels the certificate is not credible why doesn’t the person go there to verify?
“Why are we just seeing this only in the media? Bear in mind that the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, was among an elite corps of illustrious alumni of the university people to deliver a national alumni lecture in August 2018. Do you think such an institution will call someone who is not an alumnus to deliver such a lecture?”
However, members of the APC screening and appeal committees are facing the acid test of resisting the temptations and pressures to be used by Oshiomhole to disqualify Obaseki, protect their individual integrity, and objectively perform their ad hoc duties.
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, is confident of winning the primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the governorship election in the state.
The governor who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics said he has no reason to be scared of his rival, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
Ize-Iyamu, who contested the last governorship election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), defected to the APC in November 2019 to contend with Obaseki for the party’s ticket in the September 19 poll.
Asked if he was afraid of his co-contender, Governor Obaseki said, “Why should I be? The last time I contested, he (Ize-Iyamu) was my opponent from the PDP and the votes are there.”
“I beat him (when I had no track record as a governor) and now with the track record as a governor, I don’t have any fears.”
The governor also spoke about the method adopted by the APC national leadership to conduct the primary election.
He stated that although he had no problem with both direct and indirect methods, there was need to consider the health risks attached in a situation where the state has recorded hundreds of COVID-19 cases.
I Do Not Have A Rift With Him Governor Obaseki, however, promised to support the party’s candidate in the event that he lost in the primary election, but only if the process was free, transparent, and credible.
He recalled his recent visit to President Muhammadu Buhari and took a swipe at those who claimed that he does not have the President’s support to seek re-election.
“From the body language and relationships; will the President now come and take photograph with me and share my form with me if he is not happy that I am seeking re-election?” the governor questioned.
According to him, his chances of winning the election are not being threatened if the people of Edo and APC members in the state are allowed to express themselves.
Governor Obaseki also spoke about the lingering disagreement with his predecessor and APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
He said, “Conversations are on so that we can build internal peace and harmony within our party; I do not have a rift with him as a person.
“I just do not agree with some decisions he (Oshiomhole) is taking as it relates to the party, they are not in the interest of our party.”
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has recalled how the decision to remove fuel subsidy and increase fuel price was opposed by former governor of Edo State, Comrade Oshiomhole when he was President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
Atiku said Obasanjo, during his tenure, had begun a phased subsidy withdrawal, stressing that despite the opposition from the NLC, two phases of subsidy removal of fuel were achieved by the Obasanjo government before leaving office in 2007.
The Peoples Democratic Party chieftain stated via Twitter that he was assigned the task of negotiating with Oshiomhole who is now chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said it is sad that the current removal of subsidy for which some are being praised is the same one which ‘patriots’ like himself have been calling for and for which they were demonized.
The PDP’s presidential candidate in the last election noted that the stoppage of subsidy and price-fixing is the right move, stressing that it should have come earlier when the economy was stronger.
Former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 general elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has accused the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, of resisting the removal of fuel subsidy during the administration of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Atiku, who recalled that he headed the negotiations with the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, with Oshiomhole as the Chairman, said the current APC Chairman stood strongly against it.
The Waziri of Adamawa was backing an earlier tweet by his Spokesman, Paul Ibe, which reads, “For the avoidance of doubt, the Obasanjo administration embarked on a regime of subsidy removal.
“But the former NLC Chairman frustrated the efforts. Even at that, the Obasanjo government achieved some measures of subsidy removal before their exit in 2007.”
And adding to the claim, Atiku added, “The Obasanjo government in which I served commenced a phased subsidy withdrawal.
“I was tasked with negotiating with then NLC Chairman and current APC Chairman who stood strongly against it.”
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) on Thursday announced the removal of the price cap on the retail price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
And in reaction to this, Atiku had tweeted saying, “FG finally withdraws from the fuel subsidy and price-fixing bazaar that had been rife with corruption and stalling investments,” adding that this was something well-meaning Nigerians have been calling for and for which he (Atiku) was demonized.
Recall that during the administration of Obasanjo, the move to withdraw fuel subsidy and increase fuel price was vehemently opposed by the Adams Oshiomhole-led NLC with series of nationwide protests at the time.
A social-cultural group, Edo Unity League (EUL), has declared that the constitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC), does not give unilateral power to the National Working Committee of the party, to fixed primary elections.
This is even as chairmen of the APC in 18 local government areas of the state, threw their weight behind Governor Godwin Obaseki’s preference for indirect primary election method.
The NWC of the party had adopted direct primary method, against the state leadership of the party and the state Governor Goodwin Obaseki’s choice of indirect primary, to elect the candidate to fly its flag in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.
But the EUL insisted that NWC needs ratification of such decision from National Executive Council (NEC) of the party.
National Facilitator of EUL and a chieftain of the APC in the state, Comrade Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo, disclosed this on Thursday in Benin, while briefing journalists.
According to him, “If the APC constitution is anything to go by, article 20(iv)e states inter alia: ‘Without prejudice to article 20(u) and (iii) of the constitution, the national working committee shall subject to the approval of the national executive committee.
“From the foregoing, it is clear that the NWC is not a law unto itself, and like every other gubernatorial primaries precedents, this one scheduled for June 22nd in Edo will be accordingly reviewed based on the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic in favour of indirect primaries mode
“President Buhari is the head of APC NEC which is approving of all proposals by NWC. It is appropriate for the president to sensitize them that direct primaries is antithetical to all known protocol of security and health safety in the era of Covid-19,” he said.
Edokpolo therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the National Working Committee of the party to order by jettisoning the proposed direct primaries mode for the party in forthcoming governorship election in Edo State.
He alleged that 95 percent of APC primaries had been indirect when the world was Covid-19 free, wondering why the NWC would proposed direct primaries when Covid-19 is ravaging the world with much fatalities.
According to him, the direct primaries position was antithetical to all known protocol of security and health safety in the era of Covid-19 pandemic, adding that medical experts have warned against the direct primaries because of it attendant consequence due to Covid-19.
“Mobilising 350,000 members of APC across the 192 wards of Edo, in the face of crass ignorance of Covid-19 existence and incontrovertible facts of rural illiteracy, fatality of Covid-19 will be worsen in our state.
“In the indirect mode, the about 3500 delegates and INEC officials can be effectively coordinated in one or two centres in Benin, within the extant rule of social distance,” he said.
Chairmen of the party in the 18 local government areas, said the endorsement of indirect primary was in accordance with the resolution of the State Executive Committee.
Benjamin Oghumu, APC chairman, Orhionmwon local government, who spoke on their behalf, said the resolution of the State Working Committee was duly passed on May 22, 2020 as authorised by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party in August 2018.
He described the purported agreement for Osagie Ize-Iyamu to return to the party as a consensus candidate as lacking in foundation.
“Pastor Oaagie Ize-Iyamu is not a member of our party, he led his followers out of All Progressives Congress in 2014 and even contested the governorship election on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2016 election which he lost.
“The purported waiver granted to him by the National Working Committee of the party is ultra vires, null and void as Article 31 of the party constitution confers that power on the National Executive Committee of the party.
“Besides, the conditions for waiver prescribed by the party constitution have not been met. The party has a constitution and the constitution make provisions on how things are done including registration of new members,” he said.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja failed on Friday to hear the appeal filed by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole.
Oshiomhole’s appeal is against the March 4, 2020 interlocutory ruling by Justice Danlami Senchi of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Jabi, suspending him (Oshiomhole) from office.
On March 10 this year, the Court of Appeal in Abuja, heard an ex-parte motion argued for Oshiomhole by Wole Olanipekun (SAN), and ordered a stay of the execution of the ruling by Justice Senchi, pending the determination of the appeal by the APC Chairman.
The appellate court then adjourned further hearing till March 20, 2020.
When parties got to court on Friday, one of its officials told lawyers in the case that the court will no longer hear the appeal as earlier scheduled.
The official said a fresh hearing date will be communicated to parties.
Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has berated the Hope Uzodinma, for alleging that the PDP is responsible for the plot to remove Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman APC
“Many of us, leaders of the party, are aware that those clamouring for the chairman’s removal are working with the PDP to destabilise the party,”
Uzodinma told reporters on Saturday.
In an interview at the Government House Port Harcourt on Tuesday, Governor Wike said the comments credited to Senator Hope Uzodinma are baseless, untrue and unfortunate.
“I read that Senator Hope Uzodinma said that the PDP conspired to plot the attempted removal of APC National Chairman. That is an unfortunate lie.
“It is unfortunate that Senator Hope Uzodinma will have the temerity to make that false allegation. Hope Uzodinma was an APC agent while he was in PDP. That was why APC used him as an agent to support Ali Modu Sheriff, but they failed.
“It is unfortunate that people of questionable character are in Government. Hope Uzodinma cannot talk about the attempted removal of APC National Chairman and mention the PDP. What is our business in the attempted removal of Oshiomhole? “
“APC does not mean well for Nigeria. It is a party of strange bedfellows merely formed to take over power.
“If Senator Uzodinma dares to make such false comments again about the PDP, we will tell the world about him.
“That he fraudulently took the mandate of PDP does not mean that PDP is weak. Hope Uzodinma lacks the capacity to discuss the PDP.”
Governor Wike also urged Nigerians to be vigilant and work towards protecting the Judiciary, adding that the APC has destroyed the Judiciary.
“We must protect the Judiciary to do its work. But the Judiciary should protect itself. APC has destroyed the Judiciary,” He said.
Governor Wike wondered why the Judiciary should allow leaders of the APC to toss it around as has been witnessed during the party’s internal crisis.
He decried the situation where the Court of Appeal granted a stay of execution on the suspension of the APC National Chairman, but the FCT High Court went ahead to declare another person the Acting National Chairman. He said only the National Executive Committee of political parties have such powers.
“The Judiciary should be very careful. The Judiciary should be alert. It should not allow itself to be used. It should not allow itself to be destroyed.
“APC should not be allowed to destroy the Judiciary. Judiciary was there before APC. It was there before any political party. I cannot see the Judiciary being destroyed and keep quiet.
“I am not interested in what happens in the APC. But I am concerned with the Judiciary and its survival. “
He urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria to caution judges.
“With what the APC is doing today, we may not have the Judiciary and everyone will pay the price. The party is trying to destroy the hope of the common man,” He said.
Governor Wike regretted that the APC and her supporters attack the Judiciary when judgment is not in their favour.
He pointed out the attacks on Justice Mary Odili in the Bayelsa State Governorship matter.
The Governor said that the recent order by the wife of the member of a House of Representatives wherein she reaffirmed the freedom of the former Emir of Kano, was hailed, even though she was the wife of a PDP member.
He said that the APC is an association that was only concerned about the removal of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He said that having removed Jonathan, APC has been unable to use power to the advantage of Nigerians.
The Governor wondered how a national official of the APC who resigned to contest the Deputy Governorship position in Rivers State, would still go to court to seek to be Acting National Chairman.
Governor Wike, however, agreed with the Former Governor of Lagos State that the struggle in the APC is about 2023.
“I agree with the former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Tinubu that the crisis in APC is about 2023. Everyone wants to be President or Vice President. This virus is indeed worse than coronavirus,” He said.
National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, sang a conciliatory tune on Tuesday when he enjoined his colleagues in the National Working Committee to put the interests of Nigerians first.
He also suggested that the first post-crisis NWC should be devoted to “having a conversation around the coronavirus”.
Oshiomhole, holding his ‘rival’ Victor Giadom, said, “If it is one hour that we spend here, let us have a conversation around this issue.”
According to him, it should be an issue of concern that other countries were closing their international borders to contain the spread of the virus but Nigeria has yet to follow suit.
He explained that recent challenges the party had had to deal with were normal in a democratic setting.
Oshiomhole said, “Party Politics is about contestations. I am not the best chairman in the world and I don’t claim to be so, you can fault my style but you cannot fault my sincerity.
“The NWC is not divided. None of us seated here wants to destroy our party. My style is my style but I’ve learnt to reconcile my style with the style of others.”
The meeting, which is underway had most members of the 21 member NWC irrespective of which side they took during the crisis in attendance.
A leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, has expressed frustrations with developments in his party, declaring that the effects of the desperation of those he described as overambitious politicians exceeded the fatality of the raging coronavirus.
In a widely circulated statement issued ahead of the planned emergency meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), Tinubu expressed dismay at the way the provisions of the APC constitution were allegedly being breached by some chieftains of the party due to their personal ambitions.
He lamented that the political misunderstanding between the suspended national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State had become a rallying point for “those desperate for 2023” to distract President Muhammadu Buhari from governance.
Tinubu stated: “It is no secret that the chairman and Edo Governor Obaseki are in dispute. This is unfortunate. However, the party has moved through proper procedures within the proper organs to hopefully resolve this spat.
“The chairman has been a tireless campaigner and mobilizer for the party. He has steered the party through difficult elections. His contributions should not be undervalued now that the bulk of elections are behind us. To do so would be an act of ingratitude.”
Tinubu disclosed that “the plotters launched their attack solely because they perceive the chairman as an obstacle to their 2023 ambitions,” stressing that “people went to court knowing full well that the party’s constitution prohibits such action because these people had not yet exhausted all internal disciplinary procedures.
“We even had a national deputy secretary improperly calling for an NEC meeting on the basis that he believed himself to be the acting national chairman. Clearly, this man would not have summoned the temerity to make such a move had he not been instigated by powerful individuals, whom he thought would reward or, at least, protect him for committing the wrongful act.”
The former Lagos State governor noted that due to alert responses of Lagos and Ogun states’ governments, actively supported by the federal machinery, Nigeria was able to quickly identify and isolate the two cases of the novel coronavirus 19.
“This action, thus far, has stopped the spread of the disease into the wider community as has been seen in other nations. We are grateful to God and to all those involved in the response effort, particularly the brave and committed medical teams on the frontline.
“While corona has been presently contained in Nigeria, we must be alert to another sickness that seems rampant within a certain segment of society. That sickness is old ambition-virus 2023. This illness afflicts many in the political class along with their allies in the media.
“Those touched by this malady find that their ability to tell time and discern the difference between the present and the future has been strongly impaired. The carriers of this sickness are confused as to the very season our nation now finds itself.
“They conflate things, which no sensible person would conflate. The primary symptom of their malady is the driving tendency to believe the events of 2023 will be decided before we even exit the year 2020,” Tinubu said.
The APC leader, who observed that all the things said and done under the circumstances were “geared toward obsessive jockeying for position to control and manipulate a race still three years away,” added that in doing so, the desperadoes recklessly undermined the very party, which they claimed to serve and weakened the administration of President Buhari to which they claimed to be loyal.
Alluding to Governor Obaseki and other APC stalwarts, particularly members of the South-South leadership caucus allegedly moving for the removal of Oshiomhole from office as national chairman, Tinubu said: “those engaged in these manoeuvres see themselves as clever or cunning.”
“In a well-structured society, people come to understand that the time for politics is seasonal; it is periodic. The responsibilities of governance are what are perpetual. Many of our politicians sadly have inverted this reality.
“Politics and electioneering are secondary to governance, for they are but tools of governance, the platforms by which one demonstrates his or her worthiness to lead a great people. The more a person obsesses over and constantly engages in political manoeuvring is a warning sign.
“Not only is he prone to the 2023 virus, he likely has little to offer in the way of good governance. He wants to hold public office that you might serve him not he serves you. For if he had adequately studied and been acquainted with the ways and means of progressive governance, he would be focused on that important task at the present moment. He certainly would not drown himself and all around him in harmful political intrigue,” Tinubu said.
To him, it is against that backdrop that the alleged ploys and plots to undermine the APC national chairman should be viewed. “The chairman is human; thus, he has his merits as well as his flaws. Yet his humanity cannot be grounds for his dismissal. If so, the position will forever go vacant.”
While insisting that those afflicted with the 2023 virus do a grave disservice to President Buhari and his administration, the APC leader lamented: “Many of us expended sweat, tears, toil and sleepless nights to build this party. Our personal sacrifices were not insignificant. We built this party not simply as a vehicle for personal ambition. We built the party because we saw it as perhaps the only enduring hope to bring progressive governance to this nation. Those who now seek to abuse the party by using it as their personal device do it great harm.
“They should not be allowed to sacrifice this collective enterprise at the altar of their self-aggrandizement. Somehow, some way they should find in themselves the bearing to adhere to the democratic spirit on which the party was founded. To be an APC member means more than merely carrying a membership card. It means to believe in a set of ideals and principles geared to our highest purpose as a party and a nation.”
The former Lagos governor said that the president was faced with many challenges, fighting hard on security to keep the population safe and pushing for economic reforms that would engender future sustainable growth, adding that his disdain for corruption remained unwavering.
“Add to it now the corona crisis and its resultant social as well as economic impact. Politicians express loyalty to him but the words of too many of our politicians are like butter under a burning sun; they melt quickly away. Better to be loyal in deed.
“Instead of trying to manipulate party and other mechanisms solely to their political gain, it is time to shelve political intrigue for the time being. It is time for all party members to truly see what is at stake and work with Mr. President for the collective good of the nation.
“This means we must rally around President Buhari. Instead of everyone saying they are working for the party and nation but going their separate ways based on their selfish designs, we must help him build a stronger national consensus on policies that will ensure safety and bring greater prosperity,” he appealed.
Tinubu remarked that he had said what was on his mind, hoping that “some people may leave the 2023 frenzy and commit themselves to the harder yet more rewarding task of improving progressive governance, whether within the party or at the local, state or federal levels.”
The Federal High Court sitting in Kano has ordered status quo be maintained in the APC National Chairmanship tussle.
Justice Lewis Allagoa granted the order in an exparte application by one Aliyu Muhammad Rabiu.
The court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC not to deal or recognise anybody other than Adams Oshiohmole as the National Chairman of APC pending determination of the substantive matter before it.
The court restrains parties in the suit from giving effect to purported suspension of the Chairman from Ward 10 Etsako West LGA of Edo State on November 2, 2019.
Counsel for the applicant, Johnmary Chukwukasi moved the exparte motion Thursday. The court has fixed 8th of April for hearing of motion on notice.
The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress took a new twist on Saturday as the governors opposed to the embattled National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, began the search for his replacement.
It was learnt that consultations had been going on in the states, with meetings scheduled to take place next week on how to pick his successor.
Ex-Zamfara State governor Abdulaziz Yari, a one-time Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum; ex-Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba; and Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri, are among those being touted as the new APC National Chairman.
But the pro-Oshiomhole governors and members of the party’s National Working Committee who are unhappy with the former Edo State governor’s problems have reportedly gone on the offensive.
It was learnt that they had scheduled a meeting with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), early this week to plead his case.
One of Oshiomhole’s sympathisers, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, stated, “Because some of us have been quiet some people think we don’t know they are doing all of these because of their 2023 agenda.
“We will be meeting the President this week to ask him if he is aware of a letter being bandied about by some of these people seeking to force our chairman out. They are claiming that he consented to attending the illegal NEC (National Executive Committee) meeting they called for the March 17.
“We will also want to find out if he is aware that this whole thing is a plot to destabilise his government, because these people don’t mean well for our party.
“We want to tell the President that enough is enough, we will not allow the ambition of individuals who don’t mean well for our party to destroy us. These are the people telling the President lies about Oshiomhole.
“We want to tell the President that these people do not love him, because he needs to concentrate on his work.”
The source further said from his interaction with some of the anti-Oshiomhole governors, their grouse with him were largely personal.
The source said, “Some of them say he doesn’t refer to them on matters affecting their states and that he doesn’t listen to them; these are not party issues, they are personal.
“Removing Oshiomhole is an attempt to destabilise the party and the President.
“Some of these people talking now almost lost the last elections in their states if not for the tough stance Oshiomhole took.
“He was also able to work hard to ensure that those the President would be comfortable working with emerge as leaders of the National Assembly. Today, the party is enjoying the dividends of this arrangement. Our bills are being passed with ease. If we allow this problem to fester, it will get to the National Assembly and we will lose the advantage we enjoy. This bullying must stop.”
Meanwhile, members of the NWC loyal to Oshiomhole have distanced themselves from the NEC meeting scheduled for March 17.
In a statement by the party’s National Legal Adviser, Babatunde Ogala, and the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, on Saturday, the pro-Oshiomhole NWC members in the statement dissociated themselves from the APC Emergency National Executive Committee meeting, “which invitation is credited to Chief Victor Giadom, Deputy National Secretary of the party”.
Ogala and Issa-Onilu said the “constitution of the party had provided the process and procedure to be followed to convene such a meeting as stipulated in Article 25 (B) (i) and (ii).”
The article states, “The National Executive Committee shall meet every quarter and or at any time decided by the National Chairman or at the request made in writing by at least two-thirds of the members of the National Executive Committee provided that not less than 14 days’ notice is given for the meeting to be summoned.
“ii. Without prejudice to Article 25(B)(i) of this Constitution, the National Working Committee may summon an Emergency National Executive Committee meeting at any time, provided that at least seven days’ notice of the meeting shall be given to all those entitled to attend.”
They argued that “neither the National Chairman nor the resolution of two-thirds of members of the National Executive Committee has directed nor made any request to summon a National Executive Committee Meeting of the party”.
According to them, Giadom is not vested with any constitutional powers to convene any NEC meeting. They also said he was not directed by Oshiomhole to call the meeting.
However, the APC National Vice-Chairman (North-East) Mustapha Salihu, dismissed Ogala and Onilu’s statement, describing it as “a hatchet job”.
Salihu is a member of the Giadom faction which signed the statement that fixed NEC meeting for March 17.
He said, “Why are they (the Oshiomhole group) not operating from the party’s national secretariat? They are not. They are using the style of Radio Biafra; we are in the secretariat working tirelessly towards a successful NEC meeting as you can see. These people are hiding somewhere trying to confuse the public.”
Asked whether they would attend the emergency NEC meeting, Salihu said, “Yes, as you can see from the announcement we’ve made, we have written to the President and he duly responded and we have a date fixed for the meeting.
“This is an emergency meeting; the main issue is the state of our party in the light of the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole, and you know the agenda of such a meeting is a collective one.”
Our correspondent reported that armed security men were still guarding the secretariat of the party when he visited the premises on Saturday.
The security men took over the secretariat on Friday following the conflicting court pronouncements on the crises rocking the ruling party.
Recall that a judge of the Abuja High Court, Justice Danlami Senchi, on Wednesday granted an interlocutory injunction retraining Oshiomhole from functioning as national chairman of the party.
A day later, a Federal High Court sitting in Kano, presided over by Justice A. Lewis-Allgoa, which is a court of equal jurisdiction with the Abuja High Court, gave a contradictory order.
Embattled National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC Adams Oshiomhole says he has identified a few elements within the party at the national level who are scheming to unseat him.
Addressing State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, Oshiomhole explained that he showed the resolution of his ward in Edo State to the President because they also do not have the power as National Chairman of the Party.
While noting that his suspension by an FCT High Court Abuja, was carried out without the facts being laid down, the APC National Chairman praised the Federal High Court Kano, for the reversal.
Oshiomhole maintained that it is only God that can remove him as National Chairman of the Party.
He added that no matter how he tries to carry everyone along, those determined to fight him will not relent.