By Omezia Ajayi
ABUJA—Hopes of reconciliation of chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, going into the 2019 general election as a united body are being dogged by the failure to establish a reconciliation committee as promised to drive the process.
The National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole recently promised to constitute a reconciliation committee to heal the acrimony that has divided the party since the conduct of the recent party primaries.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier in the year appointed a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to lead reconciliation efforts, but party officials said the committee died on arrival even as its existence has been overtaken by events.
In spite of Tinubu’s committee, Comrade Oshiomhole had days ago hinted of a possible resolve of the party to kickstart a fresh round of reconciliation ahead of the elections.
Oshiomhole had said; “we are setting up various panels, groups of eminent leaders drawn from within the APC and we have a body of statesmen and women within our party who we believe can help us talk to those who are aggrieved so that we can sort out all grievances and approach the next elections as a functioning party and by the special grace of God.”
However, party officials told Vanguard Monday in Abuja that the committee had not been constituted for two reasons.
They cited the face-off between the party chairman and some stakeholders of the party as one of the reasons for the delay.
“Oshiomhole is an interested party. Is there any possibility that his reconciliation committee would not pander to his whims? The president should lead reconciliation efforts, but again when he tried to do that earlier in the year, he ended up appointing a man (Tinubu) who was then the ‘aggrieved chief’ to lead such efforts. That was how everything died from the outset”, he said.
Another party official who said he was not authorized to speak on the matter said many of those that could have led the reconciliation efforts are themselves aggrieved as a result of the conduct and outcome of the last primaries of the party, and because they had not been carried along before now and only considered when there are troubleshooting issues.
He said; “Some of these people are themselves, aggrieved because they didn’t have their way in the last congresses and primaries. They are also aggrieved because the party has not been involving them in some operations. Their angst is that some people who are benefitting heavily from the party would go and cause problems somewhere, and they (stakeholders) would now be called upon to come and clear the mess”.
The party has been seriously divided over the conduct of its primaries with a number of governors who are strategic influencers turning against the national chairman of the party. The acrimony led to the interrogation of Oshiomhole penultimate Sunday by the Department of State Services, DSS.
The crisis has crystallised in the failure of the party to field candidates in Zamfara State. The party is also faced with hundreds of court cases from aggrieved party aspirants.