.Internal crisis deepens as Oshiomhole draws battle line with Govs
.Tells Amosun, APC doesn’t recognize emperors
.Okorocha, an embarrassment to APC
By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA: The ruling All Progressives Congress APC has vowed to defeat the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in the next general election.
The National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole made the declaration at a news conference on Friday in Abuja.
“We have defeated him before and we will defeat him again”, he said.
Oshiomhole added that all the ruling party needed to do was to place side by side the various accusations and counter accusations made between Atiku and his former boss, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. “Then, we will leave the rest for Nigerians to decide”.
Oshiomhole also spoke on his faceoff with some of the state governors, saying his decision to allow the people have a say in the selection of candidates was his main sin.
On the Supreme Court judgment in Rivers state, Oshiomhole said the party would abide by it and would soon put measures in place to conduct fresh congresses across the state.
The party had earlier announced that in spite of the apex court decision, its candidate for the governorship election remained Mr Tonye Cole.
He said; “On the judgment given by the Supreme Court, as a political party, we respect the judiciary, we also appreciate that in truth and in fact, democracy is basically about the celebration of the rule of law and not the rule of might. Based on this fact, which is not a choice, we are obliged to respect the the rule of law and at the heart of that is total obedience to the letters and the spirit of judicial findings which are not meant to be convenient. In a democracy, there are orders that need to be obeyed.
Therefore, the judgment by the Supreme court in which from the first page to the last page, it is very clear that the Supreme court has nullified the ward congresses that were done by my predecessor in Rivers state and also nullified the state and local government congresses that were done in the state because according to the supreme court, those congresses were done in spite of a subsisting court order.
What is important is that as things stand, the highest court in the land has pronounced that those congresses did not meet the requirements of the law and are therefore not valid. As a law abiding party, we accept the decision of the court and we will call a meeting in no distant future of all the stakeholders in Rivers state to prepare them and to put the necessary machinery in place to conduct fresh ward, local government and state congresses in Rivers in line with the provisions of the constitution of the APC. This we have to do in full obedience to the judgment of the Supreme Court”.
Amosun, an Emperor
Oshiomhole also took a swipe at the Ogun state governor, describing him as behaving like an emperor of the medieval era.
“In the APC Constitution, the only body authorized to conduct primaries is the NWC of which I am privileged to be the chairman but there are processes that must be followed before this exercise is made a possibility, namely our National Executive Committee NEC met and in its wisdom decided to invoke the relevant parts of our constitution which among other things allow us to conduct either direct or indirect primaries in which every card carrying member of our party is entitled to vote or do indirect primaries primaries in which case, it is done by delegates who are elected at the ward, local government and state levels.
“In the case of Ogun state, Gov. Ibikunle Amosun like any other governor where we have one, and leaders where we do not have governors, went back in accordance with the resolutions of NEC to convene a meeting of the State Executive Committee SEC as directed by NEC and those meetings were meant to include not just the SEC members, the NEC in its wisdom said it should also include critical stakeholders and for the purpose of primaries, there can be no question that anyone who is standing for an election is obviously a stakeholder in the process particularly when the matter on the agenda is how to conduct the primaries. And in order to ensure transparency in the process, the NEC also resolved that when a state opted for any of the options, the State Executive is obliged to ensure that majority of the members sign the resolution and not just one or two on behalf of the others.
“Gov. Amosun went back to Abeokuta like others, in fairness to him, he convened a meeting that substantially met the requirements as resolved by the NEC. I talk about substantial compliance because there were people who were supposed to be invited to that meeting that were not invited. These include former senators, former governors or deputy governors but there were many others who were supposed to be invited and were duly invited, hence they substantially complied to the requirements.
At the meeting, Gov. Amosun in his wisdom decided to introduce a third element which did not feature in the resolution of the NEC. He announced that Ogun state was going to adopt consensus and he proceeded to define what in his view constitute a consensus. And having defined it to mean the pronouncement of the governor, he went on to announce who according to him was a consensus candidate, one Akinlade as the next governor. He proceeded to announce another gentleman as the deputy governor.
went on to proclaim himself as the next senator and also said the current senator in his own zone, Sen. Tejuosho, would step aside so that he, Amosun, at the end of his tenure would proceed o the senate. And according to him, this is consensus. He went on to announce also that the second is senator also from Ogun state would step aside and another gentleman would come in in his place and according to him, this his pronouncement is the consensus. Not done, Gov. Amosun went on to announce a particular gentleman as the next speaker and another one as deputy speaker of the state assembly.
Gov. Amosun in his own view and definition of consensus also unilaterally pronounced that of the eight seating House of Representatives members, seven were not going to return and only one will return. This he claimed was his consensus. He went on to list the names of the state assembly members who would seek reelection and those who would not seek reelection, announcing a total of 40 names which according to him constitute consensus.
When he was done with this unilateral consensus in a manner that an emperor would do to his subjects in a fuedal society, the people of Ogun state in that meeting instantly rejected the unilateral imposition that Gov. Amosun had said and took advantage of our democracy and in unison rejected Amosun’s one man imposition. Gov. Amosun did not recognize that in a democracy, it is a game of numbers and not a game of power, he went on angrily to announce that if they did not accept the imposition, he was going to do direct primaries which the people agreed.
Upon this decision, the SEC wrote to the NWC copying the office of the chairman to inform me that they were going to do direct primaries which we immediately accepted. But few days before the primaries were due, Gov. Amosun and few other governors called me to a meeting at which Amosun and one or two others insisted that he was not going to so direct primaries and to say all kind of things and I will spare you all the details. But I just replied him that it was not up to him, me or any other person in the party to decide whether or not primaries would be conducted.
First, these are orders provided for by the Electoral Act. They are also acknowledged in our party constitution and we run the party on the basis of our rules and I respectfully tried to persuade Amosun and the others who think like him that it was not in the powers of any governor or group of governors to nullify the decisions of the NEC and therefore, I shall proceed to provide leadership in setting up various committees by the NWC that will conduct the primaries at the state level and the FCT.
We decided to raise a panel that we despatched to Ogun state. On arrival in Ogun state, the committee in their wisdom decided to pay Gov. Amosun a courtesy visit, which I am not sure was necessary. The governor went on to provide a hall for the panel to invite all the aspirants that had signified interest to contest to assemble and discuss the need, mode and procedure for the conduct of the primaries.
While this meeting was going on, agents of the state government invaded the hall and unleashed thugs who were shooting guns and everybody ran to safety including aspirants some of whose names were mentioned by these thugs that they would be killed and they all ran away and the panel members also escaped to their hotels. The conference which was supposed to hold that Monday to brief aspirants and their agents on the rules of procedures was inconclusive and adjourned to the following day.
“Gov. Amosun decided that he and his own candidate would not participate in the Primaries and even tried to withdraw the security that was necessary to conduct the primaries. The committee went on to submit the result as well as the report including what happened and those they suspected were behind the use of those thugs.
The report was considered by the NWC and we found it to be in total compliance with the guidelines and the NWC accepted it which brought up Dapo Abiodun as the duly elected candidate for the upcoming governorship election in the state.
“Our constitution does not recognize emperors. There are no emperors in APC and if anybody tries to invent himself as one, it will be an exercise in futility, certainly, with all sense of modesty, not under my leadership”, he said.
INEC can’t award Zamfara to the PDP
“Our lawyers have taken up the case. INEC cannot disenfranchise the people and then award Zamfara state to the PDP or any other party”.
Okorocha, an embarrassment to APC
“Yesterday I also watched on television how Gov. Okorocha alleged that I disobeyed court orders and advised that I obey court orders. It is a useful advice, except that he was talking to the converted. Gov. Okorocha is a beneficiary of that process. We followed the process to rescue him. The congresses conducted by my predecessor completely swept Gov. Okorocha out of the system from ward to local government and the state. We have rescued him and today he now has the teeth to bite.
“The NWC has met and we have upheld the results of the Gulak committee and we have prepared the name of Sen. Hope Uzodinma to be submitted to the INEC.
“If Gov. Rochas chooses to relocate to the Villa and use the grounds of the Villa to try to intimidate me to create a Rochas Okorocha Political Dynasty, I will, even on one leg but with power backed by the truth uphold the best interests of APC members and indeed of APC people in Imo state.”