By Prince AbdulmalikAfegbua
The cracks and smokes arising from the just concluded direct and indirect primary elections of the All Progressives Congress (APC), for quite a while now, have refused to subside.
This is not surprising considering the chequered history of our political cum democratic development. But what is more surprising is the way and manner some so called powerful political hawks within the APC have been calling for the head of the National Chairman of our party, His Excellency, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, and the disdain shown towards the party and the office of the national chairman by the principal actors of the unfolding events.
My relationship with Oshiomhole is an age long relationship dating back to several years even before venturing into the murky political waters of this noble country. From a very humble background in hisIyamho, Uzairue, in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, Oshiomhole, through the grace of Almighty Allah and through sheer ingenuity and dint of hard work, attained the noble heights he has achieved in life from becoming the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), to his election as the Executive Governor of Edo State for eight consecutive years and his current position, the National Chairman of the APC.
Looking through his track records, Oshiomhole has always been a man of the masses, a situation which led to his massive support in his quest for the governorship of Edo State where he was massively voted, his mandate stolen, reclaimed and re-elected by massive vote counts. And in all his dealings, the people have always been at the heart of his activities, whether personal or political.
Upon the decision of President MuhammaduBuharitwo years ago that Oshiomhole will be given a new important national assignment by the APC and his eventual decision to take a shot at the APC secretariat, his clear mandate as publicly espoused, was that he will return power to the people whom power belongs to. He did not at any forum pretend about his clear vision for the party. Oshiomhole had said of his vision for the APC: “To promote party supremacy and party unity on a sustainable basis, the party must ensure discipline within its ranks and evoke sanctions where appropriate. For us, rules and policies are useful to the extent that they are enforced.
To sustain party unity, there must be party discipline. Once a party position is taken, anyone who goes against the party position will be subjected to party discipline in line with the party’s constitution following due process. Without sanction for misconduct and commendation for proper conduct, there cannot be party discipline.
“I want to be of help, I want to be of use to all those who need it, but I am not capable of being used. I believe that this needs to be clarified because there is so much suspicion in our political space. People fight often for things they are not even quite sure of what they think they are. They are fuelled and sustained by suspicion. The way to eliminate suspicion is to put on the table what is on the table. What is under the table, keep under the table until it moves to the top of the table.
“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, I want to take that again, 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 coaches, we will be able to engage.”
Oshiomhole also said: “If I am privileged to become chairman, I will be able to help the executive and the legislature to find common grounds to win together.” But for those who have been manipulating the will of the people, they thought by giving him their unalloyed support, Oshiomhole will sacrifice his conscience on the altar of friendship and personal ties. What a great mistake!
For the trio of the Governors of Imo, Ogun and Zamfara, the outcome of the primaries in their states is most amazing. But particular attention must be given to the diatribes of the Governor of Ogun State, IbikunleAmosun, and the Governor of Imo State, RochasOkorocha, who have continued to use every media opportunity to attack the national chairman.
It is a public knowledge of how the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), dealt with erring governors during its reign. Examples are there!
And those governors are yet to recover from the treatment melted out to them by their party. If it were to be in the horrible days of the PDP, Amosun and Okorocha will by now be battling to save their lives from the hands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and its sister agency, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
But the APC, believing that it operates a people-oriented party, will have none of that. Rather, the forces against the forward-going innovations of the amiable and indefatigable Oshiomhole, have gone beyond using the internal mechanisms of the party by resorting to the use of agents of government to force the national chairman to resign his position.
What a clear display of political falsehood and thievery! Having tried to steal the people’s mandate in their states without success, these governors resorted to using the presidency and having failed in securing the assistance of President Buhari, their last resort was to engage the Department of State Service. But this too, has hit the rock.
In his reactions to the unfolding scenario, Oshiomhole who believes in politics guided by morality said publicly that he will never mortgage his conscience for any political gains or to retain his position as the national chairman of the APC. What a vintage Oshiomhole! And that is the sole ultimate for consistently asking for the resignation of the Senate President, AbubakarBukolaSaraki.
At this all important moment and considering that the general elections are holding in no distant time, all well meaning members of the APC, including the party executive and the presidency, have a more urgent task of salvaging the party from the shackles of these so called emperors. Only that will achieve the desired goal of winning the 2019 general elections with overwhelming votes.