By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA —Fresh crisis, yesterday, hit the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, as Deputy National Chairman of the party, North, Senator Lawali Shuaibu, asked the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to resign, following last Friday’s Supreme Court judgment in favour of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Zamfara State.
The APC, due to faulty primaries, lost all the positions it won at the last general elections in the state, including governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly seats as a result of the Supreme Court judgment.
In a six-page letter to Oshiomhole, dated May 27, 2019, Shuaibu held that in advanced democracies, people who failed to add value or build over and above what they met on assumption of duty, show civilised examples by honourably bowing out and, therefore, asked Oshiomhole to resign.
He said he was responsible for the loss at the Supreme Court.
Efforts to get Oshiomhole to react to the allegation, yesterday, proved abortive, as calls pulled through his mobile numbers were not replied.
His media aide, Mr. Simon Ebegbulem, could not also be reached for comments on the allegation.
But Shuaibu, who is from Zamfara State and an ally of the out-gone governor, Abdulaziz Yari, blamed the national chairman for the party’s loss of the state.
The letter to Oshiomhole
In the letter, titled “APC: Its fortune and misfortune, time to act,” Shuaibu said: “It is my honest opinion that your ability to ensure this party flourishes is deficient as you lack the necessary composure and you also don’t posses the capabilities and the requisite experience to run a political party.
“Under normal circumstances, when you take over as a project manager, it is expected that you bring to bear your wealth of experience to the new job which will be seen in your capacity and capabilities as value addition.”
One man show
He accused Oshiomhole of running a one man show, saying most of the decisions attributed to the party were his personal decisions.
“It is expected that for every decision credited to the party, it should be the result of a meeting where resolutions are passed by the working committee.
“It is also expected that policies by the party are always alI-inclusive and never one-sided and to cap it up, no unilateral decisions should be made to represent the opinion of either the National Working Committee, the National Executive Committee or even the least, the National Caucus. National Chairman cannot assume the powers of the National Working Committee, NWC.
“National Working Committee meetings, in my own experience, shall not be held in private residences, especially where it involves thousands of party men and women with grudges over injustice meted out on them by officials of the party.
‘’The party secretariat is the officially recognized venue of such meetings, unless if there are other motives for keeping away from there.
“For every meeting of any organ of the party, there shall be minutes of the meeting reflecting every decision taken at such meeting. Most of the meetings held and fundamental decisions purported to have been taken were not backed by minutes.
“The few meetings that were covered by the secretariat and minutes taken, could clearly show that final decisions of the NWC were altered. Example was the unanimous decision by NWC to allow Mrs Aisha Alhassan, former Minister of Women Affairs, to go and contest with her co-aspirants at the primaries in Taraba State which decision was overruled by you.
‘’You singIe-handedly disqualified her and numbers in the party got depleted, which was, thereby, weakened. So also are other several aspirants that you personally disqualified without just cause,” he submitted.
Shuaibu said as a result, the APC ended up with severe injuries and was today badly fractured in virtually every constituency in the country, resulting in the erosion of the massive goodwill Oshiomhole met in the party.
Angry party members
He said further: “Apart from the President, more than 60 per cent of members, including those that contested elections under the APC in 2019, are not happy with the process as it left a lot to be desired. ‘’We have court cases in every state, by far much more than it was in 2015 and I wonder how much the party is likely to spend on litigation arising from mistakes of the national chairman in not adhering to due process and sidelining transparency.
‘’Committees for primaries became secret affair to the extent that not even members of the NWC were aware of how certain committees were constituted, with members mostly from Edo State out-numbering every other state.
‘’The records are there to be seen. Personal interest should not be allowed to overshadow the interests of our teeming loyal members across the country.”
Naivety of party processes
He continued: “The last congresses in states, unfortunately, represented a complete lack of knowledge, let alone experience on how due process in political electoral process is adhered to.”
According to him, the National Working Committee is saddled with the responsibility of recommending guidelines for every electoral process and appointing committees that will embark on conducting primary elections for every constituency and submit report.
Shuaibu explained: ‘’Thereafter, an appeal committee will attend to complaints and petitions and also submit its report to the NWC.
‘’The National Working Committee is then expected to perform the duty of the final adjudicatory body on each electoral matter and from there you have the final list of candidates.
“National Chairman cannot, in any circumstances, be chairman of any committee, be it screening committee or any other committee, contrary to what you did. Chairman presides over the meetings of National Working Committee in which each matter disposed of by any appeals committee is examined and final decision reached.
“If the national chairman should chair any of these committees, what if there is a complaint about his own conduct, who do you send your petition to? He cannot be a judge in his own matter.
“We all know and I still believe that by electing us into the various party offices, we are expected to build this institution to flourish and wax stronger beyond our own tenure, not to be seen as undertakers that came to kill and bury it, and clearly so!
‘’The strength of every political party I also believe, lies in the number of states it is able to win during elections.
“We had 23 states in 2015, but after the 2019 elections, we lost seven states. We also had 60 senators in 2015 at the end of the election count, we now end up with 57 senators in 2019. You were not brought in to lose election, it is absolutely unacceptable.
“What this entails is that for any senator to become a presiding officer, he needs to go and kneel down before the PDP senators and beg for support. And to make things worse, you announced that APC will not allow any PDP senator to be appointed as committee chairman except the committees statutorily meant for the opposition members of the Senate.
‘’That is never the tradition of the legislature anywhere. The Legislature is the house of collaboration and lobby and you can never succeed with hostile approach, you must lobby, seek cooperation of members across party divides.
‘’If you don’t know, you have made the situation worse than it seems. Try and use your calculator and you will find that as at now, if anybody, backed by the PDP members, wants to become Senate President, all he needs is the support of only six APC senators to win the election on the floor of the Senate.
‘’Chairman, strategies are not announced on television, they are discussed at caucuses. We have no reason whatsoever to go about it this way if we really are serious in building this institution that many leaders suffered to put in place.
Resign honourably now
“It is my honest opinion that your ability to ensure this party flourishes is deficient as you lack the necessary composure and you also don’t possess the capabilities and the requisite experience to run a political party.
“The respect APC was commanding among its members and sympathizers have been completely eroded, while the goodwill has equally evaporated with the type of attitude of threats to members you deploy, including senior members like governors, senators, ministers and other government officials whose functions do not fall within your jurisdiction.
‘’As I know, the relationship between party and government is cooperation and collaboration to ensure government programmes are implemented in line with the party manifesto, but not shouting and giving marching instructions to government officials on television screens or on the pages of newspapers, and more often than not, they call your bluff and make you look helplessly unimportant in the scheme of things.
“Please don’t get me wrong, do not think I am saying these about your conduct as chairman because I want to be chairman. I don’t want to be national chairman, because I cannot be, even if I want to, for as long as President Muhammadu Buhari is in office, having come from the same North West geo-political zone, I cannot.
“In advanced democracies, people who fail to add value or build over and above what they met on assumption of duty show some civilized examples, they honourably bow out.
“In that connection, therefore, I want to advise you to take the path of honour, to step aside and allow the party to embark on the onerous task of reconstruction and rehabilitation in those states it was weakened by the effect or manner the last primary election exercises were conducted or even the task of recreating the party where it is on the path of extinction.
‘’This arises from the loss of a sitting APC government, for example, in Zamfara State, where you directly, personally created the problem leading to the painful, complete loss of APC’s electoral fortunes, from top down.
‘’All these are uncontestable facts. You cannot exonerate yourself from blame on what happened to APC in Zamfara State, thereby destroying the hopes and aspirations of 534,541 APC members and supporters, including my good self.
“l have nothing personal, except that I love this party and cannot keep quiet seeing it being brutally murdered.’’