A member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Ibrahim Emokpaire, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore calls for the removal of Adams Oshiomhole from his position as the party’s National Chairman.
Emokpaire, a former APC national chairmanship aspirant, made the appeal on Saturday in Abuja.
He claimed that Oshiomole was “a victim of 5th columnists, who were ceaselessly maligning him and bent on subverting the party”.
The APC member said that the group was not concerned about the damage they were causing the party, adding that if they were allowed to continue, the party may eventually disintegrate.
He said that concerned members of the party could no longer pretend that an unjustifiable war of attrition was currently being waged against its chairman and by extension, the party.
Emokpaire reminded those behind the protest to remove Oshiomole as APC national chairman that the party was “a labour of love”, adding that such phenomenon were not easily repeated.
He noted that many patriotic Nigerians, both at home and in the Diaspora, laboured to build the APC to what it is today.
Emokpaire alleged that the same people who championed the removal of the party’s former national chairman (Chief John Oyegun), on account of his age, were back to throw out Oyegun’s successor.
He said that it was time for APC leadership to turn the spotlight on them in the interest of the party.
“My advice to those who are bent on sabotaging our party chairman is that we should not join the opposition in bringing our party and government down,’’ he said.
He said that Oshiomhole had been able to stabilise the APC since he assumed office as national chairman.
“Oshiomhole worked assiduously to increase the number of APC legislators in the two chambers of the National Assembly alongside ensuring victory for President Buhari during the 2019 general elections.
“It is pertinent to point out that prior to Oshiomhole being elected as APC national chairman, party congresses had already been conducted in all the 36 states plus Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“It is also on record that all the current disagreements in the party were not only inherent but also apparent as records would show,” Emokpaire said.
He maintained that any attempt to portray events otherwise would “not only be disingenuous, but dishonest”.
He said that the national chairman should not be blamed for the crisis being experienced in some state chapters of the party as they predated his tenure.
According to him, accusing Oshiomhole of being the mastermind of the crisis in some of the party’s state chapters was a case of “giving a dog a bad name to hang it”.
Emokpaire, however, advised those who want Oshiomhole to resign to be civil and democratic and more importantly, adhere to the party’s constitution.
“You do not remove the national chairman of a party through protest by `urchins’, especially the embarrassing type we witnessed recently, where young children were seen carrying placards.
“Majority of these children neither understood the purpose of their protest nor the message on the placard; you must go through an established process to remove a party’s national chairman if at all there is need for it.
“We must not forget that what brought APC to power is the desire for change in our country but paradoxically, what many people are seeing is hostility to the very change that we had promised,” he said.
He warned that if the party’s leadership allowed Oshiomhole to be ridiculed, it would suffer the consequences.
He stressed that it was important for the party to stand firm and ignore all the character assassination and campaigns of calumny, and support its national chairman and the president.
This, he added, was critical to enable the party deliver on the promises made to the electorates, saying that “disputes for the sake of dispute will only divide and weaken the party”.
Emokpaire appealed to the president to ensure that the inordinate ambition of certain members of the party for 2023 does not tear the party apart.