By Michael Opara
NO one is left in doubt that the era of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been plagued with battles and wars, which many perhaps believe, to be mostly needless. The fortunes of the ruling party have nosedived, perhaps irretrievably and its image degenerating by the day.
By now, if Oshiomhole was a less controversial leader, considering the achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government and the lacklustre opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the control of the APC in states could have been unarguably total.
It is painful because it is not that the party doesn’t have the capacity to attain this glorious height but it was undone by the controversial personality of Comrade Oshiomhole whose dictatorial and abrasively domineering tactics is the cause of the crisis facing the party across the country at the moment.
The damage done by Comrade Oshiomhole to the APC is incalculable. The needless losses in different states, including Taraba, Zamfara, Rivers, Bayelsa, among others are due to his high-handedness and the recourse to subverting established norms for personal interest.
The Bayelsa incident, which is the latest in the litany of losses, is quite unforgivable because the sad occurrence could have been avoided if the person heading the party possessed the requisite leadership quotient to simmer lessons from his humdrum experiences.
The party had won the battle but lost the war because of Oshiomhole’s failure to do due diligence and background checks on a candidate. There was a similar case in Taraba State, where a candidate’s personal problems cost the party dearly. In Zamfara State, the party’s apparatus is in shambles due to the high handedness of the party leadership under the guidance of the ‘suspended’ National Chairman. The Rivers episode is even more heartbreaking as the party could not even present a candidate during the elections. Some of these issues played out in Oyo State, while other instances can be sited in Ogun State, among others.
In Edo State, Oshiomhole intentionally set the party in the state on fire by bringing in machinery to damage the impact of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led state government. Comrade Oshiomhole has continuously and intentionally been promoting disaffection in the party. Even though the governor, who is performing so well has the support of the people, Oshiomhole is continuously fueling crisis to destabilise the party and the state government.
Top on his tactical list to destabilise the party in the state was sponsoring of the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM), a rogue group that was later proscribed by the Edo State Chapter of the APC. In his selfish quest to unseat the governor, Comrade Oshiomhole, ignoring the right channels, sneaked into the party a former governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Pastor OsagieIze-Iyamu, who has a running corruption case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The party administration at the national level has also been reduced to a small meeting of few members of the National Working Committee (NWC). In fact, personal aides of Oshiomhole are said to be more powerful than officials and staff at the National Secretariat.
Alas, Comrade Oshiomhole, hoodwinked by his disregard for those he considers as unimportant in his Ward 10, in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State incurred the wrath of the real owners of the party, the grassroots.
The party executive and leaders in his ward suspended Oshiomhole for anti-party activities and undermining of the state’s party apparatchik with his support of the dissident group, the EPM, who was later excommunicated from the party.
After the action by the ward executives and leaders, the resolution was transmitted to the Local Government Area and State levels of the party for ratification, which was duly ratified. However, Comrade Oshiomhole disregarded the import of these actions and went to sleep on the matter, instead of engaging his people as real stakeholders, seeking their forgiveness or contesting the legality of the suspension.
The ghost of that decision came to haunt the embattled National Chairman on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, when Hon. Justice Senchi Z. Danlami gave an order of interlocutory injunction restraining Comrade Oshiomhole from parading himself as the National Chairman of the APC, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit, thereby upholding the supremacy of the grassroots.
Oshiomhole, instead of continuing on the path of legality like he had earlier done by appealing the interlocutory injunction, resorted to his second nature of stirring controversies by getting someone to obtain an exparte order from a court of coordinate jurisdiction, almost plunging the party into an intractable crisis.
Comrade Oshiomhole’s character of many controversies has since continued to revolve with him trying to set up a parallel structure with the APC at the national level, intended to factionalise the party.
On his suspension day, Oshiomhole set the party into chaos by hurriedly ordering the Publicity Secretary of the party, Lanre Issa-onilu to announce Waziri Bulama as the party’s acting national secretary, Abiola Ajimobi as the deputy national chairman (South) and Paul Chukwuma as the national auditor, continuing in his voyage of crisis that is now on the vogue.
The question one must ask now is at what point will this cocktail of absurdities and unending imbroglio end?
Having weighed all these challenges, which many believe is needless but almost tearing the party apart, it is safe to conclude that these cataclysms revolve around one man, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. Whether Bayelsa, Zamfara, Bauchi, Rivers, Edo, Ondo, Taraba, Imo; it’s just one man.
Can one man, therefore, be bigger than the entire ruling party, the APC? It is time to set aside Comrade Adams Oshiomhole along with his acrimony.