.Set to meet APC Govs Monday afternoon
.Why Oshiomhole must go- Utum, Buhari’s campaigner
.Party Leaders, Groups pass Vote of Confidence on embattled Chair

President Muhammadu Buhari and APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole. PHOTO: Bayo Omoboriowo

By Omeiza Ajayi

Ahead of Tuesday’s meeting of the National Executive Committee NEC of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, groups loyal and against the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole were yesterday locked in last-minute lobbying to ensure the failure or otherwise of the meeting.

While those loyal to the chairman were said to be lobbying top officials of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to get him not to attend the meeting, the anti-Oshiomhole forces were however said to be banking on a meeting of APC Governors with the president slated for Monday to convince the president to attend the meeting.

Those who are against the NEC meeting are said to be working on getting the president’s handlers to not list the event as part of his itinerary for the week. It was not immediately clear on Sunday evening if the event has been struck off the president’s itinerary.

A party official who spoke with Vanguard on the condition of anonymity said the president is slated to meet with APC Governors by Monday afternoon. According to him, “the meeting will determine whether the NEC meeting would hold the next day. Do not forget that there is usually a caucus meeting the night before the day for NEC. The meeting with the governors could also indicate if a National Caucus meeting would hold on Monday night. As of now, both sides to the dispute have marshalled their points which they hope to present to President Buhari, he added.

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Vote of confidence

Some leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC have passed a vote of confidence on the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, accusing those fighting against him as working for the opposition.

The leaders spoke at an interactive session convened on Sunday evening in Abuja by chieftain of the party, Mr Blessing Agbomhere.

Tagged; “Our Leader, Adams Oshiomhole’s interactive session with concerned party leaders, members and support groups and the real issue and solution”, the session had in attendance

Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, former Minister of Works, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, Deputy Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Peter Akpatason, member of the House of Representatives, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere and a former House member, Abdul Oroh.

Others were Hon. Abubakar Momoh, Comrade Tony Kabaka, Dr Ibrahim Dauda, Secretary, Buhari Campaign Council, Edo factional APC Chairman, Col. David Imuse (retd), Zonal Women Leader, North Central, Hajia Hassana Abdullahi, Chairman non-NWC members of the party’s National Executive Committee NEC, Chief Nelson Alapa among others.

Declaring the session open, Engr. Ogiemwonyi noted that many of those who are up in arms against the chairman were people who benefited immensely from his benevolence.

He said; “I am here because I believe in the man Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. I spent 34 years in the civil service and all through I saw a man who respects the rule of law, who is prepared to fight for you to have a just cause. All my years, I have admired him as a freedom fighter. He is a man of courage. I think that is what is lacking in Nigeria. The problem is that once you are doing the right thing, you will step on toes.

“Comrade Oshiomhole is a victim of doing the right thing. What is happening today is about 2023. Oshiomhole is trying to build the party to make it more attractive for people but some are not happy. Nobody is complaining that Comrade is incompetent or a tribalist.

“He is faultless, but there is a gang up about where he is standing on 2023. What pains me much is that those who are backstabbing him today were people he helped, including governors. They have forgotten the ladder they climbed to success but by the grace of God, because of their treachery, that ladder would be removed and they will collapse”.

On his part, Hon. Akpatason said; “This is a turbulent period in our party. We have issues both at the state and national levels but we thank God that there are good citizens working to ensure the stabilization of the party. It is not unusual for issues like these to come up when you have contestations but what is important is for people to be reasonable enough to quickly resolve such issues.

“The issues we have today have lingered on maybe because of the wrong approaches to handling them or because of deliberate misinformation by those who have access to the media and who would rather change the narrative. One of the greatest gifts to Nigeria is that man called Comrade Adams Aliu Oshiomhole. He is a no-nonsense man and so I am not surprised that he has enemies here and there especially as we have individuals who for their selfish reasons would want to pull down an organisation the moment a leader does not do their bidding”.

Prof. Ihonvbere on his part said President Muhammadu Buhari needed to do more for the party of the crisis must come to an end. “The president has done a lot for the party but in our individual capacities we need to encourage him to do more. He needs to do more. For a party that is not well funded, any little issue would affect it greatly”, he said.

Also speaking, Chief Alapa again kicked against Tuesday’s NEC meeting saying the law was not followed in convening it. He said; “I am here not to support anyone. We must stand on the path of the law. If Oshiomhole leaves and another person comes in, would that solve the problems of the APC.

“Oshiomhole does not want to be the president. We cannot allow this party to scatter just because of the interest of one person. What is the issue? The issue started from Edo state. Purported suspension of people. Is it in consonance with the Constitution of the APC? No. Convening a NEC meeting is not a problem, but did it meet the provisions of the Constitution?

“No. Where the chairman is not available, there is a way of convening a NEC meeting. A two-third majority of NEC members would meet and sign a document calling for the meeting. Illegality cannot stand. The procedure for convening the NEC meeting did not meet the requirements of the Constitution. Our national chairman is a human being. If you have found him wanting, go through the Constitution in trying to remove him. That is what the president even said. He said in whatever we are doing, we should be democratic”, he added.

Earlier, Convener of the session, Mr Agbomhere explained that the essence of the meeting was to proffer solutions to the numerous challenges facing the APC. “The reason why we are here is to join other patriots of this great party, APC, to intervene in the issues in the party. We are here to interact and provide solutions. We want to make our contributions to the unity and progress of our party because we are concerned about the issues in the party”, he said.

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‘Oshiomhole must go’

Meanwhile, a member of the Buhari Campaign Council from Cross River State, Barr. Utum Eteng said the clamour for Oshiomhole go step aside has reached a level that it would seem that allowing him stay a day longer in office will crumble the entire structure of the ruling party.

In a position paper issued yesterday in Abuja, Eteng said the reasons for the demand for his exit are anchored on the many failings of the APC allegedly due to his poor leadership style which from all intents and purposes has left the fortune of the APC dwindling on a fast speed.

“One’s initial reactions to the clamour for his exit may have been due which is to perceived envy, jealousy and or just an ordinary demand not well-founded, however upon deep reflections on the entire issues that came before and others that came so soon after the 2019 general election effect that, the call for Oshiomole to step aside became justifiable real and urgent. The stress with which the APC as a ruling party found itself to win the last 2019 Presidential Elections and other subsequent elections became an obvious pointer to the weakness and unfocused leadership needing an urgent and holistic surgical operation from the top down to the NWC.

“Without mincing words, the APC today under Oshiomole is teetering on the brink of disintegration. This should not be allowed to happen, let anybody’s ambition not be bigger than the collective soul of the APC.

Under Oshiomole, the APC has today been likened to ‘an atomistic political party perpetually in conflict with itself and its members’. It is perhaps under this persuasion that His Excellency PMB as the leader and father of the APC and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed are hereby prevailed upon to step into the crisis in the APC to urgently reposition and anchor the APC along the lines of its original aims and objectives as in Article 7 of the constitution. The impending implosion and possible disintegration is real and must be stopped with.

It is important to point it out that there are many adverse tendencies in the APC with each pursuing its different interest and agenda ahead of 2023. This attitude without more is inimical to the proper growth of the APC and is threatening the very foundation of the existence of the APC”, he stated.

“It is pertinent to remark that, Oshiomole may have tried his best and from all intents and purpose has not been good enough. It is only reasonable to replace him with the new and improved strength in another person.

President Buhari, may, out of principles be slow to speak out on the lackadaisical and uncoordinated journey of the APC so far under Adams but he must be reminded that as the leader and father of all of us in the APC he has an inherent responsibility to work together with other critical stakeholders to manifest his dream for a stronger APC that could win the 2023 election.

Should the APC problems not be attended to early enough, the President’s exit in 2023 may spell disaster to the party that brought him to power for eight years. He must be determined to bequeath a legacy of a strong APC after him. President Buhari as APC leader must be reminded that the victories recorded in the 2015 and 2019 Presidential election was more due to his personal acceptability all round, love, personality and charisma coupled with the political swage of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

“The manifesto of the APC is about change for the better, change is the only permanent virtue in life. The change we need today must begin with all of us on the APC since change is its slogan.

The imperative and urgency to change Comrade Oshiomole as the National Chairman of the APC must be given deep and urgent consideration, not because he is hated but because his leadership style is not good enough to challenge the menacing exploits of the PDP, for now, better organized than the APC under Oshiomole”, he added.

Vanguard

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