…Says South-South leaders solidly behind Party Chair
By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA: National Vice Chairman, South-South of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Hilliard Eta, has defended the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, saying those waging war against him are merely plotting to weaken the party in order to push APC members to another party where they (anti-Oshiomhole forces) can realize their ambition of joining the 2023 presidential race.
The APC Vice Chairman who disclosed this while debunking report in a national daily that the people of the South-South have abandoned Oshiomhole, asserted that Oshiomhole remained the best for the position.
He said Oshiomhole is enjoying the support of the leaders of the zone contrary to reports in a section of the media.
According to him; “I was surprised when I read the report that the South-South has abandoned Oshiomhole. That is completely untrue and being fueled by those plotting evil against the national chairman. I am the National Vice Chairman of the party in the South-South zone, and I know better. The political leader of the zone who is the Deputy Senate President (Ovie Omo-Agege) was not contacted by anyone to know the position of the zone.
“So, I wonder where that Newspaper got its information from. As I speak with you, the zone is implicitly behind the National Chairman of our party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. We are fully in support of our chairman and people from outside of our zone will not tell us how we will manage the office that was zoned to our region.
“We believe that the Chairman is doing very well and on account of his performance, the zone stands solidly behind him. We have continuously and persistently said so because nothing has fundamentally changed”.
Attributing the crisis in the party to the 2023 presidential ambition of some governors, Eta explained that, “every politician is propelled by his own interests, some interests are genuine while some are not. Their (anti-Oshiomhole governors) main reason for the grandstanding within the party is the seeming altercation in Edo state. But the most fundamental and outstanding reason for their war against Oshiomhole is who becomes the candidate of the party in the 2023 presidency.
“Who will be the Vice Presidential candidate? That is what they are battling. In fact, some are working with some elements in the PDP to do this due to greed. But we are telling them that these selfish interests have the capacity to implode the party and the truth is that all of us will regret it. It will not pay anybody. These tendencies, nonchalant attitude of these people fighting, has the capacity to destroy the party and we all will be the losers. While looking at their personal interests they should also look at the interests of Nigerians who voted for President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We should be mindful of the consequences of our actions because they are distracting our President who is settling down after he won his second term to provide the dividends of democracy to Nigerians. I happen to know that there is this move by some of these people to weaken the party and get some people out so they can form another political group to challenge the party in 2023. But that can be done without heating up the polity the way they are doing now.
“Those who love this party must call the troublemakers to order; whatever happens to this party between now and 2023 will affect the democratic fabrics of this country. So, we must be mindful not just of the corporate health of APC but that of the entire Nigerians.
“We are the governing party so what we do may have a wider dimension in Nigeria. So they should leave Oshiomhole alone and pursue their ambition within the constitution of the APC and not through blackmail against the person of the National Chairman. Oshiomhole campaigned vigorously around the country for this party while some of these people were sleeping in their states. And we won more members in the National Assembly and our President was re-elected.
“He went on to ensure that the party produced capable men and women of the party as leaders in the National Assembly, so why will anyone out of jealousy or wickedness call for his removal? Those plotting evil against this party should be careful because we will resist them. And let me warn, nobody has monopoly of any action. We have been calm but they should not misconstrue it as being foolish” he declared.