Govs at loggerheads over legal requirements
Anger in anti-Oshiomhole camp
Giadom unfit to sit in NWC, says Omo-Agege, others
Court approves Dep. Scribe as Ag. Chairman
By Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday sanctioned the indefinite postponement of a meeting of the National Executive Committee NEC of his ruling All Progressives Congress APC earlier slated for today (Tuesday), following a disagreement among governors of the party as to the constitutionality or otherwise of the said meeting.
While some governors who are opposed to having Comrade Adams Oshiomhole remain in office as National Chairman wanted the meeting to go on as planned, some of their colleagues who are aligned with Oshiomhole were said to have vehemently rejected the move.
Earlier on Sunday night, the South-South leader of the party and Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege had met with NEC members from the zone and resolved to boycott the meeting, while urging other NEC members to also stay away.
Gov. Hope Uzodinma of Imo state and his counterparts from Borno and Ogun, Prof. Babagana Zulum and Dapo Abiodun had yesterday led a counter-attack on the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum PGF, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi state, threatening to initiate impeachment proceedings against him for allegedly using the Forum to fight a personal battle against the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
At a meeting of the APC Governors Forum yesterday in Abuja, Vanguard gathered that the three governors were decisive in their resolve to remove Gov. Bagudu as chairman of the Forum.
READ ALSO: APC postpones NEC meeting
President Muhammadu Buhari had been slated to meet with the governors by Monday afternoon, but the governors had on their own met to compare notes before the meeting with the president.
Vanguard learned that trouble started when one of the anti-Oshiomhole governors made reference to a communique that would be presented to the president.
“However, Govs. Uzodinma, Zulum, and Abiodun questioned how, where and when the communique was drafted since the governors had not met on the matter earlier”, said a source who was privy to the meeting.
Speaking further, the Vanguard source said; “Bagudu had written a communique in the name of the PGF, to the effect that they were rejecting Oshiomhole as Chairman of the party. But Hope, Zulum and Abiodun descended on him, accusing him of always writing statements and position papers on behalf of the governors without consultation and using the same to misinform the president”.
On the meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee NEC slated for Tuesday, the pro-Oshiomhole governors were said to have vowed that the meeting would not go on as it was not properly convened.
Omo-Agege, South-South Party Leaders
Leader of the APC in the South-South and Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege had yesterday met with mbets of NEC from the zone and resolved to boycott the meeting.
While calling on others to also boycott the meeting, they argued that the convener, Chief Victor Giadom who is the acting National Secretary of the party has no powers to have called the meeting even as they said he was no longer fit to sit as a member of the National Working Committee NWC.
Those who signed the communique issued after the meeting were Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy Leader, House of Representatives, Comrade Peter Akpatason; National Vice Chairman, South-South of the party, Ntufam Hilliard Eta, Deputy National Legal Adviser, Barr. E.I Adoh-Ogbuta and zonal Woman Leader, Dr. Racheal Akpabio.
Others were the Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Yekini Nabena, zonal Youth Leader, Engr. Gabriel Idueseri, zonal ex-officio, Chief Kokote Ibadan; Akwa Ibom State Chairman, Ini Okopido and Hon. Israel Goli.
The communique resolved “that the National Chairman of our great Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has done very well in the administration of the affairs of our great Party. We cannot allow ourselves to be used as agents of destabilization of a party we have laboured so hard to build.
“Under the leadership of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, we won the just concluded Presidential Elections, won majority of the seats in the National Assembly, and also won governorship elections in most states of the Federation.
“That in line with the resolutions reached by the National Working Committee (NWC) of our party, we dissociate ourselves from the purported NEC meeting being summoned by Hon. Victor Giadom as he does not have the constitutional powers to summon the NEC meeting.
“That the said, Hon. Victor Giadom is not a member of NWC having resigned his position as Deputy National Secretary of the Party to contest elections in Rivers, the state as Deputy Governorship candidate in the 2019 General elections.
“We implore all members of NEC to respect the decisions of the National Working Committee (NWC) of our Party that the purported NEC meeting summoned by Mr. Victor Giadom is illegal and unconstitutional.
“We unanimously pass a vote of confidence on our leader, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari for his sterling leadership of the affairs of our dear country and the National Chairman of our Party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole”.
There was anger in the anti-Oshiomhole camp yesterday following what some leaders of the group considered as a coup by the Rotimi Amaechi tendency.
The disagreement among the leaders is connected with who emerges as acting National Chairman of the party should they succeed in unseating Oshiomhole.
Some leaders of the group have reportedly accused the Transportation minister of working to install his man, Giadom as acting National Chairman.
Vanguard learned that the Ekiti tendency in the group which is led by Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi is favourably disposed to having the NEC approve its nomination of Sen. Gbenga Aluko as Deputy National Chairman, South, in which case he would act in the absence of Oshiomhole.
While some governors in the group were said to be rooting for a former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Clement Ebri, a few others are rooting for a former Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba. Some of the northern governors in the group are however said to be canvassing for a former Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari.
Giadom steps in
Meanwhile, a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory FCT presided over by Justice S.U Bature has granted a motion exparte praying it to grant an interim order allowing Chief Giadom to pilot the affairs of the party as acting National Chairman.
The matter which was filed before the court by the National Vice Chairman, Northeast of the party, Comrade Mustapha Salihu has the party’s National Legal Adviser, Babatunde Ogala, National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, controversially-appointed acting National Secretary, Arc. Waziri Bulama and the All Progressives Congress APC as defendants.
Counsel to Salihu, O.C Ugwu had in the motion dated March 16, 2020, prayed for “an interim order of this Honourable Court allowing Chief Victor Giadom (present Acting National Secretary) to pilot the affairs of the 4th Defendant as Acting Chairman and to preside at all meetings of the National Executive Committee pending the decision of the National Executive Committee of the 4th Defendant fixed for 17th March 2020 or any other subsequent adjourned date pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice”.
He also prayed for “an interim order of this Honourable Court restraining the 4th Defendant and its officers or anyone purporting to act as an officer of the 4th Defendant from preventing or in any way disturbing Chief Victor Giadom (present Acting National Secretary) from functioning as the Acting Chairman (unless otherwise decided by the National Executive Committee of the 4th Defendant) pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice
“Such further or other orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case”.
The application was granted as prayed and the case adjourned to March 20, 2020.