By Dirisu Yakubu
The crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, appears to be getting messier by the day following the call for the resignation of its national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole by a chieftain of the party, Mr Jackson Ojo.
Taking a cursory look at the state of affairs in the party, Ojo said prevailing on Oshiomhole to step down from his plum office would save the face of the party adding that the fight between the chairman and the governor is one Oshiomhole is not fated to win.
In an exclusive chat with Vanguard Sunday in Abuja, Ojo noted that the feud “which has been allowed to degenerate into a dangerous level,” will consume the party if nothing was done to find a solution to it in the next few weeks.
“The best thing now to save the face of APC is for Oshiomhole to resign. If he is dropped by the National Executive Committee, NEC meeting, the crisis that would engulf the party is one that it (the APC) won’t be able to recover from for a long time. Do not forget that the APC is a mix of different political groups forced to come together with the common goal of stopping President Jonathan at all cost.
“The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP and the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN came together for this purpose. Do not forget too that some of those who came from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP like Bukola Saraki and Rabiu Kwankwaso have since returned to the party.
“So, the collapse of the APC is the prayer of many of these people because they have somewhere to return to even though some of these parties no longer exist. They can come together and build a third force to fight the APC,” he said.
On the chances of APC retaining Edo in this year’s governorship election, Ojo noted that the contest would stretch the ruling party to the limit, stressing that unless the warring parties sheathe their swords, APC would have a mountain to climb.
“I sympathise with the APC in Edo State. The state is almost 50 per cent APC and 50 per cent PDP. Our victory there has always been a narrow one. What we need to do is to pull more support for the governor in order to have an upper hand in the 2020 governorship election. If Oshiomhole is removed as the national chairman,
“Oshiomhole’s faction will work against the governor and if this happens, PDP will be the ultimate beneficiary. On the other hand, if Oshiomhole is retained, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, says it is only the national chairman that would forward to it the name of the governorship candidate and as it is,
“Oshiomhole will not go with Governor Godwin Obaseki. Should this happen, those who have sympathy with Governor Obaseki will work against the party. If he does not get the ticket of the APC, PDP is waiting in the wings to do a deal. And nothing will be wrong because the PDP candidate who contested against Obaseki four years ago,
“Pastor Ize Iyamu has since returned to the APC and therefore the governor can also cross over to the other side. The way out is to ensure Oshiomhole gives way for Obaseki to keep the ticket and work to make APC stronger ahead of the election,” he added.
The leadership of the party is expected to take a position this week on the lingering feud between Oshiomhole and his political godson (Obaseki) who have been trading insults in media circles in the past few months.