By David Royal
The National leader of All Progressive Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Saturday, described the ongoing crisis in the party as the behaviour of a fight club and not the culture of a progressive political party.
Tinubu said this in a statement he titled ‘BECOMING THE PARTY WE WERE INTENDED TO BE’, to address the ongoing party crisis.
You would recall that the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the All Progressives Congress, APC, had on Thursday dissolved the National Working Committee, NWC of the party led by Oshiomhole following the crisis that rocked the party’s leadership.
NEC also appointed the Yobe State Governor, Mai Malla Buni as the Chairman, Caretaker /Convention Committee.
The immediate-past National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on Saturday said he has accepted the decision of the National Executive Committee NEC to dissolve the National Working Committee NWC which he chaired until Thursday.
Tinubu while addressing the crisis, in a statement said the National Working Committee, itself, became riven by unnecessary conflict.
According to him, those who disagreed with one another stopped trying to find common ground and attempts were made to use the power of executive authority to bury each other.
He said further “I must be blunt here. This is the behaviour of a fight club not the culture of a progressive political party.
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“Some members went against their chairman in a bid to forcefully oust him. In hindsight, his fence-mending attempts were perhaps too little too late. I believed and continue to believe that Comrade Oshiomhole tried his best. Mistakes were made and he must own them. Yet, we must remember also that he was an able and enthusiastic campaigner during the 2019 election. He is a man of considerable ability as are the rest of you who constituted the NWC.
“It had been my hope that the disagreements could be resolved. After all, a political solution should not be beyond the ken of leaders of a major political party. But such resolution has failed to materialise. It was as if some unseen but strong force continued to stoke the embers. Instead of calling a prudent ceasefire, too many people sought more destructive weapons against one another.
“Order, party discipline and mutual respect went out of the window. Members instituted all manner of court cases, most of them destructive, some of them frivolous, none of them necessary. In the process, a dense fog fell upon our party.
“When this matter first came to a boil a few months ago, I issued a statement against this litigious tendency. President Buhari and former interim chairman Akande published strong words against this misuse of the courts as being contrary to the spirit of the party and the letter of its constitution. Each of us knew nothing good would come of such conduct. Instead of listening to this counsel, party members increased their trips to the courts. While busy providing ample livelihood for a gaggle of lawyers, these actions cast the good of the party to the wind.
“After the fusillade of lawsuits and countersuits, two NWC members laid competing claims to the chairmanship. One legitimately elected at our national convention; the latter whose claim was based on the questionable suspension of the former.
“With lawsuits so numerous one needed a spreadsheet to keep track, President Buhari has reasonably decided that he has seen enough.
“I do not lament his intervention or its outcome. I lament that the situation degenerated to the point where he felt compelled to intervene.
“President Buhari is much more than a mere beneficiary of the party. He is one of its founding fathers. The APC does not exist in its current form without his singular contributions. That is not opinion; it is an undisputed fact.
“Given these antecedents, he cares about the condition of the party as any parent would care for its offspring. President Buhari has done what any parent in his position and with his authority would do. The more troubling consideration is that so many trusted people acted in such a way as to force the president to put aside the issues of statecraft in order to address these problems”
Tinubu supported President Buhari’s decision to intervene in the ongoing crisis, saying that the President has spoken and his decision has been accepted.
“It is now beholden on all of us, as members of the APC, to recommit ourselves to the ideals and principles on which our party was founded. While we recognize that people have personal ambitions, those ambitions are secondary, not sacrosanct. Members must subordinate their ambitions to health and well-being of the party. Never should our party be defined by one person’s interests or even the amalgam of all members’ individual interests. A successful party must be greater than the sum of its parts.
He appealed to all former members of the National Working Committee and all members of the party to sheathe their swords and look to the larger picture.