By Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja
Immediate-past National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole said he has accepted the decision of the National Executive Committee NEC to dissolve the National Working Committee NWC which he chaired until Thursday.
At a news conference Saturday in Abuja, the former labour leader said he has no regret over the various decisions he took while at the helm of affairs, stating that his greatest moment of happiness in office was when the party took over Kwara state and effectively displaced the Saraki political dynasty.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari had two years ago invited him to come and reposition the APC and that since the president in his wisdom has also agreed to the dissolution of the NWC, he is bound to obey him as the leader of the party.
Asked if there was anything he would have done differently looking back at his years in office, Oshiomhole said; “No, the process of leadership requires that you make decisions. I am a man of very strong convictions. I am driven by what I believe in and I recognize that for every decision you take particularly when you embark on radical reforms, you are going to step on some toes. That was clear to me. I am not assuming leadership for the first time. I have taken my decisions. I am happy.
Taking over Kwara
“At the end of the day how do you judge the performance of a party? You judge it by its electoral outcome. I believe it is convenient for people to point at few areas where we had challenges, few states that we lost, but also there were states that we won.
“For example, it does not matter what anybody wants to say, I remain proud that we were able to recover Kwara State. That was extremely important to us for reasons I need not enumerate.
“I am happy that we recovered Gombe state. Those are very strategic states. There are a couple of other things that I could speak to but today is not the right day to talk.
“As for regrets, no regrets at all. There is no regret at all. You cannot land a party as large as the APC bin a country as diverse as Nigeria and expect that everybody is going to be happy for you.
“In life, for every one thing that some people are clapping, there must be those who are not happy. Just look at a football match.
“When you score a goal, you will see some players almost crying and yet you see some other people jubilant as if that is the end of the world. That is the way life is. You cannot have it both ways. I assure you I do not regret anything”.
Buhari made me Chairman
He also spoke of how President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2018 invited him to vie for the chairmanship of the party in order to run its fortunes around.
“At the end of the NEC meeting as you all now know, the NWC was dissolved and accordingly, I ceased to be the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress APC.
“Mr President graciously invited me to run for the office of the chairmanship of the party in 2018, precisely about two years ago.
The president told me then that if we did not reform the All Progressives Congress, we can as well forget about 2019. Those were his exact words.
“But I know that reforms can be challenging and it will entail taking difficult decisions. Mine has been a life of struggles. I accepted this and I believe I did my best.
“I am happy that at the end of the day, the 2019 elections have come and gone and thanks to Nigerian people, our president had more votes in 2019 than we had in 2015 and we have more members in the Senate and in the House of Representatives.
“Unlike in 2015 when we were unable to manage our victory in the two chambers such that we ended up with an APC Senate President who later decamped and a PDP Deputy Senate President, this time, working hard with my colleagues in the NWC and in consultation with leaders of the party across the board, we were able to have the kind of unity which is expected of a governing party in the two chambers of the National Assembly.
“I am happy that the leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly are working harmoniously with Mr President on the Executive side and we are able to have what you can truly call a functioning relationship.
“I think everything considered, I believe that the APC NWC under my chairmanship has done its best and the results are there”.
I accept my fate in good faith
“Of course, we have now been dissolved and I have accepted that dissolution in good faith. I am not going into the issue of the legality or illegality, the bottom line is the President who invited me to lead the party and who gave me all the support and who mobilized all the support across the country for my emergence as chairman also presided over the meeting where the NWC has now been dissolved.
“And because I have always assured the president of my loyalty -and you know it is easy for people to speak of loyalty when the going is good, but loyalty is brought to the test when the going gets real tough – as a demonstration of that loyalty to Mr President, loyalty to our party and loyalty to the Nigerian nation, I have decided to accept the decision in good faith and to maintain my loyalty, my respect and my admiration for President Muhammadu Buhari”, he said.
Comrade Oshiomhole also added that he has asked his lawyers to withdraw the case he instituted in court against his suspension.
“Accordingly, I have instructed my lawyers to withdraw my case that is currently pending at the Supreme Court which has to do with the issue of my suspension.
“To sustain the legal action will tantamount to going against one of the decisions that the president had reached, namely that all cases be withdrawn from courts. I still believe that even as a member of the APC, I have a duty to lead by example.
“So, I am now taking a bow and I accept the decision of the NEC in good faith and I want to reassure Mr President that my confidence in his leadership remains unshaken, my commitment to our party as a member remains unshaken and I also want to use this opportunity to appreciate all the governors of the APC, call the leaders of APC across the country, all the non-NWC members who had stood by me over this period and of course my colleagues in the NWC including those who went to court and who took steps that on a good day one can describe as a bit unbecoming. On this occasion, all those belonging to the past.
“As you can see this briefing is very brief because today is minimum words, maximum wisdom.
“Life is a stage, there is always entry and exit and this afternoon, I just want to assure everybody, APC will have peace and by the grace of God, President Buhari will achieve his three key principal promises he made to Nigerians and I will give him all the support I can give him as a Nigerian, as a member of the APC and as a loyalist of President Muhammadu Buhari”.
On his purported suspension from the party, the former chairman said he is at peace with his people.
“Well, my suspension has already been lifted. I mean I do not want to go into all these issues. The Ward Executives have never really suspended me but that is now neither here nor there, which was the issue that was before the court.
“Last week, for whatever it was worth, 17 of the Ward Executives came to Abuja and submitted their letter to the NWC.
“They also submitted the local government and state executive also submitted their resolutions to the NWC and the NWC accepted and lifted the suspension. I am at peace with my people at home”, he stated.