• Says Oshiomhole, the most divisive party chairman ever
• Jibrin lacks right to call for NEC meeting
• Moral uprightness: Shaibu challenges Oshiomhole, Ize-Iyamu, others to open debate
• Obaseki didn’t obtain PDP form, says Aziegbemi
By Gabriel Enogholase, Omeiza Ajayi & Ozioruva Aliu
Former Deputy National Auditor in the Chief Bisi Akande-led National Interim Management Committee of the All Progressives Congress. APC, Capt. Muhammad Jibrin has called for an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party, ahead of the June 22 governorship primary election in Edo State.
Jibrin who was the National Auditor of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, also described the National Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole as the most divisive party chairman in the political annals of the country.
Meanwhile, in what may turn out to be a troubleshooting exercise, the North East chapter of the APC has scheduled a Zonal Executive Committee, ZEC, meeting for Saturday at the Government House in Gombe State.
The meeting is coming just few weeks after Mr Waziri Bulama, was sworn in as the acting National Secretary of the party, an action that has contributed to the leadership crisis in the APC.
At the swearing in on May 18, Governor Mohammed Inuwa of Gombe State, had spoken glowingly of the acting party scribe, urging party members from the zone to close ranks and support him.
Saturday’s meeting is seen as an attempt to calm frayed nerves and strengthen the support base of Bulama.
A notice of the meeting signed by the National Vice Chairman North East, Mustapha Salihu showed that apart from the zonal executives, all states Chairmen from the zone are expected to attend.
By the provisions of the APC Constitution, others who are statutory delegates to the meeting include “The President and the Vice President, who are members of the party from the zone; past and present governors and deputy governors of the states within the zone, who are members of the party; all members of the National Executive Committee, NEC, from the zone. All serving and past members of the National Assembly who are members of the party from the zone, among others”
Divisive party chairman
In a statement yesterday in Abuja, Jibrin said; “Unless Oshiomhole has an agenda to weaken APC and lower its esteem before millions of Nigerians, it is inexplicable that he remains at the centre of all the party’s crisis that has engulfed the state chapters of the party since November 2018. From Zamfara to Ogun, from Imo to Rivers, from Bauchi, Adamawa now to Edo, you can see his hands and his self-centred tendencies visibly.
“Rather than become a unifying factor, Oshiomhole has become the most divisive party chairman in the history of party politics in Nigeria. Because of the flagrant violation of the party’s constitution by Oshiomhole, the APC has now become a shadow of its former self. Its 2014-2018 format, in which party members feel at home and have a say in the affairs of the Party is no more. The APC is at risk of losing its core if it has not lost it already, because of Oshiomhole’s ways, the APC is now at the crossroads.
“All well-meaning Nigerians will like to see President Buhari complete his term peacefully and leave behind a legacy of robust party politics, real democracy, democratic institution and popular participation of citizens. However, it seems Oshiomhole will not allow that. He has not learned one lesson and is digging deeper. All well-meaning party leaders should reflect on this and take the necessary action before the APC scatters.
“If the APC is to survive and institutionalize itself, as President Buhari envisioned during the last NEC meeting, party leaders must wake up. We cannot continue to allow Oshiomhole to taint a worthy legacy of anti-corruption, good governance and infrastructural development put in place by our beloved President Buhari.
“I hereby call on President Buhari, the National leader Bola Tinubu and all other well-meaning leaders of APC to come out and condemn these acts of impunity by Oshiomhole and save the party from imminent collapse. A word is enough for the wise,” he added.
Jibrin accused Oshiomhole of trampling on the APC constitution rather than upholding the rule of law.
Jibrin lacks right to call for NEC meeting
However, Director of Communication and Media, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation, John Mayaki, yesterday carpeted call by the ex-National Auditor of the APC for a convocation of the NEC of the party.
He told Vanguard: “He (Jibrin) does not have the powers to call for the convocation of the NEC meeting of APC. The constitution of APC is clear on who should convoke NEC meeting. The Secretary of the party is expected to initiate the process and then the national Chairman of the party needs to give his approval. Whatever he is is saying is imaginary. It is just to satisfy the personal interest of some persons in the party whereas he is expected to help protect and strength the party.”
Moral uprightness: Shaibu challenges oshiomhole, Ize-Iyamu, others to open debate
Ahead of the Edo State APC primary election, Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Philip Shaibu, has challenged Oshiomhole and other governorship aspirants to an open debate on moral uprightness and service delivery.
Shaibu in a statement in Benin City, yesterday, through his Special Assistant on Media, Mr Benjamin Ati, said, “I am throwing an open invitation to anyone who has the moral standing of Godwin Obaseki to come out and defend their statements in an open debate.
“The nature of a political system is a factor that usually conditions the expectation and behaviour of political actors.
“Oshiomhole has created a political system that has made it difficult for leaders to lead effectively and for followers to follow voluntarily. We have given voice to the voiceless. The government has returned power to the masses. We run a transparent government where our records can be evaluated.
“It beats my imagination that the same man who betrayed an arrangement suddenly turned 360 degree against his words and started tormenting the government.
He attributed the present crisis in the party to the various means and strategies used by Oshiomhole to direct the behaviour and actions of his political associates
He hailed Governor Obaseki’s harshest critics for acknowledging his impeccable honesty, competence and humble life style.
He challenged Oshiomhole and other governorship aspirants to a public debate so that the good people of Edo State can judge for themselves their track record.
“This is the time for the people to know about our performance and evaluate our government based on our achievements in office. If Oshiomhole and members of his factional group have the moral turf of the government of the day in Edo State, let them come and tell the world in an open debate,” he said.
Shaibu lacks right to ask for moral debate
Reacting to the challenge, the Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Organisation has carpeted Shaibu over his challenge on Oshiomhole and a governorship aspirant, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu for a debate on morality.
A statement by the Director of Communication and Media POI Campaign Organisation, John Mayaki said Shaibu who he described as an embittered government official cannot talk of morality going by his antecedents.
He said, “It is on record that it was when Shaibu was National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, president that the respected students association started having factions. The convention of NANS where he emerged as president was held in Bauchi in February 2000 and it was a convention of violence and gunshots unequalled in the history of students unionism in Nigeria. So, what moral debate is he talking about?
“He is mortified to see his political career come to a shameful demise, and so is frothing in the mouth. He can begin the charade he calls an open invitation to transparency and accountability by explaining to the people of Edo State how as at April, the task force he was appointed to chair on COVID-19 spent over a billion naira of tax-payers money at the time doctors were crowd-sourcing funds from individual donors to purchase basic Personal Protective Equipment in Edo State.
“It is the same COVID-19 which Shaibu’s task force claimed to have spent over a N1billion managing in April that they are now shamefully manipulating and conjuring numbers to force a change in the adoption of a direct mode of primary that will involve all registered members of the party.”
Obaseki didn’t obtain PDP form, says Aziegbemi
In preparation for its governorship primary slated for the end of this month, Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has fixed June 9, 2020, to elect three ad-hoc delegates from the 192 wards in the state, even as it insisted that Obaseki didn’t obtain PDP governorship form.
State chairman of the party, Dr. Tony Aziegbemi, who disclosed this to Vanguard in an interview in Benin City, yesterday, said that the election of a national delegate from each of the 18 local government area of the state would follow next
He said, ” On June 9, all the 192 wards in the state will be conducting a congress to elect three ad-hoc delegates.
“On June 19, there is going to be a congress to elect a national delegate per local government area and after that, we will now have a complete list. The full list of the delegates that will take part in the primaries scheduled for June 23 and 24.
“We came back on Saturday from Abuja and we are in the office today to make sure that some of the things we have to do such as the dissemination of information to all our LGA Chairmen among other things are put in place.
“Those are the three people that have bought forms and those are the three people that will take part in the primaries of our party, Ken Imasuagbon, Engr. Gideon Ikhine and Ogbeide Ihama.
“So there is no truth whatsoever in the fact that the incumbent governor has bought form, and that he has filled it and he has told us not to announce it to anybody, there is no truth to that at all, it is total falsehood,” he said.
PDP, APC chieftain differ on Obaseki’s reconciliation move
However, Edo State chapter of the PDP has faulted the reconciliatory move by Governor Obaseki to bring 14 lawmakers -elect into the House of Assembly.
Obaseki had announced a three man committee which has Governor Solomon Lalong of Plateau State, Governor Babajde Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Senator Ehigie Uzamere to reconcile the lawmakers and bring them into the house as part of his efforts to reconcile the sharply divided APC in the state.
In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, the governor said the constitution of the reconciliation committee was part of moves to restore harmony and peace in the state chapter of the APC, insisting that he was committed to peace and that a united front would make the party stronger, more cohesive and help to foster more development in the state.
But the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in the state, Chris Nehikhare in a statement said the move was ill-timed as the case was already in court since the 14 seats were declared vacant and the PDP has applied to be joined as interested party.
He said, “Our party points out that there is nowhere in our laws and lexicon where persons who have not reported for duty, whose seats in the Assembly have been declared vacant and the constituencies deemed unrepresented can be referred to as members-elect.
“The constitution by the governor of a “reconciliation committee” has brought serious confusion to the polity regarding the legality or otherwise of this committee especially as;
“The PDP has approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking an order to join the party as defendant in the suit brought by the aggrieved 14 ex-House of Assembly members-elect.”
But an APC chieftain, Mr Oteghe Adams faulted the PDP’s position on the reconciliation committee set up by Obaseki.
He said, “It is a right step by the governor, he should be given a lot of credit for trying to bring peace. It goes to show that he is a peace loving man.”