…Says ‘I won’t return as chairman even if court quashed NWC’s dissolution’
By Clifford Ndujihe, Politics Editor
IMMEDIATE past National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has distanced himself from the suit filed by Mr Hillard Eta asking the court to quash the dissolution of the National Working Committee, NWC, and make Eta acting national chairman.
Eta, a National Vice-Chairman, South-South, in the Oshiomhole-led NWC dissolved June 25, 2019 by National Executive Committee as part of measures to tame the widening crises in the APC, filed the suit penultimate week against the National Caretaker and Convention Planning Committee headed by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.
In a 435-word statement he personally signed, yesterday, Oshiomhole picked holes in reports associating him with the suit.
Noting that some members of the NWC did not share his position on letting the NWC dissolution stand, he said he has put his chairmanship of APC behind and would not return to the seat if the dissolution of the NWC was quashed by the courts.
His words: ‘’In reporting the legal action taken by a member of the dissolved National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress, some attributions have been made to the effect that the plaintiff is an ‘ally of Oshiomhole’ or an ‘associate of Oshiomhole.’ The court documents are clear on who is the plaintiff.
‘’For the avoidance of doubt, the 21-member NWC under my leadership largely worked cohesively and harmoniously. The only exceptions were those of the three members used by forces desperate to take control of the party. They contrived a crisis and abused the judicial process to undermine the constitution and integrity of the party.
‘’The majority of 18 members worked as a team and not as allies or loyalists of any body. When the National Executive Committee, NEC, in its wisdom dissolved the NWC, I immediately announced publicly that I accepted the decision, regardless of its illegality or otherwise, as it affected my position as national chairman.
‘’I was the only one at the press conference where I made the announcement for personal reasons. The reason, of course, was that some of my colleagues in the dissolved NWC obviously didn’t share my position not to contest the dissolution in court. I can only accept responsibility for my own decision.
‘’Subsequently, I instructed my lawyers to withdraw the suits challenging my purported suspension from office by the proxies of those bent on removing me as chairman.
‘’It is, therefore, the height of mischief to insinuate, as it is being done in some quarters, that I would publicly accept the decision and later surreptitiously seek to contest it in court.
‘’That chapter of my political life is closed. Even if another NEC decision or a court order reverses the dissolution, with utmost humility I will decline to return as APC chairman.
‘’I am proud of the accomplishments of the NWC under my leadership and I am grateful to the principled 18 members who worked as a team committed to the cause of the party.
‘’Above all, I bear no grudges against any one for the manner of my removal. Instead, I am grateful and loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari, who encouraged me to contest the chairmanship of the party.”
‘’I am also very much appreciative of the support of President Buhari who encouraged me to assert the authority of the party without fear or favour. Indeed, I would not have lasted as long as I did as national chairman but for the President’s support for me. I will continue to support his administration to succeed in serving the common good of the people of Nigeria.’’