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Calm returns to APC as governors push for NEC meeting, convention

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The national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress was relatively peaceful yesterday amid the squabble for occupancy of the seat of the national chairman following the affirmation on Tuesday of the judgment of an Abuja High Court suspending Comrade Adams Oshiomhole from office by the Court of Appeal.

APC’s National Vice Chairman (South South), Hilliard Eta, and Deputy National Secretary, Victor Giadom, had been laying claim to the chairmanship of the party in an acting capacity.

A detachment of policemen was, however, strategically positioned at the secretariat to check breakdown of law and order.

The National Working Committee (NWC) members backing Eta for the job, including the National Organising Secretary, Emma Ibediro, National Treasurer, Adamu Fanda, and National Secretary, Waziri Bulama, were yesterday sighted at the headquarters ahead of the official inauguration of the Governor Hope Uzodinma-led Edo State Governorship Primaries Election Committee.

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There was nevertheless a mild drama, as Giadom arrived the head office at around 12noon, chauffeur driven to the territory of the national chair, but left the venue 30 minutes later in the same sports utility van (SUV) to the consternation of onlookers, comprising journalists.

This came as the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) yesterday enjoined President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the NWC to convene a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting to resolve the problems confronting the ruling party.

The forum’s Director General, Dr Salihu Lukman, in a statement entitled “Old Ambition – Virus 2023: Why a Meeting of NEC is the Solution”, expressed the fear that the political grouping could collapse soon if the challenges persist.

Alluding to the leadership crisis rocking the APC on account of Oshiomhole’s suspension, the PGF boss blamed the struggle for the 2023 presidency among party chieftains for the unending quandary.

Lukman argued that it behoves the NEC to convene a national convention to replace the feuding NWC members.

His words: “This is a sad return to all the dastardly known political credentials of the predecessor ruling PDP, which APC is expected to have destroyed.

Why should this be happening under the watch of all our leaders who inspiringly led us painstakingly to produce APC and defeat the PDP in 2015?

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“All APC members and patriotic Nigerians must call our APC leaders to order. In particular, President Buhari and all APC leaders who are vested with the responsibility of assisting President Buhari to move this country forward, should focus in directing the affairs of the party towards convening a NEC meeting to commence the process of curing all our leaders of ‘old ambition-Virus 2023’ as diagnosed by Asiwaju Tinubu in March 2020.”

He went on: “As part of the treatment, it is very clear we need an organ transplant by way of replacing the members of the current NWC who constitute the problem. By provisions of our party’s constitution, it is only the national convention that can discharge that function. And it is only the NEC that can convene the national convention.

“Any hesitation not to convene NEC and hopefully activate the process of convening the national convention could suggest that beyond the NWC, the whole party, APC, and all our leaders, President Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu inclusive, are infected with the ‘old ambition-Virus 2023’. The first test is whether NEC will be convened or not.”

Lukman further noted: “APC must not be allowed to turn into a Frankenstein monster that will destroy our leaders and pollute our democracy. The capacity of our leaders to resolve this crisis is never in doubt. The issue is how speedily? A stitch in time saves nine!”

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