Hope dims for Oshiomhole’s return as national chairman
• APC chieftains list alleged sins
There are indicators that the embattled national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may not regain his exalted seat any time soon, especially given his last-minute attempts to impose his lackeys on the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party. Signs of the slim of chances of Oshiomhole’s return emerged yesterday, when the party’s Acting National Secretary, Chief Victor Giadom, announced that the emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting slated for March 17, 2020, would hold.
Giadom stressed the fact that since Oshiomhole made the pronouncement announcing the inclusion of former Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and Mr. Waziri Bulama as Deputy National Chairman (South) and National Secretary respectively shortly after the court ruling on his suspension, he remains the highest-ranking official of the party constitutionally empowered not only to convene the party’s NEC but also the convention.
Giadom’s clarifications came just as the Rivers State chapter of APC explained that Oshiomhole’s travails were self-inflicted, adding that it was malicious and mischievous for the embattled national chairman to create the impression that the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, was part of those orchestrating his removal.
In a statement made available to The Guardian, a chieftain of the party in Rivers State, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, contended that the very fact that Oshiomhole attempted to smuggle in new appointees into the party’s NWC after his suspension shows his devious plans for APC.
Eze, who is also a former National Publicity Secretary of nPDP, pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and save the party from the antics of the suspended national chairman, even as he warned Oshiomhole to withdraw his “bogus and unsubstantiated claims that Hon. Amaechi is the brain behind his self-inflicted ordeal and travails.”
Part of the statement reads: “It is unfortunate and sad that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the outgoing National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), instead of addressing the woes he has brought to APC, and the issues that prompted some members to seek court’s intervention to oust him from office, is trying to hold at anything to keep afloat, by insinuating that APC leader, South-South and Minster of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is behind his unfortunate and current plights.
“Worthy of note also is the fact that Amaechi is a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our great part by virtue of the fact that he was an ex-governor. The constitution of the party statutorily confers that on him or any other ex-governor that’s a member of the party and, being a humble personality, doesn’t in any way allow any of these positions to becloud his sense of reasoning or act of patriotism.”
Checks by The Guardian revealed that although President Buhari appears to be aloof from the goings-on in the party, he actually bought into the argument of party stalwarts that, based on Oshiomhole’s alliance to a chieftain of the party with 2023 presidential aspiration, he (Oshiomhole) should be eased out to have a level playing field for all.
It was learned that Oshiomhole committed what some party stalwarts described as political hara-kiri by forum shopping for a favourable ruling from a Kano High Court, which was a court of co-ordinate jurisdiction with the FCT High Court that ordered his stepping aside pending the determination of the substantive suit.
According to the Rivers APC stalwart, “Now, you would notice that while the Kano High Court ruled on an ex parte motion, that of the FCT was an interlocutory injunction which lifespan extends to whatever time it takes to consummate the substantive suit. So by March 17, 2020, the temporary relief he secured from Kano would have elapsed, because ex parte rulings last between seven and 14 days.
“Again, the suspended national chairman also appealed the ruling of the FCT High Court and sought for a stay of execution, but there again, with an acting President of Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice M.B. Dongban Mensem, that was just appointed, do you think that being a woman, she would like to stain her shining records with a controversial intrusion?”
He said the party has gradually moved to a new level with the “search for a level-headed professional that could steer the ship of the party through safe waters and towards clement harbour for the preparations towards the 2023 election cycle.”
The Guardian learned that while the leaders of APC South-South caucus have thrown their weight behind the embattled national chairman, some elements within the caucus have started lobbying for a replacement to be selected from their zone. Deputy National Vice Chairman (South-South) of the party, Chief Hillard Ntufam Etta, had told The Guardian in an interview that the contemplation of the geopolitical zone is that if Oshiomhole has committed any offence that should warrant his removal, the zone should be taken into confidence and allowed to choose a replacement.