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Pressure on Oshiomhole to resign as APC crisis deepens

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[FILES] Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Adams Oshiomhole speaks during the party caucus emergency meeting on the postponed general elections in Abuja, on February 18, 2019. – National party leaders including candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo attended an emergency national caucus meeting of the party to discuss the way out following Saturday’s postponement of the general elections. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) deepened yesterday as a section of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) demanded the resignation of National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole.

Deputy National Chairman (North) Lawal Shuaibu, apparently speaking on behalf of some of his colleagues, blamed Oshiomhole’s style of leadership for recent setbacks in the party’s fortunes.

“In advanced democracies, people who fail to add value or build, over and above what they met on assumption of duty, show some civilised examples; they honourably bow out,” Shuaibu said.

In a letter, “APC: It’s Fortunes vs. Misfortunes, Time to Act!’ dated May 27, 2019 and addressed to Oshiomhole, he accused the national chairman of taking unilateral decisions without inputs by the NWC.

He maintained that Oshiomhole’s highhandedness, besides depleting the ranks of the party, also led to the recent Supremes Court’s verdict, which upturned the party’s electoral victory in Zamfara State.

Efforts to get Oshiomhole’s reactions as at 6:15 p.m. were unsuccessful. His chief press secretary, Simeon Ebegbulem, however promised that his principal would respond to the issues raised by Shuaibu in due course.

When contacted also, the party’s National Vice Chairman (South-South) Prince Hilliard Eta declined to comment, saying: “I have heard there is a letter. Let me read it first.”

Recalling the role he (Shuaibu) played in the formation of the APC, the deputy national chairman said it was unfortunate that Oshiomhole singlehandedly damaged the solid groundwork through inaction and poor judgment.

He asked Oshiomhole to step aside, to remedy the situation at the National Assembly where, according to him, APC members are now at the mercy of PDP colleagues in the battle to win the leadership of the legislative chambers.

He said: “We had 23 states in 2015. But after the 2019 elections, we lost seven states! We also had 60 senators in 2015. At the end of the 2019 election, we have ended up with 57 senators! You were not brought in to lose elections; it is absolutely unacceptable!

“What this entails is that for any senator to become a presiding officer, he needs to go and kneel down before PDP senators and beg for support! And to make things worse, you announced that APC would not allow any PDP senator to be appointed as committee chairman, except in committees statutorily meant for opposition members.

“That is never the tradition of the legislature anywhere! The legislature is the house of collaboration and lobby, and you can never succeed with a hostile approach. You must lobby; seek for the cooperation of members across party divide.

“If you don’t know, you have made the situation worse. Use your calculator and you will find that as at now, if anybody, backed by PDP members, wants to become senate president, all he needs is the support of only six APC senators to win the election on the floor of the Senate!”

Shuaibu however noted that his protestation was not borne out of a desire to replace Oshiomhole. According to him, “I don’t want to be national chairman. I cannot be, even if I want to, as long as President Muhammadu Buhari is in office, having come from the same northwest geo-political zone.”

He advised Oshiomhole to “take the path of honour, step aside and allow the party to embark on the onerous task of reconstruction and rehabilitation in those states where it was weakened by the effect of manner the last primary elections were conducted.

“Or even the task of recreating the party where it is on the path of extinction, arising from the loss of a sitting APC government, for example in Zamfara State, where you directly, personally, created the problem leading to the painful and complete loss of APC’s electoral fortunes.

“All these are incontestable facts. You cannot exonerate yourself from blame on what happened to APC Zamfara State, thereby destroying the hopes and aspirations of 534,541 APC members and supporters, including my goodwill. I have nothing personal, except that I love this party and cannot keep quiet, seeing it being brutally murdered!”

The Ekiti State chapter of the party meanwhile has suspended a former lawmaker, Bimbo Daramola, over alleged involvement in anti-party activities.

The order was contained in a letter dated May 28, 2019, and signed by the chairman and secretary of Ire ward II, Dipo Bejide and Adeola Sefunmi.

The letter reads in part: “From the tone and style of your letter dated May 20, it is apparent that you are only interested in causing division and disunity in the party by raising mundane, rumoured and unsubstantiated allegation aimed at setting the members at each other. To this effect and based on your reply, we wish to put forward to you what the wards deem as your anti-party activities.

“On the eve of the 2019 election, you used your house to accommodate PDP thugs; those who eventually unleashed mayhem on members of our party, APC.

“On the eve of the election, you visited the palace of the Onire of Ire, where you openly canvassed for the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, whom you openly described as your mentor and benefactor.”


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