Salihu Mohammed Lukman, the Director-General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), has wadded into the crisis currently rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) by calling on the party’s National Chairman of the , Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to convene the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the party or resign immediately.
The PGF Director-General’s call came on the heel of the multiple internal crisis rocking the party in the states across the country, the most current of which is the worsening power tussle between Oshiomhole and his successor as governor of Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki, which Lukman described as “embarrassing” to the ruling party.
Lukman, in a statement he personally authored, titled ‘APC and our Inconceivable Organisational Challenges: Urgent Call to our Leaders’ and made available to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, said the National Working Committee (NWC), an administrative organ of the party, including just a select members of the NEC and is tasked with the responsibility of executing decisions of the NEC, had hijacked the responsibilities of the apex decision-making organ of the party, the NEC, which he said seemed to have been suspended.
According to him, most of the crisis facing the party in the state, many of which had cost the party some states hitherto considered as its stronghold states, are those that the NEC or National Caucus meeting of the party are designed to sort out.
He reminded Oshiomhole that his constituency, as National Chairman of the party goes beyond his home state of Edo, but the whole of the country, charging him to follow the party’s constitution by convening the NEC, face the party in the process of resolving the myriad of crises facing it or simply accept that he is not capable of leading the party any further and resign his office as National Chairman.
“Side by side with the news of the vote of no confidence was also the discomforting report of the Federal High Court judgement in Abuja disqualifying Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo as our Deputy Governorship candidate for the November 16, 2019 Bayelsa election. While expecting that every necessary step will be taken to vacate the judgement, it is very depressing for every committed party member to be subjected to such ignominious reality, which only remind us of our reckless conducts in states like Zamfara, Rivers, Bauchi and Adamawa, which chiefly gave away electoral victories to PDP.
“Instead of focusing on working to win elections, we are busy undermining ourselves. All these are ominous signs that we are about to re-enact the Zamfara, Rivers, Bauchi and Adamawa experiences in Bayelsa. It is Bayelsa today, Anambra, Edo and Ondo are being setup for similar experiences.
“Somehow, unfortunately, the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party, which is the organ vested with the statutory responsibility of responding to all these challenges appear to be suspended. The last time it met was August 2018. In its place, the National Working Committee (NWC), which is an administrative organ with the responsibility of implementing decisions of NEC and other higher organs seems to have usurped the powers of NEC.
“Sadly, even the NWC, as at today, is a shadow of itself, as it has lost many members either on accounts of appointment into government or controversial suspension.
“For instance, Otumba Niyi Adebayo, Deputy National Chairman (South) is today a Minister of the Federal Republic. Senator Lawal Shuaibu, Deputy National Chairman (North) is allegedly suspended. Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, National Vice Chairman (North West) is similarly suspended.
“We may recall that in June 2019, the NWC allegedly suspended Governor Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN). During the 2019 general elections, on accounts of the roles of former Governors Rochas Okorocha and Ibikunle Amosun against the candidates of the party, they were similarly suspended. Whether all these actions are permissible by provisions of the APC’s constitution is highly contestable.
“Why should all these be allowed to happen? Why is it impossible to convene a NEC or even National Caucus meetings, which are supposed to hold every quarter to resolve all these issues? Why should the NWC under Comrade Oshiomhole continue to imagine that it can conduct affairs of the party without mandatory meetings of party organs? What legacy is Comrade Oshiomhole hoping to achieve as a National Chairman by running the party in a way that suggests almost zero commitment to issues of party development?
“It is very painful for many of us who have had the privilege of being mentored by Comrade Oshiomhole to see him being devalued to a local factional leader from a very high pedestal of an illustrious national leader. As National Chairman, Comrade Oshiomhole hardly appreciate that he now has a national constituency and not just a state constituency, which may have been responsible for his apparent intemperance in the handling of matters affecting Edo State. I wish he paid similar attention to handling of issues affecting Rivers and Zamfara states during the 2019 elections.
“In the current circumstance, nothing short of a NEC or National Caucus meeting of the party can resolve all our increasing organisational challenges as a party. It is either Comrade Oshiomhole respect the provision of party constitution and convene superior organ meeting to deliberate on all our challenges, or he should just accept his inability to manage the party and simply resign.
“Our national leaders must rise to the challenge facing us as a party and take all necessary measures to convene superior organ meetings to begin to resolve all our challenges as a party. The current public disgrace must end,” he said.