The ongoing plot to force the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, out of office has split governors elected on the platform of the party as well as its leaders at the state level. The plot to remove Oshiomhole came to the fore at the last National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of APC held last Friday amidst protests for and against the move by members of the party. Although he survived the sack plot at the meeting, a source in the party told New Telegraph that some governors were still bent on showing him the exit door and are currently working through the state party chairmen to actualise the project. It was gathered that out of 19 APC governors, 11 are strongly in support of the removal of the former Edo State governor as the APC national chairman, five are standing behind the embattled party boss, while the remaining three are said to be indifferent.
The governors said to be backing Oshiomhole’s removal are: Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Aminu Masari (Kano), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Mai Mala Buni (Yobe), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), (Nasarawa) and Mohammed Bello (Niger). The governors said to be supporting Oshiomhole include: Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun) and Prof. Zulumu (Borno). On the other hand, Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Simon Lalong (Plateau) and Abdulraham Abdulrazak (Kwara) are said to be indifferent about the plot.
The governors are presently meeting in Jos, Plateau State with President Muhammadu Buhari and other party leaders over some policies of the administration. A source close to the Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF), hinted that the governors might discuss the crisis in the party and possibly the need to remove the APC national Chairman at the meeting. A source, who was at the last NEC meeting, said the former labour leader has been doing everything possible to gain more governors and party leaders to his side.
For example, after the NEC meeting on Friday, those in support of Oshiomhole were seen in a popular hotel close to the national secretariat holding a meeting while those against him were said to have gathered at another hotel in Wuse II area of Abuja. Briefing newsmen after the NEC meeting, some aggrieved members openly demanded immediate resignation from Oshiomhole.
The group accused the national chairman of disregard for the President at the NEC meeting, adding that the meeting ended abruptly. The aggrieved group includes majorly state chairmen of the party. Speaking on behalf of other party readers, Zamfara State chairman, who is also the spokesman for the APC state chairmen’s forum, Hon. Lawal M. Liman, said under the national chairman of the party, most of the goodwill acquired by the party has been eroded. “Arising from the foregoing and having regards to the huge responsibilities bestowed on us as officers of the party and in the overriding interest of our members, we are left with no option but to demand that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole resigns his position as National Chairman, in order to stem the slide and provide an enabling environment for genuine healing, reconciliation and the practice of true democracy, within the party across the country,” Liman said.
Most of the state chairmen in attendance include: Arc. Bala Kangiwa (Kebbi), Habibi Sara (Jigawa), Ade Adetimilehin (Ondo), Abdullahi Abbas (Kano), Abba Yaro (Benue), Omo-Abtosin Paul (Ekiti), Mohammed Jibril Iman (Niger), Anslem Ojezua (Edo), Philips Shekwo (Nasarawa), Air Com Ikeda (rtd, Kaduna), Lakep Dabah (Plateau), Shitu Shitu (Katsina), Isah Sadiq Acida (Sokoto). The Zamfara State chairman confirmed that Friday’s NEC meeting ended abruptly, as the National Chairman did not give NEC members opportunity to speak. But, in a statement, the chairman of the state chairmen, Ali Bukar Dalori and the chairman of the Non-NWC NEC members, Nelson Alapa, disagreed with the position of the anti-Oshiomhole’s group. According to Dalori and Alapa, “We state chairmen of APC in the country and members of the Non-NWC NEC members, are shocked with the statement credited to few chairmen who called for the resignation of our National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole shortly after a successful NEC meeting of our great party. “…Our party members must subject themselves to the organs of the party,particularly when they are angry with any issue so as to find solution to the problems. But we have found out that some of our colleagues have refused to subject themselves to these organs, they are rather embarking on activities capable of destabilizing the party, which our President kicked against.
“The statement by few of these our colleagues is ill intended because if actually they have issues with the party, they would have raised it at NEC where Mr. President and other leaders of the party were seated.” Meanwhile, some members of the APC who have been protesting against the Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) said they were perfecting plans to resume “a nationwide protest against the current NWC.” Some of them who had staged protests before and during the NEC meeting vowed not to relent. “Unless we remove Oshiomhole, the party might be more divided by 2023. Remember, this is what President Buhari warned against during his speech at the NEC, so we are going to embark on a nationwide protest to make our point and to ensure that Oshiomhole is removed as our chairman,” one of the leaders of the protesters stated.
In the meantime, APC state chairmen in Yobe and Kogi states have distanced themselves from reports associating them with the group of aggrieved chairmen and who called for Oshiomhole’s resignation. In a statement issued yesterday, Adamu Achilare, the chairman of APC in Yobe and his counterpart from Kogi, Abdulahi Bello, denied being part of the group that demanded Oshiomhole’s resignation. The Yobe chairman, who wondered why the group should include his name and forge his signature without his consent, noted that he was solidly behind the position of APC North Central state chairmen in support of the party’s national chairman, adding that he has nothing against Oshiomhole that would lead to his joining in the call for him to resign. “I must align myself with the position of North- East APC chairmen.
I did not attend any meeting with the other group and do not know why they decided to forge my signature. I have no reasons to demand the resignation of our party chairman because he has led the party well with results so far,” Achilare noted. In the same vein, the Kogi State chairman of APC, Abdulahi Bello, who also distanced himself from the meeting and its resolutions, said: “I wholeheartedly disassociate myself from the list purportedly for the removal of Adams Oshiomhole as the national chairman of our great party, APC. “I will not also hesitate to take any legal action against the masterminds of the purported list,” the statement read.