Plot To Sack Oshiomhole Tears APC Chairmen, Lawmakers Apart
The plot to remove the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, may have reached an impasse as the party’s state chairmen and lawmakers are divided on what to do with it.
As at last night, some state chairmen and lawmakers on the party’s platform were singing discordant tunes on whether or not Oshiomhole should be removed.
Following the festering crisis in the APC triggered by the controversial primaries to field party members for the 2019 elections, some APC lawmakers in the National Assembly (NASS) and the party’s state chairmen across the country, are singing discordant tunes on whether Oshiomhole should be removed or not.
LEADERSHIP findings showed that the support for or against Oshiomhole’s continued stay in office has no regional or religious bearing but rather due to the sad experiences of most senators during the APC primary elections.
Two senators from Northwest told LEADERSHIP that “it is inconceivable that some members are talking of Oshiomhole’s removal at a time the party should be building on grounds so far covered in preparation for the 2019 elections.
“I don’t think such people mean well for the party. You don’t change a winning team because Oshiomhole symbolises and heads a winning team,” one of them angrily stated.
But a Southeast and two Northeast senators, who didn’t want to be named, insisted that “Oshiomhole is the last straw that breaks the APC’s bent and frail back.
“At a time like this, a people must muster courage to take a decision that will right a wrong, that will avert a colossal damage or disgrace. I can state unequivocally that this impetus or courage we are not prepared to exercise in APC will cause us a lot of untold hardships. It is too late to be viewed nationwide as a people incapable of managing success,’’ one of the lawmakers said.
Prior to the latest development, the Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Francis Alimikhena, had on October 27, 2018, vowed that any attempt to remove Oshiomhole would be met with stiff resistance.
In a statement issued by his personal assistant, Benjamin Atu and made available to LEADERSHIP, the Edo North Senator cautioned those instigating crisis in APC to allow Oshiomhole to reposition the party for the overall good rather than pulling down his good efforts to justify unrealistic conclusions.
“Those clamouring for Oshiomhole’s removal are the vocal minority who do not wish the party well but want to wreck APC because of their personal parochial interest.
“Oshiomhole is enjoying the support of the President, members of the National Assembly and the various state party chairmen are standing with him.
“We cannot trade away the national chairman who has recently delivered the party in various state governorship elections to justify parochial interest,” Alimikhena stated.
Also yesterday, some members of the APC Caucus in the House of Representatives kicked against the alleged plot by some aggrieved members of the party to sack Oshiomhole.
The lawmakers warned that the move would further deepen the raging crisis in the ruling party.
Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas told LEADERSHIP that the removal of Oshiomhole would not necessarily correct the mistakes made by the APC, adding that it was in the interest of all members to move forward.
He said: “I am not for his removal at all. The bottom line is that we need to move forward; as a party, it is not in our interest to add or compound the crisis as it were. If there are problems, we should be able to resolve them but not sacking anybody or the chairman of the party.”
Similarly, Hon. Sulaiman Kwande, said that the anti-Oshiomhole plot was not the best way to fix the problems in the party as his actions were carried out to protect the APC.
Kwande, who lost the party primaries, said that while he understood that some persons were aggrieved over the outcome of the primaries, it was better to forge ahead rather than fighting the chairman.
He said: “Honestly, I am against it because I realise that some of us are not happy with the outcome of the primaries but it is what it is. And I know he has attempted to intervene but nothing has come of it. Be that as it may, there is no need to keep fighting him.
“For now, we are still members of the National Assembly with duties to carry out and that should be our focus at the moment. Again, I know that all Oshiomhole was doing was trying to protect the party,” he said.
LEADERSHIP learnt that while majority of the state chairmen could not be drawn into the plot because their governors had no axe to grind with Oshiomhole, others are bent on showing him the way out because of the believe that his continued stay may further nail the party’s coffin. The chairmen who hold this view, asserted that Oshiomhole’s actions so far, are against the tenets of democracy and so allowing him to continue will make a mockery of what the party stands for.
But a party source told LEADERSHIP that it was the governors who lost out in the primaries that were mobilising their state chairmen noting “which did not yield fruit as most of them were behind the Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC).
“The chairmen are solidly behind Oshiomhole because their governors also have confidence in the national leadership. It is governors that have trouble pushing their wishes through that are pulling some strings.
“For instance, can Governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State muster enough chairmen to remove Oshiomhole?
“Majority of the party leaders are in support of the way he is handling things. He also enjoys the confidence and support of the presidency,” the source said.
The three governors have openly expressed their grievances with the party chairman on how he handled the primaries in their respective states.
However, Oshiomhole has insisted on the decisions of the NWC on some candidates despite the pressure mounted by the governors, especially through the presidency.
Recently, the chairmen of the APC in the six states of the South-South passed a vote of confidence on Oshiomhole.
They insisted that the fifth columnists fighting the national chairman were indirectly kicking against President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election.
Meanwhile, barely 24 hours after Oshiomhole said that the Imo State candidate for the 2019 governorship under the platform of APC remains Senator Hope Uzodimma, the so-in-law of the incumbent governor (Rochas Okorocha), Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, has maintained that he is the valid candidate of APC in the state.
Nwosu, who is the chief of staff to Okorocha, said that despite his respect for Oshiomhole, he was disappointed in his adoption of Senator Uzodimma as the party’s candidate when no primary was conducted by the Ahmed Gulak Committee.
He told journalists in Abuja yesterday that “our chairman that we respect very well, what he did yesterday (Saturday) is not internal democracy. I won that election. I remain the candidate of APC and nobody can take it away from me. If might take a while but let me state it clearly, I am the candidate of APC and by the special grace of God come 2019 I have no doubt that I will be the governor of Imo State.
“I remember several times we were on the streets in support of his actions as Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) president. I see him as my role model. But what I see now is a disappointment. There is no internal democracy. I’ve never seen where you conduct election and somebody won and from nowhere you bring another person as the candidate of the party, it is unacceptable,” Nwosu said.