The on-going battle of supremacy between All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and his former protegé, Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, is spiralling uncontrollably down the hill for the former union leader.
In fact, it has gathered momentum as it skids down: APC governors have asked Oshiomhole to shape up, or ship out via a letter of resignation.
On Wednesday, the party leader was given a yellow card for his rough tackles by APC from Edo by a controversially installed Executive, now headed by Mr. Anselm Ojezua. Oshiomhole was suspended by the party, technically rendering his chairmanship position tenuous.
Oshiomhole’s National Working Committee of the APC responded in kind and issued its own card, suspending Ojezua; therefore, questioning his position as chairman and the decisions of the State Working Committee.
The battle line became drawn in the sand, until the APC Governors Forum poured concrete on it and etched the battle line.
Ojezua announcing Oshiomhole’s suspension said: “Yesterday (Tuesday), 15 chairmen of the APC chapters in the local councils and 23 out of the 35 members of the State Executive Committee passed a vote of no confidence on the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, while a vote of confidence was passed on my person.”
“The APC Local council chairmen have found out that Adams Oshiomhole is the one behind the crisis in Edo APC and following the findings, lost confidence in the leadership of the national chairman by passing a vote of no confidence on him. Considering the stand of these chairmen and also based on the report from organs of the party, we affirmed the suspension of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole from APC in Edo State.”
Basically, the National party chairman’s sin, when all the frills and decors are removed, is that he is fighting Obaseki, the new paymaster in Benin.
Same Wednesday, according to a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors Forum called on Oshiomhole to call for National Executive Council (NEC) meeting to resolve party’s challenges.
In a statement signed by its Director-General, Mr Salihu Lukman in Abuja on Wednesday, the forum said that Oshiomhole should either respect the provision of the party’s constitution and convene a meeting to deliberate on the party’s challenges.
“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, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Deputy National Chairman (South) is today a Minister of the Federal Republic.
“Sen. Lawal Shuaibu, Deputy National Chairman (North) is allegedly suspended. Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, National Vice Chairman (North West) is similarly suspended,” he said.
Lukman recalled that in June 2019, the NWC allegedly suspended Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo.
He added that 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.
According to him, 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 in Oshiomhole’s leadership continue to imagine that it can conduct affairs of the party without mandatory meetings of party organs?
“What legacy is 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?
“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,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a statement by its spokesman, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the APC said of the ruckus in Edo: “The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has watched with grave concern the political development within the Party ranks in Edo State and is deeply disturbed by the recent turn of events. We note that this is happening inspite of the various steps the party has taken to find an amicable resolution.
“Recall that party leaders such as the Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Chairman, Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) and Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu, and other eminent party leaders, had all tried at various times to ensure that the issues do not escalate.
“Sadly, these interventions have not yielded the desirable results.
“However, the immediate concern of the NWC is how to ensure that unity returns to the ranks of the party in Edo State. In achieving this, we have decided to constitute a high-power fact-finding and reconciliation committee of party leaders to meet with all disputing parties to ensure that all issues are addressed and resolved.
“Meanwhile, the meeting of the NWC, which held today, Wednesday, at the Party’s National Secretariat received a notification of the suspension of the Edo State APC Chairman, Anslem Ojezua by eleven  of the sixteen  members of the Edo State Working Committee (SWC). We have reviewed the process they followed and conclude that they have fulfilled the required conditions.
“We therefore uphold the suspension of the Edo State APC Chairman, Anslem Ojezua while we await the outcome of the fact-finding and reconciliation committee.
“Please note that the NWC’s objective and cause of action is strictly to address the root causes of the disputations and reconcile all parties to make our great party even stronger.”