By the day, the internal crisis in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) escalates even after the warring parties visit party leader and President, Muhammadu Buhari.
Wednesday, it was National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; Thursday, it was the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, who like Oshiomhole used the precincts of the Presidential Villa to ventilate his disagreement with the party leadership.
The Governor discountenanced speculations he was on his way to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) insisting that he could not build a house and leave it for someone else. “I am in APC, I founded the APC, I gave the name APC and so, this is our party and we must continue with the party and build the party for victory,” he asserted.
Speaking with State House correspondents, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state, after a meeting with Buhari, said: “I am here to clear the air that the presidency is behind what Oshiomhole in what he is doing in some of the states and which has affected our party negatively; and from my understanding from Mr President, there is no such directive for Oshiomhole to do anything illegal or create any sort of injustice.
“So, Oshiomhole is on his own in this whole thing. There is no presidency’s support for him to refused candidates, those who won elections and give wrong candidates who didn’t win election.
“This is the matter and I will simply say that he is not with the consent of the presidency, he is on his own.
“I also requested that Oshiomhole must learn to respect the rule of law and obey court orders where they apply. This issue of treating court orders as tissue papers must stop, it doesn’t reflect the image of our party. He must act quickly to fix the integrity of this party because his coming in ought to have brought joy into the party and not sadness.”
And confirming comments by former APC Senator, Shehu Sani, that The Preside n was the only one holding the party together, Okorocha disagreed with journalists that the APC would disintegrate.
His words: “Well, APC will not disintegrate for as long as the person, Muhammadu Buhari, is still the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and remains the leader of this party.
“So, we cannot give that credit to the chairman. He cannot disintegrate this party, the party is still intact, just that many people are hurt.
“Since his inception and after these primaries, we are losing almost five million voters because of anger, protest everywhere and he needs to be called to order, he has to respect the rule of law, respect court orders and do the right thing – obey court orders where applicable and not turn himself into INEC.”
Okorocha’s main grouse appears to be the party’s replacement of his son-in-law, Mr. Uche Nwosu, with Senator Hope Uzodinma as the party’s candidate for governorship election next year.
“He can not be standing on Hope Uzodinma because that man did not win election. You cannot compare somebody who won 265,000 votes with somebody who won 7,000 votes.
“He (Hope Uzodinma) never won election and you cannot imposed a candidate who is unacceptable to the people to the people. “That is how serious the matter is now.
“So, he (Oshiomhole) should do the right thing and I have advised himself severally to do the right thing before he creates more disaffections in our party.”
“He can’t! I don’t think the National Working Committee will do that because in the first place, the National Working Committee sent a 13-man delegation who conducted election and 12 of them signed, proving that Uche Nwosu won the election with 265,000 votes as against Hope Uzodinma who got less than 7,000 votes. So, they can’t do that.
“And there is a letter to that effect from the National Working Committee saying Uche Nwosu won, there is a Certificate of Return given to Uche Nwosu, there is a Police report saying Uche Nwosu, there is INEC report saying Uche Nwosu. So, nobody can do that and if they do that, that must be the worst imposition in the history of Nigeria.”