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Adams Oshiomhole: A comrade in battle for political survival

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By OBISESAN LAOYE

The challenge of APC’S control of the National Assembly which has preoccupied its leadership since the conclusion of the elections in April is direct fallout of the political crisis created by the leadership style of its national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. It was also this political crisis that led to its loss of the two states – Rivers and Zamfara – to the opposition, the PDP at the law courts in cases instituted by members of the party against others.

Ordinarily, the APC as the ruling party has enough members in the which will be inaugurated this week NASS to elect anybody of its choice as Speaker of the House and President of the senate, ,  without losing sleep, but for the bullish and antagonistic posturing of the chairman.  This has further polarized the party and estranged the opposition who support and understanding is necessary for a smooth operation of the legislature.

These issues have culminated in the call by party members for his removal especially after the Zamfara debacle.

It seems the controversial manner in which he emerged as continued to determine the way he runs the party by pitching people against themselves. The way he emerged, which  many members believed  was not through  the  proper  channel, is still angering  those  who are not well disposed  to  the ‘coup’  against  Chief John Odigie  Oyegun whom  they said was a victim  of vendetta  by some powerful  groups  in the  party  who were  not comfortable with  his loyalty to President Buhari  at the National  level  of the party  because of their personal  ambition,  which  they  felt  would  be jeopardised, if  Oyegun  still  remained  the  national chairman  of the party.

The event of Oshiomhole’s emergence further deepened the hitherto divisions and power of supremacy among those justling to control the party. His tenure, according  to some of the party members  instead  of stabilising  the party has continued to tear it apart. In the last one year, the party has been in one internal crisis  or the other.

A major grouse against the chairman is allegedly his unguarded  utterances,  which  always seem to be out of tune with the common sentiment and often without consultations with the stakeholders. Following his declaration that the party will not offer any position to the opposition, many people were so miffed that they appealed President  Muhammadu Buhari to call  him to order.   Unconscious that he even insulted the President,  he had said that if the president, condones disrespect for  his office, he will not condone disrespect for the party as the Chairman Most people accuse him of dictatorship.

Unknown  to him,  that statement got the loyalists of President  Buhari angry as they  accused  him  of being rude  to the office of the President and that he portrayed  the President  as being very  weak.

There  are many  things against Oshiomhole  and  as they  were  trying  to sort  out, some  of the  issues  created by him, the chairman  was diggping  deeper into more  troubles. His actions before, during  and  after  the  2019 general  elections  were alleged  to have  undermined the  APC which is  adversely  affecting  the  party in all fronts.

The guidelines the National  Working committee of the  party  led by Oshiomhole dished  out for the primaries of the party in the recently  concluded general elections caused  series  of problems  in many  states and the  party  is now paying  dearly  for that.

The guidelines pitched  him against some governors, like Ibikunle Amosun  of Ogun State, Rochas Okorocha,  of Imo State, Mallam Nasil El-Rufai of Kaduna  State, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo, some  Senators and some serving Ministers. The party adopted both direct and indirect primaries.

During  the primaries  of the party, Oshiomhole’s controversy  began  with  the way he handled  the presidential nomination  form to favour  just  only  one  aspirant, President  Buhari. The amount of N45million he placed  on the nomination  form for contestants  was said to have been outrageous  to the  extent that President  Buhari who  was  favoured,

could  not even  afford  the amount. He was bailed out by Farmers Association who eventually  paid for  him.

It was not the  presidential,  nomination  form  alone  that  generated  crisis. The amounts placed on the nomination  forms  of other elective  positions were  challenged to the  extent that  Dr.Pat Utomi  had to complain that  the  party  ripped  him off and  he was said to have been forced  to described  APC under  Oshiomhole,  as fraudulent because  he was  deceived despite  paying, N22.5million for nomination  form.

He alleged  that  when  he  was  to go to the  venue  of where  the  governorship primaries  was  to be held, he was still  looking  for the venue  when  a friend  phoned  him, that  the  primaries  had  been held. He was said to have declared APC is occultic group.

What has compounded the APC chairman’s  problem are the results of the elections in some states  but  the  one  that really  made  party  stalwarts  to call  for  his head, was the  Zamfara issue, in which the party  lost  through  the  court  case, all  the  elective  positions  to the  PDP.

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They believed that it was the  chairman’s strategy that contributed  to the fall  of the party.

The latest  attack on Oshiomhole, was that  of the  former  chairman  of the  APC Chief Odigie  Oyegun who described him as a carpenter  who fights with  his tools.  He said his successor  is a man who  engages his mouth before  mind, adding that Oshiomhole has been engaging  in actions that  are  demarketing and degrading the APC.  He further  said that he has  been  chasing  people  away  from  the party, rather  than bringing  more  to it, adding

that Oshiomhole has  been using  ‘garage  boy’ style  in directing  the affairs  of the  party.

Also,  former  Ogun state  governor, Ibukunle Amosun who had  a brush  with  Oshiomhole,  described  him as a person that lacks respect  for the truth and decency  and  called  for  his  removal.

A former  Sokoto state  governor, Yaya Abdulkarim said that Oshiomhole  is digging  the  grave of the  APC where  it would be  buried in 2023, if care  was  not taken  before  the  end  of President Buhari’s second  term.

Former  Minister  of Communication  Adebayo  Shittu  said  Oshiomhole  is a confusionist who  was  planted  to  destroy  APC.

What made  members  of the  party  labelled him as  a dictator and  headmaster  was  his  Statement  about  the  Labour  and  productivity  Minister, Dr.  Chris  Ngige.  Oshiomhole  had threatened that  he would suspend  Ngige from the party  if he did not constitute  the board members of his ministry and  inaugurate them, adding  that the  President would  be made  to realised  that he could  not  keep someone who  has  no respect for the party  in his cabinet.   He was lampooned for saying that  to a minister  appointed  by the  President.

The heat is now  heavy on Oshiomhole,  and  his Deputy Senator Lawan  Shuaibu is one of the  people  fueling the  heat; he has  called  for  his head  by asking  him  to resign.  Senator Shuaib did not hide  his feelings,  he wrote  an open letter  to him to quit  the chairmanship, accusing  him of diminishing  the party, saying  that the numbers  of the  states, and seats controlled by the  party in the  National  Assembly  diminished  since Oshiomhole  took the  leadership of the  party.

He said that  was  not acceptable  and he should resign. Among  others  who detests  Oshiomhole  are  the  governors  of Kaduna  State, El Rufai , Rotimi  Akeredolu  of Ondo  State and Rochas Okorocha  who described  him as a liability to the  party.

But while  defending  the  APC chairman  and  the NWC,  the   National  Publicity  Secretary  of the  APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu  said   that  it was wrong  to say that  Oshiomhole  is ruling  the party  as  a sole administrator, saying  that  he is only changing the party  to be a full  progressives party  that  would  not do things  with  impunity which affected  the  Peoples  Democratic  party.  He said that  Oshiomhole  was  only  trying  to build a democratic  party  where all  members would  be  subjected  to the  rules   regulations and  convention  of the  party.

 

 

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