The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on Friday, managed to survive a ‘sealed’ conspiracy by some aggrieved members of the party.
It would be recalled that the alleged refusal of the Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to allow the NEC meet, as prescribed by the constitution of the party, had been a particularly agitating factor for which some stakeholders, as well as organs, within the party, had in the last few weeks called the National Chairman out.
The most recent of these calls on Comrade Oshiomhole was made by the Director-general of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Salihu Moh Lukman, who also challenged the chairman to resign if he would not obey the constitution of the party.
Although, according to the party’s constitution, the NEC meeting is meant to convene quarterly, untill last Friday’s convening, the last of such meeting was in August 2018, a situation which had been blamed for the multiple intractable crises bugging the party.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in his opening remarks at Friday’s NEC meeting, emphasised the need for leaders of the party to effectively study and obey the party’s constitution. He also pointed out that it was the duty of the leaders of the party to ensure that the APC lives beyond his tenure, failure of which he said would make them be on the wrong side of history.
“The aim is that, as I mentioned yesterday, history will not be fair to us outrightly if the APC collapses at the end of this term. History will be fair to us if the APC remains strong and not only holds the center, but make gains. People will reflect with nostalgia that once upon a time, the builders of APC made a lot of sacrifices, worked very hard.
“The sacrifices are physical, material and moral to make sure that we maintain the leadership, politically, of this system.
This is what we should all aim at and ensure that our constituents understand us and follow us to this great objective.
“What we did for you the executive, NWC is bottom to top. you must make sure that people elected to be responsible for polling units to wards to local governments to states to here are respected in their respective constituencies.
“This is the only way we can make this party survive, this is the only way history will be kind to us that we have led with absolute concern for the country and for the people. If for any other reason, you divide the party, at any constituency and it causes faliure, then be prepared that history will not recognize you as a leader at any level at anytime”, the President had reiterated.
However, to the shock of many members of the NEC, according to sources in the meeting, who had thought that the meeting would be used to address many of the internal crises of the party, which had continued to fester from end to end, the National Chairman of the party brought the meeting to a close, allegedly without allowing any contribution or opinions to be aired by members.
Narrating the events that characterised the meeting and how it was brought to a close, even when some members of the NEC were indicating that they had motions to move, a member of the aggrieved section of the NEC, which later on Friday evening called on the party chairman to step down from his position, said the action was reminiscent of autocracy.
Spokesman of the aggrieved NEC members, who is also the Chairman of the Zamfara State chapter, Hon Lawal Liman, said the situation in the NEC Hall of the party Secretariat went into a frenzy as members were shouting “no adjournment, no adjournment”, when it became obvious the meeting was adjourning without tabling any of the burning issues in the party for discussion.
“We had wanted to raise a motion and he refused to allow anybody to talk, as usual. In his remarks, the President had called on all leaders to respect their constituents and make sure they work for the party at all levels, so that history will be on our side and so that after now, we’ll be leaving a solid and strong party, the APC, but that was not adhered to by the National Chairman.
“The reaction of the President and other leaders of government was same as other NEC members because as the chairman of the party, he has that power at that moment, so he just decided to call for adjournment. I believe you must be hearing people, at that time, shouting ‘no adjournment, no adjournment’. That was how the meeting ended.
“There are over fifty dissatisfied members of the NEC, you must have seen the signatures. More are still coming. We are very much together with other members of the NEC, some have left, but we are with them. We have Ekiti, Ondo, Edo and others, so we are all together”, he said.
When asked if there was no other way of resolving the disagreement with the National Chairman of the party, other than his resignation, Lawan said “that will depend on Oshiomhole.
The Nation, however, gathered the NEC had taken a resolution to adopt a decision taken a day earlier by the National Caucus of the party, during its meeting at the Presidential Villa, which had mandated President Buhari, as the leader of the party, to constitute a National Reconciliation Committee, to work at sorting out the myriad of crises facing the APC.
The party, in a statement disclosing this to journalists Friday night, signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the committee to be set up by the President will be attending to grievances of members, resolving them and bring stability back to the party.
“The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has adopted the recommendation of the National Caucus that President Muhammadu Buhari as Leader of the Party, constitutes a National Reconciliation Committee.
“The Standing Committee will be empowered to address grieviances of party members and resolve existing conflicts, all with a view to fostering unity and oneness within the party,” the statement said in part.