When former Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole was elected a few months ago as the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), not a few people expressed their fears about the future of the party, not because they doubted Oshiomhole’s leadership ability,
but they were worried about his hard stance on issues and stance on keeping strictly to the rules, against politicians’ penchant to bending the rules and contravening due process.
This fear is gradually coming to light, especially after the primary of the party to elect the various flag bearers for the various offices, as his hard stance in ensuring that the party rules and regulations are strictly adhered to has now pitched him against key party leaders, among them powerful governors who are now moving to ensure that he is removed from his seat.
This position of the party leaders who cut across the country and are aggrieved about their inability to either pick their desired ticket for the election for themselves or for their anointed aspirants
and insisting that their failure to either get the ticket for themselves or their anointed was as a result of the position of the party chairman have now put the party under threat as they have put machinery in place to give effect to their threat.
One of the key opponents to Oshiomhole over his position is Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
Amosun is protesting against the outcome of the APC primaries in his state and has accused Oshiomhole of colluding with “a cabal in Lagos” to write fake results which produced Dapo Abiodun as the party’s governorship candidate for the 2019 election.
He alleged the involvement of former governors Bola Tinubu (Lagos) and Segun Osoba (Ogun) in the alleged fraud, citing their silence on the matter as evidence of their consent to it.
Amosun insists that there was no election in Ogun State, that those he is accusing only just went to Lagos to write all results, and that what they did is fraud.
He said, “If the National Working Committee or the National Chairman said there was any election in Ogun State, it was all fraud,” he said insisting that the only primary he knows about was the one which produced his anointed aspirant, Hon Adekunle Akinlade, as governorship candidate.
The governor had initially announced Akinlade as a consensus candidate before the NWC of the party insisted on conducting direct primaries. But the NWC, after the primaries declared Dapo Abiodun as governorship candidate of the party.
Some stakeholders in the state had also accused Amosun of hand picking candidates to almost all the offices in the state and allocating a senatorial ticket to himself, which was not agreeable to the NWC of the party who rather insist that a proper primary must hold.
Though the governor took the senatorial ticket of Senator Lanre Tejuosho, who against all odds elected to remain in the party when many other senators elected on the platform of the party jumped ship to other political parties, especially the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),
naming him as one of them, it seem that the NWC have decided to allow him hold on to that ticket, but that has not placated him.
Now, Amosun is insisting that Oshiomhole must vacate his seat and some women in the state loyal to him have even threatened to protest naked in Abuja in support of their governor’s position.
Amosun is not alone in this mission, another governor who is determined to see the back of Oshiomhole over the party primary is Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha.
Okorocha who has had a running battle with many key members of his party, including his deputy, Prince Madumere, Senator Hope Uzodima and many others over his insistence that his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, would succeed him in office, is now accusing Oshiomhole of being behind his failure to have his way in the state.
To Okorocha, because of Oshiomhole refusal to dance to his tune, he must be removed from office.
Across the various states, the situation remains the same, many members are angry. The Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, also recently declared on a live television interview that Osdhiomhole must be removed from office. Okechukwu also failed to get a senatorial ticket in his home state of Enugu.
There is also confusion in Zamfara State where the party is under threat of not going to be able to field candidates for the various offices due to issues arising from the primary, same as Kaduna where there is also a crisis.
Even though Oshiomhole had earlier in the week raised the alarm that some governors are after him and working to remove him from office, he later disowned the statement by his aides, saying that he has a good working relationship with the majority of governors within the APC fold and that he has no cause to worry.
This development and the recent reaction of the APC spokesperson, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, describing those complaining about the outcome of the primary as bad losers doe not in any way help the peace building process which many believe should be the next line of action of the party after such a rancorous primary.
It is our sincere belief that the APC should by now be working on its peace building process towards a full reconciliation before the 2019 elections, considering the importance of the election to its continuous survival.
Party primary, which is a means to an end and not an end in itself, we believe should be a process that should unite a party and whatever the outcome should not be enough to divide a party in such a way that can threaten the seat of a national chairman.
We are of the opinion that the introduction of the direct party primary by the Oshiomhole-led national leadership of the party remains the best option in picking candidates to run on the party platforms,
we also believe that key stakeholders within the party must be patient and patriotic enough to help build a system that will endure rather than eager to pull it down because the outcome does not favour them.