The crisis arising from the move to ease out Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, took a new turn yesterday with governors championing the move to recruit ministers to join them in the crusade.
Nonetheless, there were fears that their efforts of projecting their protégés as the party’s candidates in various elective positions could amount to nullity, with Oshiomhole out of the country. Oshiomhole as national chairman is required to sign any substitution of party candidates. Meanwhile, Oshiomhole, Akelicious gathered last night, had also launched a charm offensive by apologising to some aspirants who were disqualified during the recent party primaries. However, the crisis in the APC got official censure in the House of Representatives yesterday as it constituted an ad-hoc committee to investigate the conduct of internal party primaries by the country’s political parties. The legislators also frowned on the role assumed by governors who they claimed considered themselves as tin gods. The umbrage in the House came as Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, yesterday, visited President Muhammadu Buhari, following which he denied reports of his involvement in the questioning of Comrade Oshiomhole by the DSS last Sunday. Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has tasked the National Intelligence Agency, Interpol and President Buhari to help bring back Comrade Oshiomhole to the country. The party’s admonition was echoed by the opposition caucus in the Senate which saw nothing wrong in the interrogation of the party chairman. The same sentiment was echoed by a leading APC chieftain, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria, VON, who urged Oshiomhole to do the needful by resigning, instead of running away from the country. He warned that the national chairman could be stoned if he accompanied Buhari to Enugu during the forthcoming campaigns.
Governors recruit ministers
The anti-Oshiomhole governors, it was gathered, were said to be marshalling new points and hard evidence against the national chairman which they would present to President Buhari. A top official of the party said, yesterday, in Abuja that since the governors felt politically humiliated by Oshiomhole, the right thing to do was to pay him back in his own coin. Besides, the governors were said to be recruiting ministers to join the plot to get Oshiomhole out of the way. “The anger among the governors is that Oshiomhole did virtually all the things he is now stopping the governors from doing. He imposed his successor in Edo on his people. Till date, one cannot vie for any position in Edo State without the endorsement of Oshiomhole. So, why is he stopping the governors? “The governors are also angry at leader of the party in the South-West, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is reportedly positioning himself for the presidency in 2023. We were told that while the chairman was being grilled by security operatives, the man flew in from Lagos to practically bail him out,” the party official said.
Oshiomhole in charm offensive
Meanwhile, indications have emerged that the national chairman has been reaching out to some influential aggrieved aspirants of the party. In a letter dated October 30, 2018 and addressed to some individual aspirants, the chairman was said to have apologized for their disqualification, hinging it on the handiwork of fifth columnists. In a copy of one of such letters obtained by Akelicious the national chairman wrote: “Although you were cleared by the National Working Committee (NWC) appointed screening panel as a governorship aspirant to contest the Direct Primary election, your disqualification was erroneously announced by unknown source when voting was midway. “The incident as the Governorship Primary Election and the subsequent embarrassing mischief directed at your esteemed person by the faceless individual in the name of the party is deeply regretted.” The source continued: “Some people were initially cleared in Abuja only to be told that they had been disqualified during the primaries. The party should have waded in by then to stamp its feet that such people had been cleared to contest. What the chairman is doing now would not achieve much because many of those who are aggrieved were wrongly disqualified”. Oshiomhole is currently in the United States where he is also reportedly strategising on how to take down his foes and retain his office ahead of the crucial general elections in February.
Amosun in Aso Rock, denies role in Oshiomhole’s interrogation
Meanwhile, Governor Amosun, yesterday, dismissed insinuations that he was one of the two governors behind the petition that got Oshiomhole to be quizzed by the DSS. Speaking to State House correspondents after consultation with the president yesterday, Governor Amosun said that he would not need to go behind anybody to fight if need be. “I think you are probably giving me an oversight role and I am not a security person, so clearly I think that question will not be for me. I don’t have to hide under a finger to fight. If there is a need for me to put my views across, you know me by now that I will do it.” Also asked to comment on the report that Oshiomhole may have fled the country after his encounter with the DSS, he said: “I have told you those things are beyond my pedigree and you are asking me questions that I am not well suited for. The one that I think I should talk about we have said it loud and clear that we don’t need to add any other thing.” Against the background of pressure from the party in Ogun State for him to defect, the governor stoutly refused to divulge his mission to the president. Governor Okorocha the other governor reported to have been involved in subjecting Oshiomhole to interrogation opted not to speak on the matter yesterday. His spokesman, Sam Onwunemedo said the arrest and interrogation of the national chairman remained a matter of speculation.