Loyalists of the suspended National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomhole seemed to have drawn a battle line with President Muhammadu Buhari over his endorsement on Wednesday of a meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
The National Working Committee said that President Muhammadu Buhari was ill advised to approving the NEC Meeting. Despite the endorsement of the NEC meeting by the President, the National Secretary of APC, Mr. Waziri Bulama, has described the NEC meeting as illegal.
The leadership tussle in the party since the June 16 judgment of the Court of Appeal that affirmed Oshiomhole’s suspension riven the party further yesterday when the president, earlier in the day, broke his silence, saying that based on advice, he would attend the NEC meeting. His decision was widely regarded as an endorsement of Giadom’s leadership of the party.
The Oshiomhole loyalists, comprising no fewer than nine governors, about 15 members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and chairmen of the party in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have vowed to boycott the meeting because they see it as inappropriate and view it as anti-party activities geared at sidelining them.
The NEC meeting was convened by the court-installed acting National Chairman of the party, Chief Victor Giadom, whom many members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) members have insisted lacks the power to proclaim such a gathering because he has been suspended from the party and is no longer a NWC member.
Oshiomhole’s supporters, some of whom include the National Vice Chairman (South-South), Hilliard Eta, said the decision of the court in Kano had rendered the injunction suspending Oshiomhole useless. Eta also alleged that the Court of Appeal had ruled on the stay of execution prayers by Oshiomhole. However, our correspondent found out that the claim was not true. He said, “Haven’t they heard the Appeal Court ruling this evening? The appeal court has granted the stay of execution.
You need to read the two orders. “The one that is fundamental is that the court has set aside the purported suspension of the national chairman by his ward. Remember that the injunction by the Abuja court was predicated on that suspension. So, they cannot be an order in futility because what the order was standing on has been removed.”
As the controversies over the rulings of the two courts with the same power rages on, the Director General of the Progressives Governors Forum, Salihu Lukeman, expressed the view that, depending on one’s disposition, the question of “jurisdiction, coordinate or otherwise may be the focus of analysis.” According to him, once that becomes the focus, even lawyers may have to run back to the courts to seek determination of the matter. Lukeman said, “Under the circumstances, every position canvassed may just be wishful thinking. This is one reason why, when it comes to matters of the law and its interpretation, no matter our levels of education, in the end, we are all laymen.”
The PGF DG, who has also been a vocal critic of Oshiomhole’s style of leadership, expressed his views on the bigger picture, which borders on the party’s survival. He said, “The most important political question has to do with implications of the unfolding events to our party, the APC, and our leaders, especially regarding the status of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. With all that is going on, is he still the national chairman? If he is, will he be able to respond to all these challenges in a way that restores his legitimacy to continue to preside over the affairs of the party? How will all these affect the electoral fortunes of the party, especially given the question of his membership credential of the party? On the other hand, if it turns out that he is no longer the national chairman, who succeeds him and how can we ensure that such a transition comes with increased electoral advantages for our party? What could be the determining requirement for that to be guaranteed?” all these are the concerns he raised to make known his thoughts about the current happenings in the party and how the power tussle will negatively affect the progress of the party’s activities.