…Party Has Brazenly subverted its own Principles of Internal Democracy …Members Now Feel a Deep Sense of Alienation, Dissatisfaction …We Must Now Allow the Sacrifices of those Who Gave Everything for Progressive Politics to be in Vain …Mr President, Governors Must Urgently Halt the Disgraceful, Humiliating Charade Occurring Within the National Secretariat Worried by the
…Party Has Brazenly subverted its own Principles of Internal Democracy
…Members Now Feel a Deep Sense of Alienation, Dissatisfaction
…We Must Now Allow the Sacrifices of those Who Gave Everything for Progressive Politics to be in Vain
…Mr President, Governors Must Urgently Halt the Disgraceful, Humiliating Charade Occurring Within the National Secretariat
Worried by the unfolding awry developments, that portends to imperil the ruling party, former Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has called for an urgent meeting of its National Executive Committee (NEC) to set up a caretaker committee to salvage the party from its present abyss.
He argued that the party has brazenly subverted its own principles of internal democracy in flagrant violation of every rule of decent political engagement, adding that leaders of the party must not allow the sacrifices of those who gave everything for progressive politics to be in vain.
Odigie-Oyegun, a former Governor of Edo State, who made the call in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, said a caretaker committee was necessary to organise a special National Convention of the party, in order to resolve its leadership crisis.
The former chairman, express concern that almost every member of the party now feels a deep sense of alienation and dissatisfaction, with the current state of the party.
“There is an urgent need for the party’s NEC to meet and institute for the party, a Caretaker Committee (even if we have to invoke the doctrine of necessity), whose main responsibility will be to arrange for a special National Convention.
“The All Progressives Congress was built on the blood and sweat of Nigerians, young and old, too numerous to count, who were willing to give everything in the service of progressive politics.
“We must not allow their great sacrifices to go in vain.
“Today, almost every member of the party feels a deep sense of alienation and dissatisfaction with the state of the party.
“It hurts deeply to see how hollow it now rings to mention our party and ‘chant’ together. The time to act is now, before it is too late,” Odigie-Oyegun said.
The former Edo State helmsman said in the last few months, “APC members had watched how the party had brazenly subverted its own principles of internal democracy in flagrant violation of every rule of decent political engagement.”
The former chairman said that the violation of the rules had been done in a manner that made everyone associated with the party’s promise of change, liable to be accused of either hypocrisy or apostasy.
“We must, therefore, remember that our victory in the 2015 Presidential election and the peaceful transfer of power that followed, was a major testament of progress in our nation’s journey towards real democracy.
“This unprecedented democratic achievement has since inspired progressive forces all over Africa and has become a standard by which democracy is measured in the rest of the continent.
“Unfortunately, it appears that while other countries around us have marched ahead in the democratic journey, we have largely regressed.
“We were the political party that benefitted from a system that offered the opposition a chance,” he stated.
According to him, everyone expected party faithful to show unwavering dedication to broaden the democratic space for everyone.
Odigie-Oyegun said that APC was expected to ensure that equity and justice took precedence over all other considerations.
He said that the party should ensure that it truly functioned as the vehicle for aggregating and managing contending political interests.
“Unfortunately, what we have witnessed in our party is the steady erosion of even the very basic tenets of democratic principles, in a manner that could turn our watershed victory of 2015, to the waterloo of our hard won democracy.
“As a major stakeholder and founding member of the APC, I have made various efforts to add my voice to those of several other well-meaning leaders of the party, in ensuring that the ideals and principles that we fought for are not completely thrown overboard.
“However, I have come to realise that those who feel more entitled to the party are no longer capable of hearing alternative viewpoints other than those counselled by their ego and their self-serving interests.
”This, they have promoted over all other considerations, including that of common decency,” he said
According to him, no political party which is unwilling to accommodate competing ideas and provide the space for healthy debates will survive for long.
“This statement is, therefore, a clarion call to leaders of the party, particularly the Governors and Mr President, to urgently bring a stop to the disgraceful and humiliating charade occurring within the National Secretariat of our great party,” he added.
Echoing the same fears, another APC chieftain, Mr Yekini Nabena, has urged President Buhari to call for an emergency meeting of the NEC, to address the leadership crisis embroiling the party.
Nabena, who is also the party’s deputy national publicity secretary, said this on Saturday at a news conference in Abuja.
The APC’s National Working Committee (NWC) has been divided into factions, each claiming leadership of the party.
The crisis followed the Appeal Court ruling affirming the suspension of Mr Adams Oshiomhole as the party’s National Chairman.
Nabena urged the President to convene NEC emergency meeting to deliberate on consolidating the APC’s control of Edo and Ondo States ahead of the forthcoming governorship elections in the states.
“At least four people are laying claim to the chairmanship of the APC following the court-ordered suspension of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
“All manner of Court cases and orders are flying around contesting party decisions and National Working Committee’s position.
“Factions are festering at the national level and many states. The APC is clearly at a tipping point.
“The several court cases and orders over the national leadership of the party has put the party in a standstill and is a legal threat to forthcoming elections in Edo and Ondo States.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is the leader of the party and it has become imperative for him to convene an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee.
“This is to find solutions to the crisis and chart a way forward,” Nabena said.