Plot Thickens to Shove Out Oshiomhole …Stakeholders say He Lacks Capacity to Lead APC

Plot Thickens to Shove Out Oshiomhole …Stakeholders say He Lacks Capacity to Lead APC

What amounts to a final straw to the seeming coordinated move by stakeholders, to ease out the All Progressive Congress (APC) National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole may have been delivered by his predecessor, Mr John Odigie-Oyegun who accused him of lacking “the leadership capacity to move the party forward”. This is coming against the backdrop

What amounts to a final straw to the seeming coordinated move by stakeholders, to ease out the All Progressive Congress (APC) National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole may have been delivered by his predecessor, Mr John Odigie-Oyegun who accused him of lacking “the leadership capacity to move the party forward”.

This is coming against the backdrop of the string of losses of several key states to the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the recently concluded 2019 general election Last week’s voiding of the APC victory in Zamfara and the axing of its candidates in Rivers by the Supreme Court, may have come as a bile too bitter to swallow.

Responding to allegations by six South South APC state chairmen at the weekend who had attributed the current challenges facing the party as a “landmine” left behind by Odigie-Oyegun administration, the former APC national chairman said that “Mr Adams Oshiomhole, the APC current National Chairman, lacked the leadership capacity to move the party forward.”

Exonerating himself from the crisis facing the party in Zamfara and other states of the federation, Odigie-Oyegun in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Mr Ray Morphy, said he could not be responsible for the crisis in the party.

“Oshiomhole fails because he lacks the temperament required to run a political party. He lacks the capacity to manage different interests and tendencies that constitute a political party. He engages his mouth before engaging his mind, so he offends party members, so how does that constitute traps by Oyegun,” Odigie-Oyegun, first democratically elected Governor of Edo State wondered.

Recalling the charge by APC Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Lawal Shuaibu that Oshiomhole runs the party without recourse to its National Working Committee (NWC) and acts in direct opposite to its decisions, Odigie-Oyegun noted that many party men were against Oshiomhole because of unfair treatment and injustice meted on them during the party’s last primaries ahead of the 2019 general elections.

“Only a bad carpenter quarrels with his tools, indeed Oshiomhole is degrading and de-marketing the party, rather than seek to bring more people on board, he is chasing people out of the party with his agbero style of engagement,” Odigie-Oyegun said.

Shuaibu, in a six page letter dated May 27 and addressed to Oshiomhole, accused him of poor handling of the party’s affairs.
Marshaling out his reasons, Shuaibu accused the APC national chairman of “incompetence, high handedness and immaturity in his handling of the affairs of the party,” saying that the APC had lost control of seven states under Oshiomhole.

“I am a critical stakeholder in the APC project and therefore, have a stake for which I reserve the right to write this letter to you.

“This is however, in addition to my being a legitimately elected Deputy National Chairman, North at the last National Convention, and not because I have any higher stake in APC than any other member,” Shuaibu wrote.

Oshiomhole, according to him, lacks the capacity and necessary composure to lead the party, noting that the respect and sympathy the APC used to enjoy among its members and sympathisers before his emergence as its chairman had been eroded.

“It is my honest opinion that your ability to ensure this party flourishes is deficient as you lack the necessary composure and you also don’t possess the capabilities and requisite experience to run a political party.

“The respect APC was commanding among its members and sympathisers have been completely eroded, while the goodwill has equally evaporated,” Shuaibu stated.

This, he added, was especially so because of Oshiomhole’s attitude of issuing threats to party members, including governors, senators, ministers and other government officials whose functions did not fall within his jurisdiction.

Frowning at the attitude of shouting and giving marching instructions to government officials on television and on the pages of newspapers by the APC national chairman, Shuaibu, however, said he was not criticising Oshiomhole’s conduct and style of leadership because he wanted to be the party’s chairman, but because of the love he has for the party.

He added that even if he wanted to be the APC national chairman, he could not be as long as President Muhammadu Buhari is in office, having come from the same North West geo-political zone.
“In advanced democracies, people who failed to add value or build over and above what they met on assumption of duty, show some civilised examples; they honourably bow out. In that connection therefore, I want to advise you to take the path of honour, to step aside. I have nothing personal, except that I love this party and cannot keep quiet seeing it being brutally murdered,” Shuaibu said.

He argued that Oshiomhole’s resignation was critical to allow the party to embark on reconstruction and rehabilitation in states where it was weakened by the effect and manner of the last primary elections.According to him, the party is on the path of extinction in some states following the conduct of its last primaries.
This, he said, included the loss of a sitting APC government in Zamfara, where according to him, Oshiomhole directly created the problem that led to the complete loss of APC’s electoral fortunes in the state.

“All these are uncontestable facts; you cannot exonerate yourself from blame on what happened to APC in Zamfara, thereby destroying the hopes and aspirations of 534,541 APC members and supporters.
“Apart from the President, more than 60 per cent of members including those that contested elections under the APC in 2019 are not happy with the process as it left a lot to be desired.

“We have court cases in every state, by far much more than it was in 2015 and I wonder how much money the party is likely to spend on litigations arising from mistakes of the national chairman,” he said.

Shuaibu noted that the strength of every political party was on the number of states it won during elections, adding that the APC had 23 states in 2015, but lost seven after the 2019 elections.
Speaking in the same vein, Mr Adebayo Shittu, immediate past Minister of Communications, says the APC may go into extinction after the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari if Oshiomhole remains its national chairman.

“I endorse Oshiomole’s resignation; the truth is that with Oshiomhole, this party will go down by the time President Muhammadu Buhari finishes his second term in office.
“Oshiomhole is full of himself and he has an ego problem and wants to dominate every environment, and democracy is not like that,” Shittu said.

He added that most of the party’s chieftains who thought of its future, continuity and relevance after the President’s second term in office, did not want Oshiomhole to remain as the party’s chairman.
He stressed that because such party chieftains were concerned about the party’s future, they would do everything possible to ensure that Oshiomole resigned.

The former minister was disqualified by the Oshiomhole-led APC National Working Committee (NWC) to contest the party’s governorship ticket in Oyo State.

Also, former Governor of old Sokoto State, Malam Yahaya Abdulkarim, wants Oshiohmole to step down.
Abdulkarim said in an interview with newsmen on Thursday in Sokoto that Oshiomhole has demonstrated poor performance since taking over which reduced the party’s capabilities.

“I am 100 per cent in support of the call for Oshiomhole to step down for the party to have good leadership that will lead to its progress. The party’s national chairman is supposed to lead the party to capture more states, give it right leadership and direction. The essence of politics and political party is to win elections, if it fails then it’s not a party,” Abdulkarim said.

He noted that Oshiohmole had met APC leading in 26 states, but ended up losing Bauchi, Adamawa, Oyo, Imo and Zamfara to the opposition.

“Losing control in six states is too much blow for members to bear. If Oshiohmole does not quit, the APC will be dead by 2023,” the former Governor said.

The days of Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the APC seem to be numbered as forum of Non-National Working Committee (Non-NWC) has also demanded an emergency meeting with the party’s national leadership.

A leaked letter signed by the forum’s Chairman, Mr Nasiru Danu, and Secretary, Mr Omolayo Akintola, dated May 29, 2019, titled: “Demand for an urgent interface with NWC organ of our party-APC” and addressed to the national chairman, read that the meeting is ‘principally to address critical issues affecting our great party before such issues go out of hands which could be inimical to the general welfare of the party.’

The forum argued in the leaked letter that the body would have called for such meeting earlier, “but we considered the concluded 2019 General Elections as a determinant for our party’s survival, which had come and gone with successes and losses.

“This body rose from its emergency meeting shortly after the presidential inauguration ceremony held at the Eagle Square, Abuja, and concluded that the following request be made. We hereby request for a meeting to be fixed from your end as soon as possible in order to meet the urgency it demands.”

The letter, addressed to the national chairman and copied to all the state chairmen and governors reads: “We members of APC Non-NWC (NEC) Forum wish to place it on record through this letter, the critical and fundamental need to demand an urgent meeting between this body and NWC principally to address critical issues affecting our great party before such issues go out at hands, which could be inimical to the general welfare of the party.

“We would have called for this kind of meeting earlier but we considered the concluded 2019 general elections as determinant or our party’s survival which had come and gone with successes and losses.

“We hereby request a meeting to be fixed from your end as soon as possible in order to meet with the urgency it demands.”
Also RUH, an APC, interest group in Rivers state has joined growing calls for removal of Oshiomhole
RUH Convener, Mr Kingsley Wali, who in Port Harcourt, expressed the body’s dissatisfaction with Oshiomhole’s conduct, alleged that the former Edo state governor was responsible for 96% of the challenges APC faced over the 2019 general elections.

Wali said: “It is natural, in politics, that whenever there are losses, people have to be held accountable. Just like if the party enjoys decent measure of victory, it will obviously point out those who made it possible and then compensate them.

“I have been consistent with the position that Oshiomole is 96 percent responsible for the problems APC had. It boils down to nothing but somebody feeling that he knows everything and no other person is smarter than him. I think the reasonable thing to do is for APC as a party to ask Oshiomole to vacate the seat.

If we insist on understanding or characterizing the Next Level slogan of APC, the kind of attitude Oshiomhole exhibited cannot be in tandem with the President’s vision on Nigeria.”

“Of what is a party chairman who doesn’t take any form of criticism; once even if it is one councillor in Karadamuda or Akassa, that says something about him, he replies in the same measure. I worry because where we are heading for might not be too nice,” he said.

“Let’s not demean ourselves that we won the Presidency. What about the governorship seats? Did we gain more senatorial seat now that we did in 2015? No. So if you look at it properly, APC lost in this last election. We are just lucky that the profile of the President got us to where we are today that we control the Presidency,” Wali quipped.

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