The APC battle of wits in Kaduna

August 8th, 2018

By Emmanuel Ado

Adams Oshimohloe the newly minted National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress(APC), ought to know that Nasir El-Rufai,the Governor of kaduna State is not Senator Chris Ngige,the Minister of Labour,whom he took to the cleaners over his failure to inaugurate some boards of parastatals under his ministry,especially the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) which his comrade at arms Frank Kokori ,the one time General Secretary of the powerful petroleum union has been penciled down to head. He accused his twin brother in “height” Chris Ngige of appropriating the powers of the Board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, in the award of contracts, hence his deliberate refusal to inaugurate the board of the agency,which is not true.

If only Adams Oshiomhole had bothered to inquire,to seek the truth from Ngige he would have found out that an administrative panel is investigating the money spinning agency over the “disappearance” of over N50 billion,of which N5billion was reportedly stolen in one day,without vouchers. And that it is in the interest of his friend Kokori that Ngige clears the Augean stable,for the board to commence its superintendent on a clean slate. But Adams Oshiomhole who since his assumption of office has displayed reckless respect for facts couldn’t be worried about the truth and that in portraying himself as an action man,he was tarnishing the hard earned reputation of Ngige. His allegations against the minister were without foundation and unkind.

Adams Oshiomhole is obviously over excited in his new assignment,coming in as it where from the cold, that he has not only thrown caution to the wind, but has displayed reckless disrespect for facts and institutions,including the person and office of the President all in a bid to instill fear in his party members. It was height of insult and insensitivity for him to have compared himself to the president and declare that unlike the president he won’t brook nonsense- “and if the President condones disrespect for his office, I will not condone disrespect for the party”. In the Labour movement where Oshiomhole cut his teeth and made his name, instilling fears in workers who most times tend to act as a crowd might be okay ,but in politics a different strategy is needed to manage the various tendencies and idiosyncrasies. Failure to will surly spell doom for the party,like the PDP suffered under Bamanga Tukur,before he was eased off.

The Adams Oshiomhole National Executive Committee is presently locked in a battle of wits with the kaduna State Chapter of the party,over the unilateral decision of the national body to lift the suspension placed on Senator Shehu Sani by Ward 6 of the Kaduna South Local Government Chapter of the party over what it describes as Senator Shehu Sani’s “serial indiscipline and violations of the party constitution”. First suspended in December 2015, Shehu according to the Ward 6 Executive of the party hadn’t shown any iota of remorse,rather he teemed up with the likes of Hakeem Baba Ahmed, Sule Buba, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi and company to form a splinter group known as Akida,whose objectives were clearly the defeat of the APC,and not Nasir El-Rufai like some analysts erroneously believe.

Though Adams Oshiomhole might have been forced to act out of desperation on the Shehu Sani matter,especially with notable party members decamping and the reality of APC losing its majority in the senate staring him in the face, but in the process he has shown an appalling lack of standard in handling issues that boarder on party discipline. In reacting to what he called the Ngige affront he said and I quote “they either comply or we will expel them from the party. When we expel them we will find out how a government can keep a rebel in the cabinet. There is no question about that.” The question is why is the national chairman forcing Shehu Sani,a man that has been a strident critic of the APC led Government in his Kaduna State and at national level down the throats of the kaduna State Chapter? Or like Shehu Sani himself will say is it different strokes for different folks- wipe for Ngige and flower for Shehu Sani? How can Adams Oshiomhole refuse to work with rebel ministers and in another force down one down the throat of his political associate?

In attempting to force Shehu Sani down the throat of the State Chapter,in what amounts to a clear breaćh of process,an abuse of process, lack of respect for the State Chapter and the APC constitution,is the Adams Oshiomhole led Executive saying that Article 21A(i-xi) that clearly states offences and the punishment has been expunged from the constitution? Or that the national body has temporarily suspended the said provisions so as to accommodate Shehu Sani? But has the Adams Oshiomhole led National Executive thought of the consequences of its action on the morale of loyal party members? Is the party not unwittingly encouraging gross indiscipline amongst its fold, which has been bane of Nigerian politics,just for political expediency?

The national body by “directing” the State Chapter to re-admit Shehu Sani simply because he didn’t decamp to the PDP,without asking Shehu Sani to apologize to the members would definitely embolden him to act in a more brigade manner today and in deed in future,knowing that his friends in the high places – Bola Tinubu and Adams Oshiomhole would always force the hands of the kaduna State Chapter into accepting him back. The evidence that Shehu Sani is unrepentant is the allegations of impersonation against him by his Ward. Which by the way has become the most popular political Ward in Nigeria,due to one problematic member.

No doubt the failure of Shehu Sani to remain in the APC is borne out of opportunism rather than conviction,a point that seems lost on the national body,which rather than commend the state chapter for upholding respect for the party and its constitution is treating the State chapter with utter contempt. The national body must not ride roughshod over the kaduna State chapter,considering the grave implications going into the 2019 general elections. Again I quote the words of Adams Oshiomhole to Chris Ngige on party supremacy and discipline “and when we expel the minister we will prevail on the president that he can’t keep in his cabinet people who have neither respect for his own decisions nor have respect for the party without which they would not have been ministers”. Don’t this words hunt him?

In the APC proxy wars are the order of the day – dog eat dog affair as they plot post against 2023. Is Bola Ahmed Tinubu attempting to achieve through the back door what his reconciliation committee which died on arrival failed to achieve? Is Bola Ahmed Tinubu on a mission of vengeance,against forces that stopped the Muslim Muslim ticket that he was rooting for,and which he would have been the main beneficiary of? From all indications the permutations for the the 2023 presidential race in which Bola Tinubu hasn’t hidden his ambition to be president of the federal republic of Nigeria has started.

The action of the Adams Oshiomhole led National Executive Committee can be likened to the Supreme Court assuming jurisdiction over a case at the High Court, without either of the parties filing an appeal before the Supreme Court. That certainly will be an usurpation of the powers of the High Court and an abuse of court process. The party must not “insult” the vast majority of its members for Shehu Sani who the party executive insists hasn’t to date showed remorse,nor has bothered to dignify the party with a response to the various allegations against him. This is how Adams Oshiomhole must look at his actions,especially as the power to discipline rests with the ward where Shehu Sani draws his membership from. Nothing in the APC constitution indicates that the power to discipline is exclusive to the national body. Even if it’s,it is a power it must handle with utmost caution. The national body has a scared duty to advance party cohesion,discipline and unity.

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