*Warn there may be no APC for Asiwaju to seek presidential ticket in 2023
*Allege national leader behind Oshiomhole’s “impunity”
By Ezeocha Nzeh
Some founding member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have challenged the party’s National leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu to wade into the crisis that has riddled the ruling party since the last general election in 2019
The stakeholders in an open letter to the former governor of Lagos State, emphasised the need for him to move fast to resolve the lingering crisis, stressing that doing so would mean a demonstration of his Democratic leadership
The open letter, which has was signed by former Deputy National Chairman of defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC), Salihu Mustapha, Polycap Utah, Captain Mohammed Bala Jubril Rtd, Ray Murphy, Umar Kahala Zurmi, Sylvanus Amechi, Shaba Enachi Emeka Enechi, Hon. Charles Idahosa Hon. Mohammed Aboki Mahmoud, Shaka Momodu and Yesufu Omonemi, all members of the legacy parties that merged into APC noted that APC National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and President Muhammdu Buhari pulled political energies together to form the All Progressives’ Congress (APC), adding that the expectations of both the political class and the citizens alike were that “we had entered a new era of genuine democratic politics.”
They warned that the APC must be saved from its disturbing crisis, if Tinubu or any other member must seek his 2023 ambition on it’s platform
The letter read in parts “We expected a politics devoid of imposition, dictatorial tendencies, and disregard of alternative views.
Continuing, the letter read” These expectations were indeed well-founded because both the two leaders – President Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu – had been at some point been victims of political injustices, and reckless abuse of power, at different levels. Asiwaju, for instance, was a victim of military authoritarianism. Lest we forget, under the military rule, Asiwaju was forced out of the country because it was a matter of life and death. He was also at the receiving end of civilian despotism under the former President Obasanjo led PDP. As sitting Governor, the allocation of Lagos State when he was in his second term as Governor (2003-2007) was withheld by the central government in flagrant disobedience to a Supreme Court judgement. All well-meaning democrats resisted such executive atrocity and brazen acts of impunity to the last man.
“As for our dear President, three times he contested for President, and three times he was robbed of victory. Nevertheless, he stood firm for fairness, equity and justice, the key pillars that further underlined the formation of the APC. And once the APC was formed, President Buhari submitted himself to internal democratic process without attempting to manipulate the process of candidate selection. His respect for internal processes without manipulation made it possible for the historic APC Convention of December 10, 2014, which acknowledged by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, one of the Presidential Aspirants defeated by President Buhari, as the “most credible and transparent election to be conducted by any political party” in Nigeria’s history.
“To his credit, since 2015, President Buhari has so far concentrated his energies, and rightly so, on building an enduring framework for good governance and the turning around of the national economy. By implication, much of the political engineering has become the forte of the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Partly in recognition of that, in January 2018, President Buhari gave the task of reconciling leaders of the party to Asiwaju. Again, the expectation was that party members irrespective of their background would get justice through fair and transparent reconciliation process because the National leader had experientially tasted in real life and politics what it means to be at the receiving end of official injustices and impunity.”
“Let us not be misunderstood. We are not in any way, suggesting that Asiwaju jumps into the fray in the many of the festering and lingering internal disagreements within the APC, requiring reconciliation. However, we expect that by now he should be able to provide incontestably fair leadership to all party members, through which some specific actions of the APC National Chairman Comrade Adams Oshiomhole can be moderated and made to conform with internal due processes as provided in the provisions of the APC constitution, no matter how loosely defined given the motto of our great party”
“We are also making this demand, bearing in mind that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is eagerly desirous of continuing from where PMB stops in 2023, and his response to issues of the day within the APC, will signposts how the soup will eventually taste. We made this assertion with all sense of responsibility based on the belief that our party deserve the best and we are proud to have some of the best democrats Nigeria has produced as leaders of our party. Therefore as one of the best democrats in the history of our country, Asiwaju need to categorically declare his position on many of the contentious decisions of the Comrade Oshiomhole’s NWC. This calls to question the democratic credentials of our party and with it the democratic orientation of our leaders in the party. Will our leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, be on the side of fairness and democracy? The side of justice and reconciliation, or the side of impunity and disunity perpetrated by no other person than the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
“Moreover, is that how we will keep trudging till 2023? No reconciliation, only acrimonies, engineered by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole? Is that how we want to pay the sacrifices made by the duo, President Buhari and Asiwaju? Clearly, as the National Leader, Asiwaju Tinubu will be doing party members a great deal of injustice without coming out and providing reconciliatory direction on this crucial matter of internal party disputes.
“We would not like to entertain the idea that the moral authority of our National Leader cannot be activated now, to put the APC on an even keel for more exploits in 2023 and beyond. We should not forget that we have suffered incalculable losses since 2015, and even more crucially by sheer mismanagement of our affairs, we are inadvertently giving oxygen to the PDP, a failed political formation that we thought we had castrated in 2015.
“However, can there be a reconciliation in an atmosphere of impunity perpetrated by the National Chairman of APC, which could not have been possible without the tacit green light from the National leader himself? We find it bewildering that just within a space of one month, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole had serially and violently violated the APC Constitution that the silence of Asiwaju, the National Leader is disconcerting.”
“Could it be that now we should forget about constitutionalism and due process in the affairs of APC? First, Adams Oshiomhole has constituted himself as a one-person National Working Committee of APC. It is distasteful and undemocratic that Adams Oshiomhole has subordinated the entire NWC to his whims and caprices such that the team spirit and canon of collective responsibility envisaged by the APC Constitution are no longer there.
“Who gave Comrade Adams Oshiomhole the power to convey the decision of the NWC to INEC, as critical as that of the mode of primaries for Governorship election three bright days before the meeting of the NWC on the matter? The implication of this illegal, nay irresponsible action is that the NWC did not meet to approve such a decision. At best, the NWC was convened to rubber-stamp his illegalities.
“Also, the APC National Chairman wrote a letter to INEC to change the official address of the Edo State chapter of APC contrary to Article 8 (page 6) of the APC Constitution, which also requires the approval of NEC. In the same vein, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole drafted a PDP loyalist into APC, a person that is being prosecuted by EFCC as we speak, a person that fiercely fought against the election of President Buhari in February 2019 elections in Edo State using the stolen arms money President Buhari is currently retrieving, a person with no clear allegiance to President Buhari and the APC, and unilaterally gave such person a waiver to contest Governorship primaries without NEC approval.
“Now, if this had been the practice, then we can say that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has not only emasculated the NWC but put the NEC in one corner. Thus, by refusing to convene the meeting of the National Executive Committee of APC to consider critical decisions, Comrade Oshiomhole has murdered democracy in the APC. As democrats, we believe that such actions are reprehensible and condemnable. No leadership will condone such illegal actions that can only undermine the democratic ethos upon which APC stands. They are already tarnishing the image of the party, creating disillusionment and apathy amongst party members and destroying the beautiful legacies of President Buhari which frees the atmosphere for healthy inter- and intra- party contestations.
“So, where is the National Leader when one man is desecrating the APC Constitution and at every turn killing the party? Is that the kind of party we would want to ride on in 2023? Is Nigerian politics about to witness the rebirth of former President Obasanjo’s draconian control of party structures as we move closer to 2023? It is time for Asiwaju Tinubu to demonstrate his democratic leadership. It is time he gives life to the institutionalization of APC and not create the perception that he is behind this brigandage that is tearing the APC apart, with severe consequences for the capacity of the party to hold on in one piece as we inch towards 2023. 2023 in APC must be about strengthening internal democratic rules in APC, it must be about ensuring that all APC leaders respect internal rules as provided in the constitution, and it must be about fairness and justice for all members.”