By Ezeocha Nzeh
Director General of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) governor’s forum, Salihu Mohammed has begged party faithful not to dump the party because of what he described as impunity under party chairman, Adams Oshiomhole
The PGF DG, who expressed concerns over the crisis as the party prepares for the Edo and Ondo states governorship primary elections stated “that “It is very difficult and challenging to come to terms with unfolding development in APC.”
He noted that “the disconcerting reality of becoming clobbered into another undemocratic political platform, which is intolerant to basic tenets of free and fair contests is hard to admit.
“We may be in denial on account of perverted loyalty. Anyone with small residue of conscience and integrity must have been jolted by what is going on. It doesn’t matter what our preferences are, every member must be concerned and worried about what is going on. It may be easy to pass judgement on leaders. We must however recognise that the failings or limitations of our leaders are equally ours as members of the party.
“Without any attempt to qualify electoral experiences since 2019, every member and leader of APC should be troubled. Being troubled should have spurred us into some sober reflections with the objective of remedying the situation. Unfortunately, it would appear that we are more determined to reproduce all the obdurate painful experiences, every time we are faced with electoral contests. It was Rivers, Zamfara and Bayelsa.
“Now Edo and Ondo are basically on a roller costar with perhaps emerging with the same predictable outcome that consumed our electoral victories in Zamfara and Bayelsa States. Why should this be allowed to happen?
“It is quite unfortunate that we found ourselves in this stagnant political water of brazen acts of imposition of candidates through some applications of crude technicalities under the leadership of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as National Chairman of the Party. Recalling his fascinating proclamation while announcing his intention to aspire for the office of National Chairman of APC on May 10, 2018, it is not reconcilable that the same Comrade Oshiomhole is today as the National Chairman of the party perpetrating the direct opposite of what he promised in 2018. Two points are worth lifting from Comrade Oshiomhole’s speech of May 10, 2018.
“I challenge Comrade Oshiomhole to publish APC’s membership register for every state of the country. No one should push us into debate about modes of internal party elections without producing the register of voters. It is like getting the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct elections without displaying voters register. It will be criminal, and it will undermine every known democratic principle.
He regretted that the party was yet to make any meaningful progress within the two years of the APC leadership under Adams Oshiomhole
“Where is the mechanism for conflict management in APC today after two year of Comrade Oshiomhole’s leadership? Can Comrade Oshiomhole mention just one instance where the party under his leadership is able to resolve any of the crises in the party? Or, can Comrade Oshiomhole just mention one case where the party was able to get members to build consensus? I have had reason in the past to appeal to Comrade Oshiomhole to apply his negotiation skills in leading the party. Unfortunately, he (Comrade Oshiomhole) dismissed my appeal called me names, which goes to show how intolerant he become, a confirmation perhaps that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Ordinarily, coming from trade unions with functional democratic structures, governed by rules, it will be expected that Comrade Oshiomhole will seamlessly give leadership for the emergence of APC as a democratic party. Instead, we now have an APC with only the National Working Committee (NWC) functioning. Note that the NWC is only an administrative organ that is expected to implement decisions of National Executive Committee (NEC) and National Convention. Arguments bordering on powers vested on the NWC by the APC constitution are being canvassed. Some even go as far as arguing that Comrade Oshiomhole is the chief executive officer of the party.
“It is clear that, APC leadership as currently constituted under the leadership of Comrade Oshiomhole is imprudent and cannot be entrusted with the task of leading the party. Comrade Oshiomhole’s NWC has hawked the soul of the party to political buccaneers whose narrow interest is just about unfairly winning elections.
“Party members must wake up and face the arduous task of reclaiming the leadership of the party. Such a task must be about ensuring the emergence of honest leadership for the party – a leadership that should be able to allow free application of provisions of the APC constitution.
“For the avoidance of doubt, APC does not belong to anybody. It is a product of sacrifice by leaders and members of our old legacy parties. Nobody should contemplate leaving the party on account of the rascality going on in the party under Comrade Oshiomhole’s leadership. All members of the party and lovers of democracy in Nigeria must rise against what is going on in APC. It is a struggle for the soul of APC.”