Let Us Excise This Virus Before It Kills Our Party – By Onwuasoanya FCC Jones

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To say that our dear Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is presently in the Intensive Care Unit of the Nigerian Political Hospice would be stating the obvious, and any genuine lover of our great Party will not think twice before taking actions to ensure that emergency actions are taken to retrieve the Party from the grips of death. The reality which all of us knows, but may not want to quickly admit is that; should we fail to take very rapid steps towards rescuing our Party from the precipice, then we should get a casket and begin a rehearsal for the requiem of this great Party, in not a very long time from now. What ails this Party are many and malignantly cancerous; injustice, corruption, nepotism, disregard for Rule of Law, imposition, lost of confidence, erosion of the Party’s sacred principles and denigration of Party leaders by those who should know better, opening the Party up to public opprobrium and portraying the Party as a lawless organization.

We should recall that on Saturday, the 23rd of June, 2018, the Party had its elective national convention which came to an end on Sunday the 24th of June. This national convention which took place at the expansive Eagles Square in Abuja produced new set of officials for our Party at the national level. One of such officers is the national chairman, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole whom many of us believed was the right person to lead the Party at this time, by bringing his energy, experience as a former labour leader and former governor of Edo State and his avowed democratic credentials to bear in order to strengthen the Party and unite all contentious interests within the Party, especially, as we go into the 2019 general elections. Our young Party, needed the energy and passion of a strong willed democrat and the judgment of a fair minded, incorruptible and honest patriot. Some of us felt that Oshiomhole, considering his posturing and speeches, both as a labour leader and one of the founding governors of our great Party was the right person to lead our Party at this point in its history.

Our excitement over Oshiomhole’s emergence was challenged by people who have known him longer than some of us. Those who had closer dealings with him both as the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress and the governor of Edo State offered different opinions about his person, temperament and morality, but we, especially myself was too excited with his speeches and background to give any heed to contrary opinions about his person. I was personally warned that the man I was supporting to become the national chairman has tragic character and mental flaws. Someone told me that; “Oshiomhole suffers from a most dangerous form of inferiority complex, he is vindictive and is always in a haste to pull down any ladder that took him to any height, either because he is afraid that someone else may be lifted up through the same ladder or that he fears that the ladder may keep reminding him of his route to that height.” Someone else also warned that it won’t be too long before I realize what kind of person the man I supported to be national chairman is, and he was sure that I will turn my pen against him. As much as I tried not to prove these ‘prophets of doom’ right, I cannot but agree that the actions of His Excellency Adams Oshiomhole not very long after he assumed office proved them very correct. However, I lived in denial, believing that somehow, he was going to get it right.

I was further restrained from putting my opinions out on the errors or deliberate destructiveness of our national chairman because of the fact that this is an election season and every restraint has to be exercised to avoid arming the opposition with weapons to hurt our Party further, especially, as we go into the 2019 general elections. However, the harder I tried to restrain myself from taking out my patriotic frustrations on the national chairman in public, the more he plunges the Party into the ditch of failure, through his actions and utterances. No matter how any of us may want to pretend about it, the reality that stares us on the face is that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has inflicted very deep injuries on our great Party than he met when he took over as the national chairman. He is a doctor who was called to heal, but who has ended up aggravating the ailment.

I do understand that a number of our national leaders are not talking and may not even support any call for a censoring of the national chairman either out of fear of falling victim to his highhanded lawlessness or because they feel that their interests are being protected at this moment by the national chairman. What every leader of the Party at any level must keep in heart is that a traitor really has no friend and the longer an act of careless lawlessness, the sooner it becomes a code of conduct. The consideration should be about the survival of the APC rather than individual interests or fears. Those who feel they are safe with Oshiomhole now, hence, do not need to raise a voice against him, must understand that what may come to them tomorrow may be heavier than what has happened to some people in the past and now. Going by the national chairman’s trajectory, I will not be surprised to read in the newspapers that he has unilaterally dissolved the leadership of the Party in Imo State or even direct that I am ‘sacked’ as a Party official, because of this write-up, as he has recently made a name for himself as a champion of impunity, despotism, lawlessness and other anti-democratic actions.

I will not for this consideration or any other for that matter keep mute while our Party is destroyed and the chances of President Muhammadu Buhari winning his re-election threatened by the actions of one man and the gang of APC viruses that he runs. A cursory review of some of the actions of His Excellency Comrade Adams Oshiomhole since he assumed office may help us to have a better and more lucid idea of the extent of destruction already meted on the Party and also give us a picture of some yet to be unraveled plans put in place to dim the winning chances of our great Party, from the presidency down to other offices.

HANDLING OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CRISIS: As at the time, the comrade national Chairman took over as the national chairman of the Party, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate President were all members of our Party. We also had a comfortable majority in both chambers of the national assembly. Today, due mostly to the ineffective handling of some concerns raised by both Hon. Yakubu Dogara and Senate President Bukola Saraki, our Party has lost these two vital positions to the opposition. This is the first time in Nigeria’s democratic history that both chambers of the national assembly are in the firm control of the opposition. We have also lost more than 70 National Assembly members to the opposition since the coming of Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of our Party. As sad as it sounds, the APC is now an opposition Party in both chambers of the National Assembly, we are only a governing Party in words, rather than in reality.

To be fair to the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, they were present at the National Convention and pledged to work with the Party to ensure peace. No doubt, peace cannot be attained on the platform of injustice. These gentlemen only wanted reassurances that the Party was ready to listen to them and give them a fair ground to continue in the Party and be able to compete favourably with other members of the Party without processes tilted against them. Like in every democratic politics, these men also wanted to be assured of the respect that they deserve as Party leaders in their own right. While it must be conceded that the national chairman met with them with the aim of resolving whatever problems they might have with the Party, the reality is that he failed to keep them, not because they were not ready to shift grounds on the basis of fairness and political compromise, but because the national chairman was not able to win their confidence. A Party’s national chairman must, like a father be able to keep even the most recalcitrant of children under one wing, not by indulging them on things that may be illegal or even immoral, but by finding the right words to make them see things from a different prism that ensures continued cohesion within the Party. A Party’s national chairman must not seek to impose his will on Party members or to be heard all the time. I think our national chairman is more addicted to the media than he is efficient in his job as a Party’s administrator.

Rather than seek ways to keep the Party together, our national chairman took to national televisions and other media platforms to threaten these principal officers. While we may not have publicly stated it at that time, the reality is that Comrade Oshiomhole’s handling of the national assembly crisis was the first signal that he does not really understand the limits of his powers as a national chairman. It was also obvious from the national chairman’s handling of that crisis that his ideas about the powers of a political Party are informed by communist theories rather than democratic principles. He also succeeded in leaving no doubts about the fact that he is a toothless bulldog, as none of his threats as they concern the impeachment of the Speaker and Senate President materialized. He may continue to delude himself about impeaching Senator Bukola Saraki or Speaker Yakubu Dogara, but these men are more guaranteed of completing their tenures as presiding officers of the Party than Oshiomhole should be assured of his completing his own tenure as national chairman.

Some of the National Assembly members whom the National Chairman relied on to execute his removal threats against the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives for defecting from the Party are moles of the PDP, whose only interest is in securing the ticket of our Party by hook or by crook. They smartly shifted plenary at both chambers of the National Assembly till after the Party primaries. This was to ensure that they boxed the national chairman into a corner where he would do everything, even if it is illegal and undemocratic, to GIVE them the Party tickets for various positions, as GRATIFICATION for their expected impeachment move against the leadership of the National Assembly. They succeeded in tricking our National Chairman. He has GIVEN them the tickets, circumventing democratic and Constitutional processes in most shameless ways, yet, Senator Bukola Saraki and Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara are not just still the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively, but are also completely in charge. There hasn’t been a voice, no matter how faint raised against their leadership. Instead, the National Assembly continues to embarrass our Party and the presidency, by playing ping-pong with bills and communications sent to her by the President. What really has our national chairman achieved with his arbitrary handing over of our Party tickets to some of these national assembly members? Was he merely rewarding indolence, insincerity and indiscipline or he merely went on a ego trip to show himself as a powerful national chairman? Did our national chairman consider the popularity or otherwise of these individuals before GIVING them the Party tickets?

ISSUING QUERIES TO MINISTERS AND DERIDING THE PRESIDENT PUBLICLY: It is obvious that the national chairman tries to set himself up as even a more powerful officer than the President of the Federal Republic and every other elected officer in the country. Like a wannabe communist, he sees his headship of the Party as the biggest thing that can happen to the country. He forgot that even in communist States, the President of the country is also the head of the Party. In a presidential democracy such as ours, the Party chairman is more or less an administrator who takes charge of the Party and whose voice is hardly heard, nor influence felt. A Party is as powerful as those elected on its platform to executive and legislative positions. The idea of Party supremacy which he makes too much unnecessary noise about is only to the extent of obedience to the Party’s Constitution and not based on the whims of some officials of the Party. As national chairman, Comrade Oshiomhole fails to understand that he is answerable to the Constitution of the Party, and where there is a conflict between the Constitution of the Party and that of the Federal Republic, that of the Federal Republic superintends. He has also failed to understand that the superiority of the Party is derived from the people. When majority of the people take a stance in an issue, no one in the Party, no matter how highly placed should be able to change it.

One of Comrade Oshiomhole’s first actions as a national chairman is to issue queries to some ministers of the Federal Republic. For me, that should have sent a signal to the President that someone was trying to usurp his powers and it was and still is, a very serious infraction, legally and politically. Oshiomhole failed to understand that these ministers mustn’t be members of the Party, because the President is at liberty to appoint his ministers from anywhere he deems fit, as long as they can deliver on the assignments they are given. Going ahead to issue queries to the President’s appointees was a grievous affront on the powers of the President. It was only taken lightly by the President because of his usual fatherly and peaceful dispositions, which makes him wanting peace with all men and women of the country. The national chairman, by that action embarrassed the president and ridiculed the presidency of Nigeria.

In a situation where a member of the Federal Executive Council is a member of the Party and has been found wanting on Party rules and guidelines, there are stipulated processes for disciplining such a member by the Party. The national chairman does not feature on this, in anyway. Such a minister maybe disciplined by the members of his ward, after a disciplinary committee must have been set up, the member invited and heard out. If such a member is found guilty, his suspension or outright expulsion will be carried out by the local organ concerned, while communication is sent out to superior organs of the Party. Nowhere in the Party Constitution is the National Chairman recognized as the Chief Disciplinarian of the Party, neither is he empowered to initiate disciplinary actions against Party members. In issuing that query to these ministers and threatening to sack them, he did not only attempt usurping the powers of the President but also exhibited early enough his proclivity to usurping powers of other organs of the Party. He also gave signs early enough that he holds the President in disdain, by proclaiming him as weak and unready to sanction erring appointees.

The inconvenient truth every leader of the Party must tell himself is that we have a national chairman who leaves no doubts about his imperialistic tendencies. Oshiomhole is succeeding in running our dear Party aground because he is an emperor who believes that no other voice counts, but his. Had it not being for the fanatical loyalty which the President enjoys among Party members, the Party would have by now become a ghost Party, with only Adams Oshiomhole, his Benin cabal, the Lagos Mafia and few others as members of the Party. We must act fast to rescue the Party.

INDISCRIMINATE DISSOLUTION OF DULY ELECTED STATE EXECUTIVES: As soon as he assumed office, the national chairman left no one in doubt about his determination to prosecute some predetermined illegalities. There was little doubt, right from the onset, that our national chairman was out to pursue vendetta against some interests and to cement his friendship with the others. He started with Delta State where he immediately joined himself in a suit challenging the leadership of the Party in the State. In Delta, like in all other parts of the South-South, Comrade Oshiomhole makes no pretences about his ambition to annex these States as his personal political estate. The national chairman overreached his powers by applying to be joined in a suit affecting the Party without consulting with the National Legal Adviser whose duty it is to prosecute all court cases on behalf of the Party. He has continued to do that, for selfish and very corrupt reasons.

Some analysts have posited that the national chairman, even though, he appears to be very close to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, actually envies the Jagaban of Southwest politics. He sees himself, building a stronger empire than the Lagos Billionaire and kingmaker has done in the last twenty years. Having succeeded in installing his protégés in Edo, the former Labour leader is desperately looking at extending his hegemony to other parts of the South-South.

As soon as he failed to reach a deal with the Senate President, he immediately fired at him by illegally dissolving the duly elected Kwara State executive without recourse to what the APC Constitution says about independence and inter-dependence of Party organs. Nowhere in our Party’s Constitution was the national chairman empowered to dissolve duly elected Party executives. Even the National Working Committee does not have such powers. It is sheer abuse of powers for the national chairman, acting for himself or purportedly on behalf of his own cabal of the National Working Committee, to dissolve or even suspend duly elected Party organs at any level. He will not stop doing that, anytime soon.

Democratic politicking anticipates that individuals who wish to take power, democratically, would take steps to build consensus and extract support even in unexpected territories and from originally antagonistic individuals and blocs. Dissolving or suspending duly elected Party organs on the curious excuse that such organs have been found to be prejudiced for or against certain interests is the most audacious idiocy ever witnessed in a democracy. Truthfully, democratic politicking goes along with prejudices. If you are not prejudiced against or for someone, you will not be able to take any political decision. A dogged democrat would take steps to persuade and convince even his or her enemies to look his or her way. Dissolving or suspending duly elected organs of the Party on the weak argument of prejudice is like disbanding a military troop because they are loyal to their commander. If a country has been able to build a very formidable Armed Force that they can count on their loyalty, then, the envious country should take steps to build even a more formidable military that can favourably compete or counter the strength of the other military force.

I will not be surprised if this open appeal to our national leaders brings about another illegality in the name of dissolution of the duly elected Imo State leadership of the Party. I am aware that there are already moves in that direction and the usual people have severally boasted that the national chairman has assured them that he will be dissolving the leadership of the Party in the State anytime from now. He is said to be waiting for an action from us that will provoke him into announcing our dissolution. This essay may be that action he is waiting for. Apart from the fact that the leadership was duly elected, there is also a substantive court order barring the NWC, from tampering with the duly elected leadership of the Party in Imo State. However, disobedience to court orders or selecting court orders to obey is fast becoming a habit for our national chairman. Let me however say that this essay does not have the imprimatur of the State Chairman of the Party or any member of the State Executive Committee of the Party in Imo State. In fact, I was warned not to comment on these issues by the Party leadership, but the activist in me will not let me continue to keep quiet while our Party is steadily destroyed by one man and a few cabal. I therefore, take full and non-transferable responsibility for this essay.

ILLEGAL APPOINTMENT OF MALLAM LANRE ISAH-ONILU AS NATIONAL PUBLICITY SECRETARY

Our Party is guided by laws and there are provisions in our Party Constitution as to how national officers of the Party may emerge. There is no provision for the appointment of a national officer by the National Working Committee or any other organ of the Party. Our Party is structured in such a way that as soon as an elected officer of the Party is no longer available to perform his or her duties, there is always an elected officer who may perform such duties, in acting capacity, pending the conduct of fresh elections at a national convention.

The national Chairman arrogated to himself powers beyond his lawful entitlements by going ahead to relegate the duly elected Assistant National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena, who is Constitutionally empowered to take over the responsibilities of Bolaji Abdullahi following the latter’s resignation, to APPOINT, Mallam Lanre Isah-Onilu as the substantive National Publicity Secretary. By this action, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole did not only show himself as contemptuous of our Party’s Constitution, but exhibited, most glaringly, the traits of an emperor, who shouldn’t have any business running a democratic organization. By this action and many others like it, our Party which is supposed to be a model of how a democratic organization should be ran has become a butt of jokes to many commentators, activists and even democratic felons in some opposition Parties.

Respect for democratic principles makes it that you do not need to like the face or styles of any elected officer before allowing him or her do the job for which he is elected. It does not matter what personal sentiments the comrade national chairman has for or against Mr. Yekini Nabena, law and democracy demand that he allows the man to do his job, and not usurp his office or allocate same to someone else without recourse to extant rules. Lanre Isah-Onilu is nothing but a personal media aide to the National Chairman and not the spokesman of our Party.

The explanation by Mallam Lanre Isah-Onilu to the effect that he was endorsed by the Kwara State chapter of the Party and the North-Central exposes him as someone who is ignorant of the laws and processes of the political Party he is supposed to be speaking for. There is no law that says that each State chapter of the Party or even Zonal chapters should nominate or endorse people to fill positions zoned to them. What the Constitution provides for is that all Party officers MUST emerge through elections at conventions or congresses. Anything outside this Constitutional directive is illegal and an abuse of powers by any individual who sanctions such.

MISHANDLING OF PARTY PRIMARIES: The home truth any true lover of democracy must tell himself is that the 2018 primaries of our great Party is one of the worst and most shameful primaries ever conducted by a ruling Party since the advent of this Fourth Republic. At no time, have we seen a more shameful disregard for the Party’s own rules and guidelines concerning its elections, and at no time have we seen a single cabal succeed so much at imposing their will on the people across the nation as now. The national chairman was supposed to be the one to check the excesses of some Party leaders and interests, but unfortunately, our chairman seemed to be more interested in stamping his super power as national chairman and retiring the several millions of Dollars he was alleged to have collected from some candidates to sell off the Party’s tickets to them than upholding the rules and abiding by the oath he took to abide by the provisions of our Party’s Constitution and that of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The suspicion that the national chairman was up for something disgraceful became more glaring immediately after the National Executive Committee meeting of the Party which held on the 30th of August, 2018 at the national secretariat of our Party. According to Governor Simon Lalong who briefed newsmen after the NEC meeting, the agreement was for the Party to adopt the Direct Primaries method for the presidential primary election, while States were at liberty to choose what method to adopt for its primaries depending on its logistics peculiarities. This decision, according to the governor was to be communicated to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Party after each State Executive Committee had met with critical stakeholders.

By our Party’s Constitution, the NEC is the highest decision making organ of the Party after the National Convention, and decisions reached by this organ, especially on issues of primaries should be binding. Curiously, the national chairman and the National Working Committee overrode the powers of the NEC by changing the decision reached at the NEC on the issue of mode of primaries chosen by the Party for other positions outside the presidential primary election. Article 20(v) of our Constitution leaves no doubt about which organ of the Party is empowered to take final decisions on procedures for primaries. That section provides that all decisions taken with relation to setting up guidelines and regulations for nomination of candidates shall be taken by the National Working Committee SUBJECT TO THE APPROVAL of the National Executive Committee.

Except in few States where proper primaries were conducted, what happened in a number of States across the Federation is an embarrassing charade for a Party like the APC, which should pride itself as the cynosure of modern democracy in Africa. It appears that some cabals in the Party and outside it were more interested in ensuring the Party’s failure than conducting transparent primaries that would have substantially complied with the provisions of the Electoral Act and our Party’s Constitution and guidelines.

Every known procedure for the conduct of Party primaries were set aside by the National Chairman as he made deliberate efforts to sideline other organs and officers of the Party. The National Organizing Secretary whose office was supposed to handle every processes relating to the conduct of these elections, was clearly sidelined by the National Chairman. The National Secretariat was abandoned completely as the Chairman relocated every Party activity to his private campaign office at Aso-Drive. It has been alleged that the national chairman appointed private staff to take over the duties of other officers of the Party. He simply ran a one man show, and only accommodated those officers who were ready to do his bidding. All the processes, including screening of candidates were centralized. The screening of all the governorship aspirants from all the States was conducted in the National Chairman’s private campaign office, instead of the usual practice of setting up committees at zonal level, who would conduct the screening exercises at the zonal offices of the Party. The most ridiculous of this clear despotic method to handling Party affairs is that the national chairman set up a single appeal committee to look into issues concerning all primary elections in the country. There was no Appeal Committee set up for House of Assembly aspirants. These realities leave a lot to be desired in the pre and post primary elections of the Party.

DIRECT PRIMARIES: Before we go into the details of how these primaries played out in some States, let me quickly point it out that the idea of direct primaries for positions other than the presidential primary might have been deliberately plotted by a cabal in the Party led by the National Chairman, as the easiest way to impose their will on the people. This method was only adopted in States where the national chairman and his cabal may have already concluded plans to rob the people of their mandate, even before the primaries. The direct primary method leaves a lot of room for manipulation of the electoral process, as it leaves rooms for controversy and chaos, especially when not properly managed. It is also prone to violence, since, it was designed to hold across the different wards simultaneously, the credibility of figures supplied may also be questionable.

As a former President of the Nigerian Labour Congress and a two term governor, the national chairman could not have claimed ignorance of the logistics, security and even legal challenges which the direct primary method is prone to. Insistence on that leaves doubts as to his sincerity in conducting a credible process that would leave the Party with the least degree of injuries. Some people have suggested that the direct primary method was a deliberate leeway to corruption. I cannot reasonably disagree with those who hold such opinion. The reckless impunity with which people were robbed of their mandate after they had clearly won primaries and the general planning and execution of what could pass in history as the most syndicated democratic fraud in Africa, portrays the national chairman as someone who doesn’t really care about leading the Party to victory in an election that will be substantially free and fair.

The outcome of the Party’s primaries across the country has left in its trail millions of genuinely aggrieved Party members who may work against the Party in the general elections. But it is either the national chairman doesn’t care or he has designed a strategy that will make the Party emerge victorious in the election without minding how the people feel about the Party. A brief review of how the primaries went down in some States may be necessary;

RIVERS STATE: Considering the ongoing litigation against the congresses that produced the Amachree led State Working Committee of the Party in Rivers State, the Party’s National Working Committee, if it was sincere and really interested in the Party’s survival in the State would have insisted on Direct Primaries for Rivers State. The final decision on what method to be adopted for primaries in various States seems to have been predetermined by whom the national chairman favoured or who gave the national chairman the highest amount of money instead of considerations as to realities and peculiarities of each State. Rivers State is one place where the national chairman should have put his feet on the ground to organize direct primaries, as that would have saved the Party from whatever judgment the court will arrive at.

With the recent court rulings declaring the ward, LGA and State congresses of the Party as illegal, it should be clear to any discerning political observer that the APC does not have candidates for any elective position in the whole of Rivers State, except, if any form of legal magic happens, and the Supreme Court affirms the legitimacy of the congresses that produced Mr. Amachree as Rivers State Chairman of the Party. It is unfortunate that the national chairman would completely discountenance the wishes of majority of Rivers APC members and stakeholders who wanted Direct Primaries, just because he wanted to do the bidding of one man or a clique in Rivers State APC, thereby, effectively destroying any chances the APC has of taking over Rivers State in the next elections.

I have struggled to find any reason why the national chairman would arbitrarily impose the indirect primaries method on Rivers State, even when a resounding majority of Rivers APC members and patriots voted for direct primaries. The legal implications were also glaring to even the most unlearned observer. The national chairman will have a hectic time convincing any reasonable enquirer that there were no deliberate compromises, which didn’t consider the overriding interest of the Party, but the interests of a few individuals and cabals. The greasing of palms in Dollars and promises of future political patronage might have also played major roles in taking that very destructive decision.

OGUN STATE: The State Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress in Ogun State had sat and agreed on the modality they wished to adopt in nominating candidates for the Party in the coming elections, in obedience to the directive of the Party’s National Executive Council, as communicated to them through the National Secretary of the Party. However, their option of adopting the consensus method in choosing its candidates was rejected by the national chairman and instead the direct option was imposed on them. I am not aware of any tangible reason for this decision. I am not also aware that there is any form of litigation against the congresses that produced the current executive in Ogun State, which would have warranted the option of direct primaries.

The governor of the State is also the Chief Security Officer of the State and the leader of the Party in the State. There is no rational reason why the option he chose for the conduct of primaries in his State should be disregarded, if not that someone or some groups were determined to run the Party down. No one knows the security situation in his State more than him and no one knows the logistics challenges faced by the Party more than he does. The only political officer who could have better security information than him is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and I do not think the President had a hand in deciding whatever method was adopted for any of the States.

As expected, the outcome of those primaries has been shrouded in controversies that don’t seem to be ending very soon. The governor of the State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has been unfairly treated by the Party leadership and the national chairman instead of seeking ways to palliate the  governor is going on an all out media war with not just the Ogun State governor but other governors on the Party’s platform. The governor has cried out that his predicament is from Lagos State, where a certain mafia gang is bent on annexing the State.

ZAMFARA: Unless the court rules otherwise, our Party will not be fielding candidates in Zamfara State. This is the extent of damage which one man or a cabal’s ego has done to our Party. Technically speaking, we have lost Zamfara State even before the 2019 elections.

The problem with Zamfara State can be likened to the story in the Bible where two women laid claims to a particular baby, while the true owner of the baby was ready to let the baby be given to the impostor mother, the envious childless woman was ready to have that baby killed so that she would be in the same position with the mother of the child. Governor Yari is keen on what is right for the Party, hence, his insistence on getting the Party to uphold the primaries already conducted by the duly setup leadership of the Party in the State, but Senator Marafa whom Adams Oshiomhole prefers to hand over the Party structure to, prefers the present situation where the Party does not have candidates for any elective positions in the State. In fact, he has gone ahead to concede to INEC’s position that primaries did not hold, just because, he did not have his way.

There have been allegations from usually credible sources that the national chairman sold off the chances of APC in Zamfara State for 17 Million Dollars to the Marafa group. There was no reason why the national chairman wouldn’t have conducted primaries to field candidates in Zamfara and doesn’t seem an inch bothered about that reality, if he didn’t sell out. I wish the security agencies will do a thorough job on, to unravel, not just the truth behind this 17 Million Dollars allegation but to as well unravel the truth behind other stories which allege that the former Edo governor took bribes in the range of 55 to 80 Million Dollars in order to destroy the APC.

IMO STATE: What happened in Imo State APC will probably be a story for another day. Of all the States where the nomination of candidates is in crisis, Imo is actually the most embarrassing. The national chairman did not only succeed in destroying the morale of Party members in the State, but also made a mockery of the Party and himself before the entire world. Our national chairman left no one in doubt that he was compromised as he spoke a different thing in the morning and changes his speech at night. In Imo, the national chairman was unfortunate in his trickery as he came up against a people that are very detailed and vigilant. His plan to rob Imo APC members of their mandate was properly checkmated, his doublespeak, well documented. Aspirants who won the primaries from governorship, Senate, House of Representatives to House of Assembly were shortchanged and their names substituted with those who lost, and in some very alarming cases, those who did not even purchase nomination and expression of interest forms were filled in as candidates of the Party, even after these primaries had been concluded.

In an attempt to cover up the embarrassing mess he put in place, he has decided to usurp the office of the National Legal Adviser of the Party by briefing lawyers allegedly recommended to him by Senator Hope Uzodimma and other members of the so-called coalition group in Imo State to defend the Party in suits instituted by Party members who were robbed of their mandate. By this action, Oshiomhole intends to skew any suit arising from these primaries against those he already robbed of their well-earned mandates. He also attempts to make it impossible for the genuinely aggrieved to get justice from the courts. He is arm-twisting the judiciary and further portraying our Party as desperate to destroy democratic institutions. Like I said earlier, the story about what happened in Imo State APC, will take another day to tell, and I assure that I shall tell the story.

WILL OSHIOMHOLE LEAD THE CAMPAIGN FOR OUR PARTY? For a national chairman whose public image is terribly tainted with allegations of corruption to the tune of over 20 Billion Naira said to have been given to him by some aspirants to purchase Party tickets, it will be surprising if he is allowed to lead the Party’s campaign for this election, especially, considering the fact that our Party’s best selling mantra is based on the fight against corruption. Allowing Adams Oshiomhole to lead our campaign in this election will put a big question mark on our Party’s campaign against corruption. Party leaders at all levels are therefore required by conscience to stand up and defend the integrity and reputation of our Party by prevailing on His Excellency Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to step aside, especially at this time of campaigns. How do we intend to mount campaign rostrums with an Adams Oshoimhole, preaching anti-corruption as part of our Party’s manifestos, while he is yet to clear his name of massive corruption? It will be a most ridiculous sight to behold. It does not matter what personal relationships we may share with the national chairman at this point, we must save our Party the embarrassment of having such a tainted character leading our campaigns. It is my personal opinion that seeing Oshiomhole on the campaign team of the Party will rob the Party of millions of votes, as there will be no justification for a man of such character to be the face of the Party during campaigns. The presence of Oshiomhole in the Party’s campaigns will only tell the people that our Party condones corruption and that we do not also believe in democracy. A national chairman who brazenly thwarted the wishes of majority of its members across the State and handed over the Party’s tickets to individuals either anointed by a cabal or those who could afford a certain amount of money, has no business being present at campaigns of a political Party, whose major selling point should be integrity, anti-corruption and discipline.

It is therefore, my earnest appeal that His Excellency Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is not only prosecuted by anti-corruption agencies for his alleged involvement in massive corruption, but that leaders of the Party at various level save the Party from his destructive eccentricities and ego. This in my considered opinion shall be in the best interest of the Party.

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