- We will abide by Court decision – Ag. Scribe
- Blame Oshiomhole for not heeding our advice-Obaseki
By Ikechukwu Okaforadi, Vivian Okejeme, Abuja and By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday took a new turn as about fifteen police bans, with hundreds of police officers taking over the party secretariat shortly after the court ruling apparently to forestall possible breakdown of law and order.
In the same vein, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has approved the nomination of Arch. Waziri Bulama as the Party’s Acting National Secretary.
A statement issued by the national publicity secretary of the party, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said “The decision was reached on January 14, 2020 during the meeting of the NWC at the party’s National Secretariat.
“Following the resignation of H.E. Mai Mala Buni as the Party’s National Secretary in May 2019 prior to his election as the Governor of Yobe State, the party subsequently gave notice for a replacement from the zone.
“The NWC has also approved the nominations of Senator Abiola Ajimobi as the Deputy National Chairman (South) and Mr. Paul Chukwuma as the National Auditor following nominations from the respective zones.
Reacting to the sack of Oshiomhole, though the embattled party chairman was not on ground to brief the journalists covering the party, but the Acting National Secretary of the party, Victor Giadom, told journalists that the APC as a law-abiding political party will respect the decision of the court suspending the National Chairman of the Party, Adams Oshiomhole.
He spoke to reporters at the party’s National Secretariat amidst heavy security presence.
Meanwhile, APC National Vice Chairman has accused Oshiomhole of defying court order on suspension.
The National Vice-Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), North East, Salihu Mustapha, has accused the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, of trying to announce a new National Secretary for the party after his suspension on Wednesday by a Federal High Court.
Mr Mustapha said by virtue of the court’s order, any decision taken by Mr Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the ruling party is illegal.
The court in Abuja suspended Mr Oshiomhole after granting an interlocutory injunction in an application filed on January 16 by a member of the APC, Oluwale Afolabi.
Mr Afolabi based his application for the suspension of Mr Oshiomhole on the suspension of the national chairman last year by a faction of the party in his home Edo State.
Ruling on the application, Justice Danlami Senchi ordered the suspension of Mr Oshiomhole pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The court also ordered that the embattled national chairman should not be allowed into the party’s national secretariat.
But in a phone interview with journalists at the party secretariat immediately after the court verdict, Mr Mustapha said Mr Oshiomhole has defied the court’s order by directing the party’s spokesperson, Lanre Issa-Onilu, to announce Waziri Bulama as the party’s National Secretary.
Mr Mustapha is one of the members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) opposed to Mr Oshiomhole’s leadership of the APC. This reporter once at the party’s secretariat last month witnessed the duo in a shouting match during an NWC meeting, which led to Mr Mustapha storming out of the meeting.
“Immediately the court injunction was given, the national chairman has called the party’s National Publicity Secretary (Lanre Issa-Onilu) to issue a statement that Bulama is the National Secretary of the party.
“I believe you guys are aware of the meeting held about a month ago on that matter, which ended without a decision. Since then there has not been a decision as to the replacement of the secretary,” he said.
He said if such an order by the suspended chairman (Mr Oshiomhole) will “create more chaos within the party” if carried out.
“The public should know that any decision that Oshiomhole makes henceforth is an illegal decision and will not hold.
“We will keep our fingers crossed until the court decides. I am saying this so that there can be no two national secretaries and there can be no affirmation from a national chairman that has been suspended,” Mustapha further said.
Meanwhile, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has spoken on the Abuja High court ruling on Wednesday, asking the embattled national Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole to step aside, pending the determination of the substantive suit brought by the State Chapter of the party to determine his current status.
The Governor, who spoke in an emotion-laden voice on Wednesday, gave a brief history of how he appealed to his predecessor (Oshiomhole) to call some so-called members of Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) members to order months ago, but, the APC Chairman ignored his counsel.
Obaseki disclosed this while addressing APC leaders from Edo South Senatorial district of the State at Urhokpota ground in Benin City, Edo State Capital where he recalled Adams Oshiomhole support in the past.
“My quarrel with Comrade Oshiomhole began when some people said they were this and EPM. I called him. I said Comrade, denounce them, Go out and say something separate yourself from these people. Up till tomorrow they (dissident APC members) have been boasting. But, today and finally, the court has taken the right decision.
“That ruling does not really make me happy. I am not a happy person because it could not have gone to this.
“In our parlance, when a child puts his hands in feaces, you do not cut off that hands, but you take that hands and wash it. For those our members who want to still live in the past and do not realize that 20 years into our democracy.
“We cannot practice democracy the way we used to practice it in 1983. For those who are yet to realize that change has come, the party – APC is big enough to accommodate you”, he said.
He urged aggrieved members of the party to channel their grievances to the appropriate quarter, stressing “that there is no need to fight” for action.
“Even though we are celebrating, it is a very mixed feeling because when I look at where we are coming from ten years ago, I am shocked that this kind of thing has happened.
“The ruling marks a new era of peace for our party, particularly in Edo State.
“God has already done it for all, we just need to prove for ourselves that we are strong”, he said.
He said the alleged rejection of his advice to Oshiomhole angered him, making the crisis rocking the party to escalate.
The Governor said he is not afraid to face of any contestant in the forthcoming Governorship election irrespective of the status and background, adding that “no man is God.
“All those who have ambition to contest against me, I am not worried. I am not afraid, but, they must do it in accordance with the rules of the party.
“As the leader of the party in Edo State, I will do whatever will bring peace to Edo State. I am prepared to do so”, he said.
He also said that the contact mobilization Committee has set a target of 500, 000 persons in Edo APC membership drive before the end of June 2020.
“It will be a shame on any leader of our party at the unit level who cannot boast of 100 members at least in your unit. If we have 100 members of APC in every unit in Edo State, we will have more than 500, 000 members of our party”, he said.
On his part, the factional Chairman of the party, Anselm Ojezua, described Wednesday federal High court ruling in Abuja as a welcome development and victory for Edo people.
Ojezua while reeling out the template for the registration which will begin next Week Monday, threatened that any member of the party who may want to constitute clog in the wheel of progress will be expelled from the party irrespective of his position or status.
He urged party men to cheer up for the challenges ahead while a Chieftain in Oredo APC, Prince Austin Eweka, assured the governor a resounding victory in the forthcoming polls.