- As party leaders visit Buhari
By Lawrence Olaoye
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) led by its National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole yesterday paid a New Year visit on President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.
Asked to respond to call for his removal by some stakeholders in his party, the APC boss explained why chieftains of the party are throwing stones at him even as he said internal and external opposition are inevitable to a leadership that is producing results.
On mounting internal opposition to his leadership because of his feud with the Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, he said “You also know this proverb, “It’s a tree that bears fruits that attracts stone.” You hardly see people throwing stone at a dry tree palm tree. But if you see a mango tree when it is its season, people throw stones at it when passing. I think that is my lot but my report card is also very clear. You my comrades (media) should also help in interrogating the process, how a performance of a National Working Committee of a political part should be evaluates? But I think the evaluation should start mostly, how many elections did you lose, or lost. Last week we saw the British Labour Party Leader that he accepts responsibility for the crushing defeat that the Labour Party suffered under his leadership, he offered in principle having accept responsibility, will not lead the party in the next election, so he is going to resign because under his leadership the party was rejected by the British electorate.
“In my own case, and I challenge anyone to say that any of these things are not true. We the executive members of the party were sworn in on the 3rd of June 2018, at about 6 pm. Two weeks later, we went to Ekiti to contest election against a PDP incumbent governor Fayose and we won. And Kayode Fayemi today is the governor of that state. Few months later, we went to Osun State, we contested a by-election, we won and we had the Osun State governor elected for his first term. Then we went for the national elections, you know all the tensions in the country at the time. The gap between President Buhari and the former candidate of the PDP Abubakar Atiku was about four million voters. The one between President Buhari and former President Jonathan in 2015 was about three million. “So under my leadership this President has more votes than the first runner-up, we would like to claim credit for that because if it went the other way so we would be crucified.”
The APC chairman explained further that in the National Assembly, “you know we had all kinds of contestation, because the opposition was determined to turn APC to a minority in the two chambers of the National Assembly and we had to do what we had to do to persuade the senators to stay, we are still the preferred party of choice and we marketed all those senators, we backed them up with logistics, we backed them up financially from the party’s coffer and at the end of the day I am proud that we won more senate seats and more House of Reps seats.”
On why he came to see the President, the APC helmsman said “We decided at the level of the National Working Committee to pay a new year visit to Mr President and to congratulate him on what we have been able to accomplish last year and also to commend Mr President for the renewed hope as capture in the new year message that was delivered to Nigerians.
“I think it was particularly important that it was published in print media so it’s not like the usual New Year broadcast that if you missed it, you missed it. But this one you can take it, you can analyze it, evaluate it and see how it affects you or how it affects your community, your location or your business.
“We think that was quite significant but like you know, in Nigeria when good things happened they don’t command good headline news. “For example, consistently under this President, people are now used to going for Christmas without having to worry whether or not there is petroleum product in the market. Few years back, people were always afraid of what will happen during the Christmas season, all your money, all the little money you are saving to take back home to celebrate with your people, you end up patronizing ‘Black Market’ to buy a liter of PMS at two, three, or four times the value and sometimes it is adulterated. And we see pictures of people who are stranded across the country because they cannot access PMS.”