Buhari’s minister behind my travails over 2023 presidency – Oshiomhole

March 6, 2020
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Embattled National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has described his detractors who are working to oust him as lacking in political values.

He alleged that those fighting against him are daily holding nocturnal meetings in the residence of a serving minister who is eyeing the presidency in 2023.

The APC national chairman also fingered some governors as being behind his ordeal in the party.

Oshiohmole, who spoke to State House correspondents yesterday after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, expressed optimism that God would see him through the current legal and political upheavals.

He described himself as “a child of light who will always defeat darkness”.

Oshiomhole was at the Presidential Villa to brief the President on the development in the party after an Abuja High Court, on Wednesday, ruled that he should stop parading himself as the leader of the party as a result of the suspension of his APC membership by his ward in Edo State.

He told newsmen that the court lacked jurisdiction in the matter.

The APC leader also lamented that the Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, whom he helped to power, had turned around to attack him.

He said: “Let me also say that those behind this plot, the hands you saw which include, as you saw on Wednesday, you saw the Edo State governor and his people jubilating, but that is the irony of life. That you will help give birth to a child and the child will look for cutlass to want to chop off your neck. It has happened in history, it has happened in this country, so I won’t be the only person.

“But there are other forces who see in me, for whatever reason, as threat to them. And those leading this anti-Oshiomhole campaign, some of them I emphasize, cannot even boast of a councillor seat in their state even as they lay claim to leadership position in our party. Those fighting me couldn’t deliver even a councillor of a local government in their unit.”

He, however, added that they are in the minority.

“I am proud of the support that I am getting from the ordinary majority of our party and even majority of our leaders. It is just unfortunate that if you have out of 100, 90 people are happy with you, call and say well done. Those 10 are the ones that will call press conference to denounce; they are the ones who will hold midnight meetings in a minister’s house to say, ‘how do we bring him down’? They are the ones who will plot ‘how do we get rid of him?’ because they want to be president in 2023 even when their hold on their state at the moment is doubtful if they were to go for referendum in terms of their approval rating.”

He also alleged that his detractors are not comfortable with his leadership style because he believed in building a strong institution rather than building a strong individual.

According to him, his enemies want him out at all cost because he refused to compromise and do their biddings.

Commenting on the Abuja ruling, Oshiomhole said the court had no jurisdiction just as he informed that his lawyers have appealed the ruling.

He said: “Our lawyers told me that in law that when you sue a federal agency, FCT High Court has no jurisdiction to entertain it. Number two, the purported suspension of my person by my ward, first is not even true.

“Number three; I am not an officer of my ward. I am the national chairman of my party, elected at a national convention by over 7,000 delegates. So, how could nine persons sit down somewhere and purport that they have removed a National Chairman? And the court contrary to all logic, all judicial precedence, finds comfort in granting an interim interlocutory order to stop me from functioning pending when the matter is determined. In other words, he has given the order without the facts being laid before him and, in the process, adjourned the case to 7th of April.

“The calculations are clear that between now and April 7th, my opponents in the system would have had ample time to do all the mischievous plans they have in place to destabilise the APC, because some of them have membership of more than one political party.

“But happily, this afternoon, a federal high court in Kano that I believe has jurisdiction on federal issues because the DSS, the police are not state institutions, but federal institutions, has given an appropriate order to restrain the so-called suspension that was allegedly imposed on me by my ward in Edo State.”

On his visit to the President, he said: “I thought that I had a duty to brief Mr. President as the overall leader of our party about this development. Incidentally when I requested for the audience on Wednesday, I wasn’t sure what has happened today (yesterday) will happen.

“But I had a duty to inform him about the court order. But happily before coming here, the order from a Federal High Court that has made nonsense of what the FCT court purported to have done has already settled the question.

“And I showed to the president the resolutions of my ward even though a ward executive does not have the powers to remove a national chairman, just to say that the document that we have says clearly that my ward passed vote of confidence in me.

“How the court can hold vote of confidence and twist it to mean as vote of no confidence, only that judge can explain it to himself.

“But the good news is that this is neither a final court nor is it the only court, incidentally it is just the court that didn’t have the jurisdiction even to listen to this matter. And our lawyers so pointed it out but the judge was determined to obliged those who want to destabilise the APC.”

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