By Odunewu Segun
Nigeria’s ruling party, All Progressives Party (APC) is not just facing stiff opposition from opposition parties, especially the Peoples’ Democratic Party, but also from within the ruling party’s top echelon.
A situation, National Daily gathered may crippled the party if not handled with care.
In recent times, the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, has come under serious attack over what his detractors described as his administrative “high handedness” which they asserted made the party lost some states in the last 2019 general elections.
The call by the Deputy National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Lawal Shuaibu, that Adams Oshiomhole, should resign due to alleged incompetence has polarised members of the party’s National Working Committee.
Shuaibu said the electoral fortunes of the APC had dwindled because of the leadership style of Oshiomhole, whom he accused of conducting the NWC meetings at a private residence instead of the party’s national secretariat.
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Few days after the letter was made public, another chieftain of the party, former minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, also backed Shuaibu, accusing Oshiomhole of polarizing the party.
“I endorse Oshiomhole’s resignation; the truth is that with Oshiomhole, this party will go down by the time President Muhammadu Buhari finishes his second term in office.
“Oshiomhole is full of himself and he has an ego problem and wants to dominate every environment, and democracy is not like that,” Shittu said.
Former national chairman of the party, Chief John Oyegun has also joined those calling for the removal of Oshiomhole.
Oyegun, who left office in 2018, had accused Adam Oshiomhole, his successor, of lacking the capacity to lead a political party in the 21st century. He had said he should not be held accountable for Oshiomhole’s “leadership failure”.
Reacting to the rising waves of internal opposition, Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC’s spokesman, said the former national chairman was responsible for the indiscipline and impunity in the party.
He blamed Oyegun for the disunity in the party and some of the challenges the party encountered in the 2019 general election.
“You would recall that it was under that leadership that some impudent members of APC called the bluff of the party by imposing themselves on the National Assembly as leaders contrary to the position of the party. Where was the party? Where was the discipline when this happened? It would be difficult to calculate what lack of courage to assert the party supremacy cost APC over that period. The consequences of the inaction of the party were unimaginable,” Issa-Onilu said.
“We all saw the consequences on governance as the National assembly practically held our government to ransom. The impunity, which President Muhammadu Buhari has rightly described as lack of patriotism, constituted an unfortunate hindrance to the smooth running of government.”
“The leadership under Chief Oyegun, with due respect to him, condoned all sorts of acts of indiscipline from certain members,” he said.
“It goes without saying that when an organisation is unable to enforce its own rules, it would suffer the consequences sooner than later. We should not be ashamed to say that our party’s leadership under Chief Oyegun lacked the courage required to confront the pockets of political despots who could not operate by the party’s rules.”
Meanwhile the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairmen in the six states of the South South, which is Oshiomhole’s region have come out to back him, calling on Shuaibu to apologise.
They described as irresponsible and mischievous, the letter written to the national chair, asking him to resign.
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