The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has come under fresh fire over flagrant abuse of powers in his leadership of the party. This is coming as the ruling APC appointed a reconciliation committee headed by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, to resolve all the conflicts ravaging the party across the country. Oshiomhole has been a remarkable party to the several conflicts in APC from the electioneering campaign period to the post-elections era. Accordingly, an APC leader from the southeast, Osita Okechukwu, Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), despite the overturning of his suspension from the party, blasted Oshiomhole, describing him as ‘drowning’ and ‘searching for straw to cling on”.
Osita Okechukwu in response to his pardon by the party leadership on Monday, declared that the suspension was illegal, arguing that the action did not comply with the constitution of the party.
Okechukwu was said to have cited Article 21 of APC constitution to insist that his suspension was obvious abuse of power and “clear breach of the constitution of APC” by Oshiomhole in fighting political wars against his opponents in the party to the detriment of the APC goals.
The VON DG highlighted that the power to suspend any party member resides or begin with the Ward through the local government and state structures of the party which will ultimately be ratifies by the national leadership. The national leadership, he contended, cannot suspend party member unless such action springs from the local units.
“The power to discipline party members, which is exercised subject to fair hearing, is granted only to the respective Executives Committees of the Ward, LGA, State and National, by virtue of the first paragraph of Article 21 of the APC constitution,” Okechuckwu had declared.
The VON DG was suspended from the APC by the National Working Committee (NWC) with other known political opponents of Oshiomhole who include Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, former Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, former Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, etc. The NWC had taken the decision on the basis that they were involved in anti-party activities. However, most of the conflicts were precipitated by usurpation of powers by Oshiomhole who was imposing on the states from Abuja.
The APC NWC acted in against the ward, local and State leaderships of the party in Enugu which rejected the anti-party activities allegations against Okechukwu. The same experience where governors were also suspended by the NWC led by Oshiomhole.
Okechukwu had insisted that the primary constituency of party members constitutes “one of the adjudicatory bodies with regard to compliant or allegation against any member of the party;” before disciplinary action could be taken. It is until the local levels act that a report of an erring member can be submitted to the NEC for final decision, he maintained.
“From the above… my humble self and indeed His Excellencies, Rotimi Akeredolu, Rochas Okorocha and Ibukunle Amosun and Pastor Usani Usani were never suspended by their Ward, LGA, State or National Executive Committee as envisaged by the APC’s Constitution,” Okechukwu decried.
The APC NWC had on Monday announced the pardon of the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu; former Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun; former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha; and the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru.
The NWC under the chairmanship of Oshiomhole had declared the suspension of these party leaders in their various states on March 1, 2019, as punishment for alleged anti-party activities in the preparations for the 2019 general elections.
Okechukwu further said that Oshiomhole rigged the APC primary election in Enugu West Senatorial District to frustrate from going to the senate. This, he said, cost APC the senatorial seat and a flawless defeat of its presidential candidate in Enugu State in the 2019 elections.
“My election, stone timed to kill two birds, one to send Senator Ike Ekweremadu packing and two to garner 25% for President Muhammadu Buhari in Enugu State, an objective Oshiomhole stymied,” Okechukwu remarked.
The VON DG chided Oshiomhole for shooting party conflicts without limits which he said is propelled the APC chairman to set Edo State APC on fire over his desperation to stop Governor Godwin Obaseki from second term. He challenged Oshiomhole to prove his leadership capability.
Okechukwu admonished Oshiomhole: “Consequently, the drowning Comrade Adams Oshiomhole instead of searching for straw to cling on should not only learn that rule of law governs our great party, but should rush home and quench the inferno he has simulated in Edo State, as charity has to begin at home.”
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