- Crisis seems to be brewing among chieftains of the ruling APC from the south-south region
- Four out of the six state chairmen of the party from the zone have distanced themselves from a recent comment by the Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki
- Obaseki had purportedly endorsed his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole for the position of the party's national chairman
Ahead of the national convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) which is in exactly three weeks time, four out of the six state chairmen of the party from the south-south region have distanced themselves with the purported endorsement of the former Edo state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
The chairmen who distanced themselves from the endorsement are the Rivers state APC chairman, Chief Davies Ikanya; his Bayelsa state counterpart, Deacon Joseph Fafi; Cross River state APC chairman, Etim John; and the Akwa Ibom state APC chairman, Dr. Amadu Attai as well as the APC deputy national secretary, Honourable Victor Giadom.
The five party leaders had stormed out of the south-south zonal caucus meeting held at the Edo state Government House on Monday, April 23, in protest for what they said were plans by the Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki and the zonal vice chairman of the party, Hilliard Eta to adopt Oshiomhole as the south-south zone's candidate for the party’s national chairman.
Speaking to journalists, the chairmen said they were ambushed with Oshiomhole’s adoption agenda at the meeting, insisting that the APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, should be given a right of first refusal to seek re-election for the position.
Chief Ikanya said: “We were here for a meeting only to be ambushed by the national vice chairman of the party (Hilliard Eta) to adopt a preconceived candidate. Yesterday (Sunday), we held a meeting which he attended, only for him to come and manipulate, sort out every suggestion and he is trying to say he has come out with a resolution.
“First, I want us to know that the zonal executive committee does not have the power to elect, nominate or to adopt candidates for national offices. It is the national convention that can do that.
“Secondly, there are very senior members in the zone that were shut out of this meeting purposely. number one, the national chairman of the party who is from this zone and the national vice chairman of the party ought to sought the permission of the national chairman of the party even to convene this meeting because the constitution states that the national vice chairman shall assist the national chairman.
“So, in this zone where we have a sitting chairman and he is not invited to a meeting, you have six ministers, you have former governors, you have very senior citizens of this zone and they were shut out of the meeting only for the national vice chairman to ambush everybody, ignore every motion that was moved, even when somebody moved a motion that he should disqualify himself having shown bias from the beginning in this meeting, he still sat there and he is saying to the public that there was a resolution.
“We want you to know that out of the states of the zone, four states are saying that this was an ambush, it was not acceptable, there was no resolution. We have said that every person is free to run in the election. We stand by the resolution of the National Executive Committee (NEC) that there is waiver.
“The national chairman can recontest if he wants to recontest, any other person from the zone can recontest if they want to recontest. What has happened in this meeting is a farce, is not binding on anybody, it is null and void.
“Four states are saying no, whereas just two states - Edo and some parts of Delta are the people that are saying that they have a resolution. This is not how democracy should be practiced. Arising from this meeting today, the majority view is that there is no consensus on any candidate.”
Similarly, Honourable Giadom said the resolution at the Edo state Government House is not the party's position, stressing that every resolution of the party must come back to the NWC.
His words: “First, the south-south zonal headquarters of this party is in Port Harcourt. Two, this zone does not have the power to sit in government house to decide or take a decision against any candidate. This decision was not put to a vote.
“It was smuggled by the national vice chairman of this zone and without allowing the people who were in the meeting to have input or for us to have an election as the case may be. I want to put it on record that out of the six state chairmen of our party, we have the chairmen of Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Bayelsa here, that is, four state chairmen are here. So, it is a decision of the Edo state government not the decision of the party and cannot stand.”
In the same vein, Deacon Fafi said what took place at the Edo state Government House was undemocratic, unexpected and a complete fraud.
Adding his voice to the position, Cross River APC chairman, Etim John said, “whatever decision they reach there, if at all, is completely null and void, also bias and has no stand. It is undemocratic and it is inconsequential.”
On his part, Dr. Attai said: “We from Akwa Ibom state do not support any decision that is taken today in this meeting, any resolution that was reached is null and void because we were not allowed to vote.”
Meanwhile, the APC today, Monday, April 23 inaugurated its national convention planning committee.
The 68-member national convention committee is chaired by the governor of Jigawa state, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar.
The committee was inaugurated at the APC national secretariat in Abuja by the national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
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