Days After Buhari’s Meeting with APC Governors, Chairmen… Oshiomhole’s Fate Hangs in the Balance

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OBASEKI, PROGRESSIVE GOVERNORS, WITH BUHARI

…Col Imuse to be charged for Contempt of Court!

The dual meetings between, President Mohammedu Buhari and Governors elected on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC and the State Chairmen ended, without the much desired life-line needed by Mr. Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole.

President Buhari had earlier met with the governors a day earlier in private without the All Progressives Congress National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole and they used the opportunity to list the numerous sins that their national chairman has committed against the party and their states.

A source confided in Midwest Herald, that the governors demanded for an outright removal of the embattled former labour leader, turned politician, as the only remedy to save the party from disintegrating.

The governors reminded the president of how Oshiomhole turned the last APC primaries in Nigeria into bazaar which led to his arrest by the Department of State Services, DSS. A particular governor raised the negative implication of having Oshiomhole as national chairman in the face of the Federal Government’s renewed war against corruption.

The governors also expressed dismay at the conduct of APC governorship primaries in Bayelsa, which they explained was without recourse to the party’s Constitution and guildlines, which has now become a subject of litigation.

It was also gathered that the governors had agreed in a meeting before the one they held with the president to demand for Oshiomhole’s replacement. Out of a total of 19 governors, Six, including Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State and his counterpart from Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun spoke in defence of the national chairman. The Six governors pleaded with his colleagues for reconciliation. Apart from the quarrel he has with other governors, Governors Zulum and Abiodun volunteered to make rapprochement between Oshiomhole and Governor Obaseki.

Left alone, the governors succeeded in nailing Oshiomhole to the cross and convinced the president to support their call for his removal from office as national chairman.

Since the last contentious APC National Executive Council meeting that ended abruptly, Oshiomhole had increased his lobbying, especially with the APC States Chairmen who are divided on the call for his sack by the governors. To douse the challenge from the governors, Oshiomhole hurriedly pushed the outstanding request by the chairmen to have audience with the president. The purpose of their meeting was to demand for rewards having ensured victory for the president in the last election.

Many of the chairmen were sponsored to Abuja and warehoused, hours before they they were ferried to the Villa for the meeting.

The open campaign for Oshiomhole by the chairmen at the Presidential Villa, through the speech that was delivered by Mr. Ali Bukar gave vent to the fact, that they were hired by Oshiomhole to plead for and defend his case.

“Mr, president sir, let me also express our recent worries regarding the activities of some of the governors who are undermining the efforts of the National Chairman of our great party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to reposition the party by plotting his removal.

“It is more worrisome knowing full well that they are not doing this because the National Chairman is not performing his duties according to the constitution, but they are fighting him due to their 2023 presidential ambitions…

“Your Excellency, it may interest you to know, Sir, that because these governors were desperate in their bid to oust our national chairman, they even worked against our governorship candidates in Kogi and Bayelsa States so that we would lose and they would have latched on the losses as grounds to advocate for the removal of the national chairman.

“It is really unfortunate, Your Excellency, that just after we won additional state in the South South, which is Bayelsa, consolidated on our hold on Kogi, these governors have been busy collecting signatures, spending our hard-earned resources in both covert and overt campaigns  for the removal of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.” Bukar, Chairman of Chairmen, stated.

It is however curious, that the president made no inference to the commendation that his guests decorated Oshiomhole with who was also present at the meeting. Instead, President Buhari reminded the chairmen that their elections were close and that he will pay special attention to how each one of one them will emerge as chairman of their respective state chapters.

‘‘Your election will soon hold and I am going to take personal interest to make sure that the bottom-to-top is maintained and people are elected by their immediate and subsequent constituencies”.

In the meeting that lasted for only 28 minutes, Buhari told the chairmen that only popular candidates such as governors under their platform who have been adjudged to be popular and performing would be allowed to represent the interests of the party at the “National level” and he also emphasised that the bottom top approach would be adopted to ensure that the party remained successful in future elections.

“In my own opinion, this is necessary so that Nigerians will know and understand that whoever sits in your states has the support of your respective constituencies from the state, to the local government, wards and polling units.” Buhari said.

Expectedly, the embattled National Chairman of the APC who is locked in atrocious intra-party fight with his successor, Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, failed to secure the support of the president, against the call for his removal by the Progressive Governors.

The number one leader of the party also defiantly refused to make comments on the crisis rocking the APC in Edo State during his meeting with Oshiomhole and some of the state chairmen, save for what he discussed with the governors behind closed doors, a day earlier.

Midwest Herald can authoritatively report that the national chairman has been mandated by the president to ensure that the issues in Edo State are resolved peacefully and that Governor Obaseki be given the “right of first refusal” to fly the party’s flag at the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Edo state.

Meanwhile, Oshiomhole again, suffered another setback last Friday, as the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Apo, Abuja, Nigeria granted an order restraining the reconciliation committee that he constituted, from acting on the activities of the Edo State chapter of the party.

Justice Sylvanus Chinedu Oriji in a ruling on December 6, 2019, granted the order of interim injunction in Motion No. M/680/2019 between Mr Stephen Oshawo & 2 Ors v. Comrade Adams Aliu Oshiomhole & 2 Ors.

The Judge also stressed that Oshiomhole has no authority to constitute the committee as he has been suspended by relevant organs of the party in his ward and local council levels.

The court granted an order viz: “an order of injunction restraining the 2nd Defendant, its agents, members and/or privies from purporting to act as a reconciliation committee as the 1st Defendant, who is the constituting authority has no vires to so do since he has been suspended by the Ward 10 Executive Committee of the 3rd Defendant on the 2nd Day of November 2019 and ratified by the Etsako West Local Government Executive Committee on the 9th day of November, 2019 without an appeal and the seven days period for appeal having elapsed pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for Interlocutory injunction.”

There are strong indications that the APC State Executive Committee (SEC) and State Working Committee (SWC) will file contempt charges against Col David Imuse, rtd. for knowingly flouting the court orders by parading himself as chairman of the Edo State APC, during the president’s meeting with the states chairmen.

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