Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum PGF, Salihu Moh. Lukman has again weighed in on the current crisis afflicting the leadership of his party, calling on the National Executive Committee NEC to immediately name an acting National Chairman and also fill five vacant positions in the National Working Committee NWC.
Lukman’s suggestion came in the aftermath of Wednesday’s order of a Federal Capital Territory FCT High Court suspending the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Thursday order of the Federal High Court in Kano, nullifying the suspension of Comrade Oshiomhole by his Ward 10 Etsako executive members.
NEC should replace Oshiomhole
Lukman in a statement Friday in Abuja said; “First, pending the settlement of all the cases around Comrade Oshiomhole’s membership, we need to invoke provisions of Article 17 (vi) which provides that in the event of a vacancy, “the relevant Party organ shall appoint another person to act in his place pending ratification by the National Convention or Congress.”
The relevant party organ, in this case, may have to be the National Executive Committee (NEC). Given all the vacancies about six so far, National Chairman, Deputy National Chairman (South), Deputy National Chairman (North), National Vice Chairman (North West), National Secretary and National Auditor, who convene the NEC?
This is where the organising, consultation and negotiating capacity of our leaders will be tested. Combinations of the majority of the remaining members of the NWC in consultation with President Buhari, Governors, other party leaders who are leading members of the National Caucus can resolve all these issues and convene the NEC to appoint an Acting National Chairman.
“With the appointment of an Acting National Chairman, the next would be to seek to invoke provisions of Article 25 A(i) of the APC constitution, which stipulate that the “National Convention of the Party shall be held once in Two (2) years at a date, venue and time to be recommended by the National Working Committee and approved by the National Executive Committee subject to the giving of statutory notice to Independent National Electoral Commission and at least fourteen (14) days notice given to members eligible to attend.”
Already, this is the second year since the last Convention in 2018 where Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC was elected. What this means is that with or without NEC
Lukman also chastised the party’s NWC, accusing the body of constituting itself into an unaccountable assembly of people with thuggish temperament.
“The business of leaders will not be to intimidate party members to accept their positions. Somehow, this is the locus of all our challenges.
Whether we want to accept it or not, we today found ourselves with the embarrassing situation whereby almost all the structures of the party have been frozen at all levels. This is certainly not the making of President Buhari. The only possible structure that appears to be meeting is the National Working Committee NWC, which is an administrative organ.
Even the NWC we are told that it is not united, so much that it could make a decision on January 14, 2020, and the announcement of its decision will only ‘coincidentally’ come on March 4, 2020, shortly after Justice Senchi issued the order for interlocutory injunction.
This is all because members of the Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC have constituted themselves into an unaccountable assembly with a thuggish temperament, which seeks to browbeat every member of the party especially aspiring candidates into submission.
“Sadly, some accounts of the management of the 2019 election process around a selection of candidates produced some discomforting reports of corrupt practices of members of the Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC.
These are accounts that suggested that the process of candidates’ selection within the party is turned to stockbroking in which the main stock is the party’s nomination to contest any of the elective positions. Interestingly, now all the issues around the current challenges are being reduced to contestation for 2023 almost in a way that suggests maybe the ‘stocks’ for 2023 have already been sold and therefore anyone that is complaining is doing so based on that prism.
It is simply a case of judging the dynamics and other standpoints based on the 2023 mindset that appeared to be informed by expectations of projected ‘stockbroking’ transactions” he said.
While he praised President Muhammadu Buhari for not interfering in the current travails of the party, Lukman, however, suggested that the only way out of the challenges facing Comrade Oshiomhole is to go back to his Ward and reconcile with his people.
“As a layman, it is important to ask the question, assuming in all of these, Comrade Oshiomhole remained as the National Chairman and proceeds to organise primary elections for Edo, Ondo and Anambra, how advantageous will that be to APC? Let us also assume for the purpose of analysis that undisputed candidates emerge from the primaries in which no one within the party is contesting the results.
Whether those undisputed candidates include Governors Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and Mr Rotimi Akeredolu SAN of Ondo State is immaterial. The Zamfara and Bayelsa judicial cloud would appear to have already gathered with any opposition party led by PDP just positioned to harvest what will come with such clouds.
Way out for Oshiomhole
“Given such reality, it will be foolhardy for any upright thinking politician to aspire to contest on the platform of the party with Comrade Oshiomhole as the National Chairman.
The only possible remedy will be if Comrade Oshiomhole is able to humble himself and go back to the root cause of the problem and resolve it. What is the root cause of the problem? It is the suspension by his Ward 10 in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State. Since November 2, 2019, the Ward 10 Executives passed a vote of no confidence on Comrade Oshiomhole and suspended him from the party.
Somehow, Comrade Oshiomhole and his supporters treated this action of the Ward Executives with contempt to the point of projecting Comrade Oshiomhole as superior to the Ward”, he stated.