Governors, chairmen back Oshiomhole over quit call


All Progressives Congress (APC) governors on Thursday dissociated themselves from the statement by the APC Governors’Forum Director-General Salihu Lukman asking the National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole to call the meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) or resign.

The governors said: “The director-general is on his own sponsored errand.”

Also, the Forum of State Chairmen of the ruling party advised the governors to sack the director-general over the unauthorised and misleading statement.

According to the chairmen, Oshiomhole has not done any wrong to warrant the call for his resignation.

A source close to the APC Governors’ Forum said the forum will query the DG for sowing a seed of discord and incitement.

The DG said he was not speaking on behalf of the governors. He remained defiant yesterday, reiterating that Oshiomhole is not running the party properly.

Also yesterday the APC National Vice Chairman (Southsouth), Hilliard Eta, dismissed Lukman’s statement, saying the DG was “speaking for himself”.

The Publicity Secretary of APC Caretaker Committee In Ogun State Mr. Tunde Oladunjoye, said Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun was never part of the call for resignation.

Oshiomhole said: “I am sure that our governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, was not part of such demand and could not have been part of it. Apart from the fact that the Progressive Governors Forum has not met to deliberate on such issues, there are laid down rules and procedures for calling the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the party.”

Citing Section 12.3 of the APC Constitution, Oladunjoye added: “The composition of the NEC of the party is very clear, and I am sure no discerning governor or leader of the party will demand the convocation of NEC in the absence of the President and no wise Chairman will make such a move.”

Rejecting the DG’s call, the Forum of State Chairmen of APC said Oshiomhole enjoyed its trust and confidence.

In a statement by its Chairman, Ali Bukar Dalori, and Secretary, Ben Nwoye, the chairmen advised the governors to sack the DG.

They said: “The attention of state chairmen of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been drawn to a statement credited to one Salihu Lukman, who claimed to be the Director-General of the Progressives Governors Forum.

“We have decided to ignore his crass display of ignorance in the past, but as stakeholders in the progressive party, we find his actions and comments very suspicious and one that cannot be said that is coming from anyone close to the APC family.

“The position of the National Chairman of our great party is not a child’s play and we cannot allow it to be demeaned by characters like Salihu Lukman, who as it seems is being used by some disgruntled elements and even the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with a view to causing disaffection in our great party.”

“We successfully overwhelmed our opponents at the polls, re-electing our dear President, Muhammadu Buhari, maintained our dominance in the states and won an overwhelming majority in the National Assembly.

“The Oshiomhole-led NWC did not relent. They went on to ensure that we avoided what happened in the 8th Assembly where leaders opposed to the developmental strides of our dear President, Buhari emerged as leaders of the party.

“The NWC galvanized other leaders of the party to ensure that we produce a national Assembly leadership that will work in tandem with the APC-led Executive in ensuring that we give dividends of democracy which the party promised Nigerians.

“We as chairmen are shocked that Mr Lukman and his co-travellers are not seeing this great feat achieved by the Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC.”

But Lukman insisted yesterday that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC has been running the party illegally.

At a briefing in Abuja, he reaffirmed his call on Oshiomhole to resign, if he would not convene the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.

The PGF DG, who reaffirmed that the call he made to Oshiomhole was personal as a loyal member of the party, also noted that the refusal of the NWC to allow the party to function as its constitution prescribed had been the reason the party had been bogged down by multiple crises.

Lukman said: “The issue here is that every day the NWC, under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, continues to run the affairs of the party, without convening NEC meetings, it is working illegally.

“If you read the (Oshiomhole’s inaugural) speech, he made the commitment that he would run the affairs of the party based on the Constitution. Now, the last time we had an NEC meeting was in August 2018.

“By the Constitution, the NWC,  as an administrative organ, derives its powers from the decisions of superior organs.

“I’m hoping that concerning the judgment about the Bayelsa deputy governorship, appropriate steps will be taken to vacate the judgment. Has that happened? It has not.

“We are living with the danger of Zamfara being reenacted. We can win the election in Bayelsa and then court judgment will come later to say we didn’t have a candidate.

“My point is that the Comrade Adams I know is a field worker. By now Comrade Adams would have been in Bayelsa, holding meetings with aggrieved parties to reconcile them.

“Since he became the National Chairman of the party, I’m not sure he has visited any state to sit down to reconcile aggrieved parties.

“My final word is that, and it is an appeal to Comrade Adams again, he should be fair to President Buhari.

“President Buhari has shown that he’s not interested in interfering with party affairs and he has demonstrated full confidence in the ability of party leaders to manage the party.

“It will amount to creating a distraction to be having problems that the party allows to linger.

“My final appeal will be that all our party leaders need to rise and insist that a National Executive Council meeting needs to be convened.

“A situation where affairs of the party are run almost like a contest of mob has to stop.”

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