Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is battling to retain his position less than five months into his tenure.
According to THISDAY, 15 of the 21 APC governors have collected signatures for his removal and are planning to converge on Abuja on Tuesday to finalise the plot to remove him.
The newspaper said the aggrieved governors, being coordinated by one of them from the south-west, are planning to force a national executive committee (NEC) meeting that would unseat the national chairman.
Oshiomhole emerged chairman of the ruling party at the national convention held in June and has led the APC to victory in two governorship elections – Osun and Ekiti – and polls at national and state assemblies.
However, some governors of the ruling party are not satisfied with his leadership style. His disagreement with the governors reached its height during the primaries of the 2019 elections.
The national working committee (NWC) of the party did not do the bidding of governors but while some had their way in the end, others are still in a last-minute rush to secure the tickets of the party for their preferred candidates.
In the heat of the crisis during the primaries, Abdulaziz Yari, governor of Zamfara state, said Oshiomhole was acting like a mini-god.
Yari said he had told the president that he and some of his colleagues have lost confidence in Oshiomhole.
But Oshiomhole, who is an activist, has vowed not to succumb to intimidation.
Blaming those he referred to as “conservative elements” for spearheading a plot to pass a vote of no confidence on him, Oshiomhole said their main grouse was his insistence on party supremacy and discipline.
He vowed not to surrender the functions of the party, which are constitutionally circumscribed, to any entity but promised to always reach out to “divergent tendencies and mediate the disparate political camps in the interest of party cohesion”.
He spoke in a statement which Simon Ebegbulem, his chief press secretary, issued on his behalf.
“APC under the national chairmanship of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is in safe hands as the party marches, sure-footedly, to victory in the 2019 general election. This is the overarching mission of the national working committee (NWC) of the party under his leadership,” the statement read.
“To be clear, comrade Oshiomhole did not become national chairman of the governing party to bring it down a notch from the pedestal of its 2015 electoral victory let alone to preside over its liquidation.
“Rather, his single-minded goal, from the outset of his declaration of interest in the position, was to deploy his capacity in helping to strengthen and reposition the party as a truly supreme and disciplined political entity.
“Although, it might appear fortuitous to some persons that he became national chairman at the threshold of the 2019 general election; the truth is that there is no accident in predestination.
“From the outset, we never expected that those who cherished and supported the status quo, which Comrade Oshiomhole supplanted, would cave in easily under the magnitude of the current political revival that he spearheads.
“Indeed, while the progressives are enamored of change, the conservatives find it difficult to embrace it. That is the current reality in the deliberate effort to rebrand the APC.”
He said since Oshiomhole took over as chairman, he has not taken decisions unilaterally.
“All decisions, so far taken, passed through the mills of NWC deliberative sessions and enjoyed unanimous resolutions. The records are there. History will justify Comrade Oshiomhole and posterity will vindicate him,” he said.
“Therefore, with eyes firmly fixed on the general election, especially the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in the scheduled February 16 poll, comrade Oshiomhole assures all stakeholders in the APC of his respect for them. He assures them of his readiness to work with them for the good of the party.”
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