IT emerged in Abuja on Saturday that a number of chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and defectors to the party from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have been gripped by fear over the ongoing ordeal of the national chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Sources close to the party said that a number of party stalwarts, who were lured into the party in recent months, especially those with existing issues with anti-graft agencies were gripped by fear on hearing about the ordeal of the national chairman in the hands of the Department of State Services (DSS).
It was gathered that though many of the chieftains had been assured that their investigations would be muted, the fact that the serving chairman of the party could be quizzed is a signal that the agreement may not hold water after all.
A number of senators and members of the House of Representatives had planned to defect from the APC because of their continued investigation by the anti-graft agencies but were prevailed to stay back were said to have also been gripped by fear of a resurgence of their travails in view of the chairman’s ordeal.
The same is said to be true of those who defected to the APC to seek cover from the “harassment “of the anti-graft agencies.
“If you will observe, the party had to embark on a number of shuttle diplomacies in the heat of the defections in the National Assembly and the assurances given to calm down the tempers and reduce the number of defectors are. Wing threatened with the emerging grilling of Oshiomhole, “ a party chief said.
Also on Saturday, it was learnt that the national chairman of APC might escape being prosecuted as a result of the grilling by the DSS over allegations of money exchanging hands during the party’s primaries.
A source close to the party said anyone who claimed to have given money would have to come out and make the claim openly, knowing that it was a crime to give bribe.
“It is difficult to see anyone coming out to claim that he gave bribe because it is a crime to give bribe. That is the difficult aspect of the allegations making the rounds,” a source said.
The source further said that the issue of political party funds are internal affairs of the party and that the security agencies could not be seen to be dabbling into internal affairs if the parties.
“Except there are other issues against the chairman, there is no issue anyone can make on the allegations of money exchanging hands as a result of primaries. For anyone to claim that he gave money to a party leader, he has to come openly to confirm why he did so and why he or she wanted undue advantages over others,” the source further said.
Sources also said that the party would not remove Oshiomhole on the strength of the allegations doing the rounds because it is getting late in the day to do so.
“We are just about 100 days to the general election. The thinking in some circles is that APC cannot start changing a chairman just about 90 days to the election. That would create the impression of a party in disarray,” another source said.
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