The All Progressives Congress on Saturday said there were links between major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party and the US indicted fraudster, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, also known as ‘Hushpuppi’ and added that those links should be investigated.
In a statement signed by the APC’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, the APC alleged that there have been reports of “criminal conspiracy linking” top members of the PDP to the disgraced Instagram aficionado.
According to the APC statement, “the PDP leadership turned Dubai into their “Strategic” meeting place ahead of the 2019 general elections in Nigeria, and ‘Hushpuppi’s’ affinity with the PDP leadership is not mere coincidence.
“At different times, “Hushpuppi” was photographed in Dubai meeting with the PDP’s 2019 presidential candidate, Alh. Atiku Abubakar; former Senate President, Bukola Saraki; former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Senator Dino Melaye among other PDP stalwarts.”
The APC called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the matter.
“We note that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has already declared the arraigned Instagram celebrity wanted over fraud allegations,” the APC said. “However, the EFCC, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and other sister agencies must investigate money laundering reports linking some PDP leaders and financiers to the Dubai-based international criminal ring.”
The APC also challenged the PDP to open up on the nature of their relationship with ‘Hushpuppi’.
“In the leadup to the Edo and Ondo governorship elections, we renew our call against monetised elections and vote buying schemes which the PDP has serially deployed in elections,” the statement said. “We call on relevant authorities to up their guard to prevent these practices that threaten the sanctity of our elections. The people’s will and votes should determine elections, not illicit money used to buy votes.”
Hushpuppi, a Dubai resident was arrested last month by UAE security agencies for allegedly conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from business email compromise (BEC) frauds and other scams, including schemes targeting a U.S. law firm, a foreign bank and an English Premier League club.
Hushpuppi was then extradited to the United States and taken into custody by FBI special agents earlier this week.
If convicted of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, Abbas would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it has uncovered plots by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to use the trio of Governors Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Hope Uzodinma of Imo state and Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to derail the September 19 Edo State governorship election.
The PDP in a communique signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said it is already aware that the trio was selected by the APC to lead its campaign so as to force a “combined formula of Kano and Kogi electoral violence as well as Imo state mandate robbery” to subvert the will of the people of Edo State in the governorship election.
The PDP said it is pathetic that the APC only has a person who has become a “butt of international shame after being seen in a viral video stuffing his robe with gratification, in foreign currency,” to serve as Chairman of its Edo state governorship campaign council.
The statement further reads that “It is equally contemptuous that such a person is being deputized by another individual, who has become a metaphor of electoral manipulation, after being so docketed by a judgment of the Supreme Court.
“It is also disgusting that a governor who deployed a Police helicopter to scare voters on election day has been mandated to deploy thugs and dangerous weapons through the northern borderlines of Edo State ahead of the election.
“Part of APC’s plot is to import election mercenaries as observers to attempt to scare the people of Edo state, suppress them and steal their mandate.
“It is however not surprising that such is the drift of the APC campaign, given that it has neither messages nor plans for the people of Edo state, especially, with a candidate like Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who has also been declared by his former APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, as a person of questionable character, a fake pastor, treasury looter, rusticated student who is only fit for “night meetings” and should never be entrusted with the office of the governor of Edo state.
“Whereas our candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki, enjoys the overwhelming support of the Edo people due to his enthusing track record of personal character and performance in office for which even APC leaders have praises for him, the APC candidate has nothing to present to the people.
“With its defective nomination process, an ailing campaign council and a dented governorship candidate, it is clear that the APC is not preparing for issue-based and people-oriented campaign, but for process manipulation and ballot robbery.
“Our party, in the strongest terms, cautions the APC to note that the “Gandollar,” “Supreme Court Governor” and “helicopter shooting” formulas cannot work in this election as the people of Edo state have never been intimidated, suppressed, subjugated or overpowered by external political influences”.
The PDP asked the APC to note that the people of Edo state will spare nothing within the law in firmly resisting any attempt by anybody to import violence or try to manipulate the Edo election in any way.
“With the people of Edo State on the side of Governor Obaseki and the PDP, the coast is already clear and any attempt by anybody to subvert the will of the people will surely be met very stiff resistance,” Mr. Ologbondiyan stressed on behalf of the PDP.
Members of the Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have met behind closed-door with National Leader of the party, Bola Tinubu.
The meeting held on Thursday at the residence of the former Lagos State governor in the Ikoyi area of the state.
Yobe State Governor and APC Caretaker Committee Chairman, Mai Mala Buni, as well as his Kebbi State counterpart and Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, Atiku Bagudu, led other members to the meeting.
Others in attendance were the Secretary of APC Caretaker Committee, Senator Akpan Udo-Edehe, as well as the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Addressing reporters at the end of the meeting, Tinubu said the meeting was a consultation to move the party forward following the recent disagreements among some aggrieved members.
He, however, denied any report of differences or rancour, although he said there was no way there would not be dissent in a political association.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the increase in the price of petrol from N123 to N143.80 per litre.
In a statement on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party described the increase as a punishment to Nigerians given the prevailing economic hardship in the country.
“The party described the hike, despite the decline in the price of crude oil in the international market, as grossly unjustifiable and further exposes the insincerity of the APC and its administration,” the party said.
It added, “The PDP notes that in directing a fuel price increase at the time Nigerians are facing the economic and social trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration shows a total lack of human feelings to the plights of our citizens.
“Our party challenges the APC-led Federal Government to present to Nigerians, the indices and parameters it used to determine the price increase, which obviously cannot be in tandem with the prevalent situation in the global industry.”
The party claimed that the actions of the APC administration have confirmed that it has never been pro-poor but only relished in imposing hardship and heavy taxes on already impoverished Nigerians.
It also accused the administration of running an over-bloated government through which resources meant for the welfare of Nigerians were frittered by corrupt officials.
“Under the APC, Nigerians have been subjected to untold hardship, which is worsened by excruciating taxes, including a 7.5 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on essential commodities and services, increased electricity tariff, obnoxious Stamp Duty and other levies on bank transactions.
“It is shocking that the APC government has continued to impose more burdens that have made life unbearable to our citizens, many of whom have lost their means of livelihood due to the misrule of the APC,” the statement said.
According to the PDP, the present administration has turned Nigeria into the poverty capital of the world and is worsening the situation with an increase in fuel price rather than seeking ways to stimulate the economy.
It, therefore, advised the Presidency to save resources by immediately cutting the size of its government and recover the purported over N14 trillion stolen oil money.
The PDP also asked the government to immediately reverse the pump price of fuel to a price not exceeding N90 per litre, given the templates in the price of crude oil in the international market.
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) presided over by Justice Danlami Senchi has dismissed a suit filed against the immediate past National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, and three others.
Justice Senchi dismissed the suit on Thursday at the request of the applicants during the resumption of the case.
The suit which was instituted by Mustapha Salihu and five others had on March 4 led to the suspension of Oshiomhole from further acting as the national chairman of the ruling party.
Three months later, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja in its judgment delivered on June 16 also upheld the suspension of the former APC national chairman.
Although parties were to return to the High Court of the FCT for determination of the substantive suit, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Oluwole Afolabi, moved a motion to withdraw the case.
Afolabi told the court that the withdrawal of the suit was sequel to the directive by leaders of the APC that all court cases be discontinued in the interest of peace.
However, counsel to Oshiomhole, Ginika Ezeoke, did not oppose the withdrawal of the suit.
In his short ruling, Justice Senchi dismissed the suit and ordered parties to bear their respective costs.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has won all 16 chairmanship and 168 councillorship positions in Taraba State.
The election which held on June 30 was earlier slated for February 10 but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
17 political parties indicated interest to contest for the chairmanship and councillorship polls in the state, but the All Progressives Congress (APC) withdrew its interest citing lack of proper preparation to field its candidates.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission, Dr Philip Duwe while briefing journalists in Jalingo, the state capital.
Duwe noted that only three (AA, APGA and PDP) out of the 17 political parties indicated interest to contest for chairmanship positions in the state, while the remaining political parties also fielded candidates for the councillorship positions.
Reacting to allegations on why the APC withdrew its interest, Duwe said that any party is at liberty to do same with reasons best known to them, insisting that no party was maligned.
Giving details of the scores by parties in the chairmanship polls, the state electoral boss explained that all councillorship results were declared at the council wards level and would be brought forth to him for further declaration.
According to him, immediate issuance of Certificates of Return to democratically elected candidates has commenced without delay.
A breakdown of the results from one local government to the other shows that the PDP won by 80.7% in Ardo-Kola LG, 97.7% in Zing LG, 98.5% in Takum, 70 % in Wukari, 97% in Karim Lamido, 99% in Ussa, 95.2 per cent in Ibbi, and 99% in Gassol.
Others include Yorro LGA, 98%, with Jalingo LGA where an opposition party APGA contested and polled 2.6%, while the PDP scored 94%.
Meanwhile, in Lau LGA, the PDP won by 98.9%, in Sardauna LGA 97%, Kurmi LGA, 97.2%, Bali LGA 94.8, Donga LGA, 89.7%.
Gashaka LGA is the only council where the PDP won by 100%.
Speaking further, the electoral boss lamented that their budget for planning before, during and after the council polls was affected by COVID-19 in the state.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has dismissed the suit filed a former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, challenging his suspension from the party.
A three-man panel of judges presided over by Justice Uchechukwu Onyemenam unanimously dismissed the appeal on Tuesday at the request of the former APC national chairman.
Oshiomhole had approached the court seeking to challenge his suspension from the party by officials of his ward in Edo State.
Justice Danlami Senchi of an Abuja High Court had given effect to the suspension of Oshiomhole from his ward on the ground that the executives of Ward 10 in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State acted in line with the constitution of the party.
At the resumed hearing of the suit, the counsel representing the former chairman informed the court of his client’s decision to withdraw the suit which originally sought a stay of execution on the judgment of the court affirming his suspension.
Other members of the three-man panel are Justice Mohammed Mustapha and Justice Muazu Lamido.
This comes after President Muhammadu Buhari appealed to all aggrieved members of the APC to withdraw all pending litigations in the interest of peace.
The National Executive Council (NEC) of the party had also dissolved the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC.
In his reaction, Oshiomhole accepted the decision of the council and pledged his loyalty to the ruling party and the President.
The former acting National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Victor Giadom, has officially handed over to the chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni.
The handing over ceremony held on Monday at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
In his remarks, Giadom assured members of the committee of his readiness to support and work with the team towards the realisation of the party’s goals.
He also commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the National Executive Committee (APC) for rescuing the party.
On his part, Governor Buni appealed to aggrieved APC members with pending lawsuits to withdraw them.
He said, “I urge all party members to heed the appeal by our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), on his call to all aggrieved members who have instituted various cases in courts to please withdraw such cases in the interest of our great party.”
According to the Yobe State Governor, the happenings within the APC in the last few months are not totally strange in a big political party.
He added that internal disagreements were common in all political parties and the APC was not an exception.
Governor Buni, who also inaugurated the 13-member committee, said, “It is time for this committee, therefore, to commence the process of true reconciliation among leaders and members of the party at all levels.
“It is our belief that the decision by NEC to constitute this committee will mark the beginning of a new chapter in our great party.”
Read the governor’s full speech at the event below:
ADDRESS DELIVERED BY HON. MAI MALA BUNL, EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR YOBE STATE, CHAIRMAN CARETAKER/EXTRAORDINARY NATIONAL CONVENTION COMMITTEE OF THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS ON THE OCCASION OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE COMMITTEE
Hon. Members of the Committee, Stakeholders here present,
Staff of the Secretariat,
Representatives of the Civil societies, Invited guests,
Gentlemen of the press, ladies and gentlemen,
I am delighted to address you today on this very historic occasion in the life of our great party. It was six years ago when the All progressives Congress came on board.
What separates us from other political parties and endeared us to Nigerians, are the sincerity of purpose, our principles of interna\democracy, and the unblemished integrity of the founders of our party.
Nigerians have trusted and still have the trust in us that the Party will create a country of our dream with a prosperous future.
As the party trusted by Nigerians and voted massively for two times in a row, we must shun away from any attempt to distract us from delivering the dividend of democracy to Nigerians.
What happened to us as a Party in the last few months is not totally strange in a big political party such as the All Progressives Congress (APC), internal disagreements are common in all Political Parties, so ours is not an exception.
It is time for this committee, therefore, to commence the process of true reconciliation among leaders and members of the Party at all levels.
It is our belief that the decision by NEC to constitute this committee will mark the beginning of a new chapter in our great Party.
To achieve this, I urge all Party members to heed to the appeal by our Leader, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on his call to all aggrieved members who have instituted various cases in the courts to please withdraw such cases in the interest of our great-Party.
Change is inevitable and disagreement on issues and concepts are an integral part of the human and institutional relationship.
As a political Party built on strong ideology and, parading men and women of enduring principle and integrity, we must prepare for real and anticipated changes and their consequences. The outcomes of changes that evolve in our party politics must be decided by us.
As the interim managers and leaders of our Party, our priority would be the recognition of the need to act appropriately and acceptably in the overall interest of the party. Our actions in the next few months would be proactive and responsive.
From now onward, we will concentrate on medium and long term development of our strategies and internal organisation to support our public standing as well as our chances of electoral successes in all future elections.
This is the time for us to focus with determination to create adaptive institutional capacity to weather the current divisions in our party.
I call on leaders and members of our great Party to put the past behind us and strengthen ourselves for all current and future challenges.
We will not be here today repositioning our party if not for the timely intervention of our indefatigable leader, the President, and members of the NEC.
We are totally grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR and the NEC members for this wisdom that brought the impasses to an end.
Our thanks and appreciation also goes to all stakeholders who stood by the Party in its time of turbulence and the great patriotic leaders especially the former NWC members who showed maturity and belief in the party unity by accepting the NEC resolution in good faith.
Our special appreciation also goes to our teeming supporters nationwide who stood firm and prayerful during the period of crisis.
We equally solicit for your support and prayers for the successful execution of this assignment.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker Committee and Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee chaired by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State are meeting behind closed doors at the APC Secretariat.
The Presidency has taken a swipe at those criticising President Muhammadu Buhari for holding a political meeting in the chamber of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the State House in Abuja.
In a statement on Sunday, Mr Garba Shehu insisted that the meeting of the National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) did not take place at the chamber.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media Publicity stressed that although the meeting was virtual, President Buhari has the right to convene a meeting in any part of the Presidential Villa.
He said, “It is necessary that we put records in their correct perspective concerning the recent meeting held by the National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, which has, unfortunately, drawn criticism due to lack of understanding.
“The stubborn opinion held by the critics of the administration is that President Muhammadu Buhari had called a political meeting in the “hallowed” chamber of the Federal Executive Council, as if there is a law that says the President is barred from holding meetings in certain sections of the vast Presidential Villa.”
“Since the President lives in the Villa, no one can, legally speaking, choose or dictate to him where he can sit to hold meetings. So, what is wrong in the President presenting himself before a camera and a TV screen in a digital conference at a given location within the Villa?
“Just for the sake of the argument, this meeting, we say emphatically, was not convened at the Council Chamber. It was virtual, not a physical meeting,” Shehu stated.
He explained that the meeting held virtually to observe social distancing in view of health concerns, noting that the conference hall of the party was small to accommodate all the participants.
According to Shehu, President Buhari is billed to address the meeting from one of his offices and he chose the Council Chamber where the digital facilities are located.
He added that most of the NEC members, state party leaders, and members of the National Assembly were all linked through video conference calls.
The President’s aide, however, said, “Yes, it is true that governors and leaders of the National Assembly joined the President from the chamber from where he spoke; but the larger body of the members in attendance were all connected via video calls.
“Do not forget that these are not the normal times in view of the COVID-19 circumstances in which we have found ourselves. President Buhari placed health and safety above courtesy to the party by not going to its headquarters.”
Shehu insisted that the President made a wise decision because he wanted to curtail the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The APC NEC meeting had sparked criticism from various individuals and groups, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a statement on Friday, the opposition party accused President Buhari of violating his oath of office by using the FEC Chambers and government resources to conduct the affairs of his party.
It described the meeting as “shameful” and “a further manifestation of the level of impunity” by the present administration.
The Presidency on Saturday said there was no rift between President Muhammadu Buhari and a founding father of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu.
According to a statement signed by Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu, the two are “in touch with one another” and “their relationship remains as strong as ever.”
The Presidency comment comes after President Buhari dissolved the party’s National Working Committee amid a party crisis in Edo state which led to the exit of Governor Godwin Obaseki.
“The very essence of the requests put to the Emergency National Executive Committee meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by President Muhammadu Buhari, which were unanimously approved aim to pull back the party, faced with an existential crisis from the brink of collapse, follow the constitution and take everyone along,” Shehu said.
“While this action has been widely accepted with great relief by lovers of democracy and the rank and file of the membership, we are concerned that political vulturism masquerading as ‘smart analysis’ is selling the commentary that this is a Buhari-Tinubu ‘showdown.’ Nothing can be farther from the truth.”
Shehu’s statment continued: “To put the records straight: In the formation of this great party and giving it leadership, President Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who are reckoned as the founding fathers of the APC are both inspired by democratic norms, national interest and not at all by partisan motivations. These are the qualities that have made them move past cynical distractions.
“They are in touch with one another. Their relationship remains as strong as ever and between the two of them, only they know how they manage their enviable relationship.
“Try as hard as they could, the opposition parties have used all their intellectuals and their supporters in the media to break this relationship and have failed. And they won’t.
“For President Buhari who has received much of the cynical commentary, Nigerians know him as someone who will not do anything with bad intentions. Neither will he do anything out of partisan motivations or for himself.
“This whole exercise, that should lead to massive reform and overhaul of the leadership of the party, as he said in that brilliant speech, was ”to save the APC from the imminent self-destruction. We have to move ahead. We have to take everyone with us and ensure that the party is run in accordance with democratic norms and with consensus. We have to work for the benefit of the country.”
“The leaders of the party, who have received two successive massive mandates to govern the country and a majority of the states should be judged by how this exercise turns out in achieving these objectives, not cursed at the mere commencement of the process.”
According to him, rather than politicking, he has been spending his time trying to think of helpful ideas and policies to help in solving the myriad of problems in the country.
“During this period, I have not busied myself with politicking regarding 2023. I find that a bit distasteful and somewhat uncaring particularly when so many of our people have been unbalanced by the twin public health and economic crises we face. I have devoted these last few months to thinking of 8 policies that may help the nation in the here and now. What I may or may not do 3 years hence seems too remote given present exigencies,” the statement read in part.
Read the full statement below.
THE FULL STATEMENT: BECOMING THE PARTY WE WERE INTENDED TO BE
I wish to begin my remarks by commending members of the National Working Committee. Under their collective stewardship, the party earned great and important victories, not least the vital second mandate handed to President Buhari. President Buhari’s victory, and the overall electoral success of APC speak highly of them. Our task as a party is to build upon the progress thus made so that both nation and party may advance to their better future.
Yet, we must acknowledge that something important has gone off track. For some months we have experienced growing disagreement within the leadership of the party. This unfortunate competition had grown so intense as to impair the performance of the NWC, thus undermining the internal cohesion and discipline vital to success.
Some people have gone so far as to predict the total disintegration of our party. Most such dire predictions were from critics whose forecasts said more about their ill will than they revealed about our party’s objective condition. Predictions of the APC’s imminent demise are premature and mostly mean-spirited. However, an honest person must admit the party had entered a space where it had no good reason to be.
The trouble is not that we would forfeit our collective existence but whether we were in danger of losing our collective purpose. In some ways, this possibility is of greater concern. A political party that has lost sight of the reason for its existence becomes but the vehicle of blind and clashing ambitions. This is not what drove the APC’s creation.
Those who believe Nigeria can be forged into a better nation and deserves good governance must harken back to the establishment of our party. Those who were there and contributed the most to the party’s genesis embraced a common vision. Not only did we believe the venal, purblind PDP was leading the nation into a pit, we sincerely held a common vision of progressive good governance. This was the overriding reason for the APC.
Those most intimately involved in founding the party remain faithful to this benign, timely assignment. Sadly, many members have lost their balance. Their personal ambition apparently came to greatly outweigh the obvious national imperatives.
Even in the best of times, Nigeria is beset by myriad challenges. Poverty and economic inequality, insecurity, lack of infrastructure are longstanding obstacles that have blocked our access to national greatness for too long.
Through no fault of our own, we now live in a moment of heightened difficulty. We did not ask for COVID-19 but it has found us. We must deal with it and navigate its rude economic consequences. At the same time we must grapple with the violent insecurity caused by increasingly desperate terrorists and criminals. People need concrete help from us. We must focus on building roads and creating jobs. For the average man, watching politicians wrestle for position is a poor substitute to seeing politicians working for the benefit of all.
Yet, such intramural fighting has come to occupy the attention of many high ranking party officials and members.
The National Working Committee, itself, became riven by unnecessary conflict. Those who disagreed with one another stopped trying to find common ground. Attempts were made to use the power of executive authority to bury each other. I must be blunt here. This is the behaviour of a fight club not the culture of a progressive political party.
Some members went against their chairman in a bid to forcefully oust him. In hindsight, his fence-mending attempts were perhaps too little too late. I believed and continue to believe that Comrade Oshiomhole tried his best. Mistakes were made and he must own them. Yet, we must remember also that he was an able and enthusiastic campaigner during the 2019 election. He is a man of considerable ability as are the rest of you who constituted the NWC.
It had been my hope that the disagreements could be resolved. After all, a political solution should not be beyond the ken of leaders of a major political party. But such resolution has failed to materialise. It was as if some unseen but strong force continued to stoke the embers. Instead of calling a prudent ceasefire, too many people sought more destructive weapons against one another.
Order, party discipline and mutual respect went out of the window. Members instituted all manner of court cases, most of them destructive, some of them frivolous, none of them necessary. In the process, a dense fog fell upon our party.
When this matter first came to a boil a few months ago, I issued a statement against this litigious tendency. President Buhari and former interim chairman Akande published strong words against this misuse of the courts as being contrary to the spirit of the party and the letter of its constitution. Each of us knew nothing good would come of such conduct. Instead of listening to this counsel, party members increased their trips to the courts. While busy providing ample livelihood for a gaggle of lawyers, these actions cast the good of the party to the wind.
After the fusillade of lawsuits and countersuits, two NWC members laid competing claims to the chairmanship. One legitimately elected at our national convention; the latter whose claim was based on the questionable suspension of the former.
With lawsuits so numerous one needed a spreadsheet to keep track, President Buhari has reasonably decided that he has seen enough.
I do not lament his intervention or its outcome. I lament that the situation degenerated to the point where he felt compelled to intervene.
President Buhari is much more than a mere beneficiary of the party. He is one of its founding fathers. The APC does not exist in its current form without his singular contributions. That is not opinion; it is an undisputed fact.
Given these antecedents, he cares about the condition of the party as any parent would care for its offspring. President Buhari has done what any parent in his position and with his authority would do. The more troubling consideration is that so many trusted people acted in such a way as to force the president to put aside the issues of statecraft in order to address these problems.
The President has spoken and his decision has been accepted. It is now beholden on all of us, as members of the APC, to recommit ourselves to the ideals and principles on which our party was founded. While we recognize that people have personal ambitions, those ambitions are secondary, not sacrosanct. Members must subordinate their ambitions to health and well-being of the party. Never should our party be defined by one person’s interests or even the amalgam of all members’ individual interests. A successful party must be greater than the sum of its parts.
In this vein, I appeal to all former members of the National Working Committee and all members of our party to sheathe their swords and look to the larger picture.
We have governorship elections around the corner in Edo and a primary and elections in Ondo. On these important events we must concentrate our immediate energies. In the longer run, we must restore the collegial nature to the party so that it should be in the practice of coming to support the President instead of him having to rescue the party from itself.
In Edo, we must rally round our candidate Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu. In this, Comrade Oshiomhole has a crucial role to play. I congratulate him for his equanimity and loyalty to the party and our President in accepting the dissolution of the NWC. I encourage him, now, to return to Edo State to energise the campaign for the election of Pastor Ize-Iyamu.
In Ondo, we must set the procedures for primaries and conduct that exercise in a fair, transparent manner that shows the Nigerian people the party has left turmoil behind.
In addition to the daily operation of the party, the Caretaker Committee has the mandate to prepare for a mini national convention within six months. We must give the committee the support needed to fulfil this assignment in an impartial manner.
As I understand it, no one has been precluded from seeking any party office to which he is otherwise eligible. Former NWC members are free to seek re-election to the NWC. Provided they have the support of party members, they will have an opportunity to return to serve the party in a leadership capacity. This reflects our overriding desire to restore and maintain internal democracy not subvert it.
To those who have been actively bleating how the President’s actions and the NEC meeting have ended my purported 2023 ambitions, I seek your pity. I am but a mere mortal who does not enjoy the length of foresight or political wisdom you profess to have. Already, you have assigned colourful epitaphs to the 2023 death of an alleged political ambition that is not yet even born.
At this extenuating moment with COVID-19 and its economic fallout hounding us, I cannot see as far into the distance as you. I have made no decision regarding 2023 for the concerns of this hour are momentous enough.
During this period, I have not busied myself with politicking regarding 2023. I find that a bit distasteful and somewhat uncaring particularly when so many of our people have been unbalanced by the twin public health and economic crises we face. I have devoted these last few months to thinking of policies that may help the nation in the here and now. What I may or may not do 3 years hence seems too remote given present exigencies.
Those who seek to cast themselves as political Nostradamus’ are free to so engage their energies. I trust the discerning public will give the views of such eager seers the scant weight such divinations warrant.
Personally, I find greater merit trying to help in the present by offering policy ideas, both privately and publicly, where I think they might help. I will continue in this same mode for the immediate future. 2023 will answer its own questions in due time.
I have toiled for this party as much as any other person and perhaps more than most. Despite this investment or perhaps due to it, I have no problem with making personal sacrifices (and none of us should have such a problem) as long as the party remains true to its progressive, democratic creed. Politics is but a vehicle to arrive at governance. Good politics promotes good governance. Yet, politics is also an uncertain venture. No one gets all they want all the time. In even a tightly-woven family, differences and competing interests must be balanced and accommodated.
My fellow party members who now feel aggrieved by the NEC meeting I urge you to accept the sacrifice you have been asked to make so that the air can be cleared, the party can assume its proper role of helping this government lead the nation toward enlightened improvement, and the party itself can grow and firmly establish itself as the best, most democratic party in the land.