Director General of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Salihu Moh. Lukman, has raised an alarm that the ruling party was collapsing with no leader in charge.
The PGF boss, however, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and ensure urgent National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, to be followed by a national convention.
In statement made available to newsmen Thursday in Abuja, Lukman said “is very clear we need an organ transplant by way of replacing the members of the current NWC who constitute the problem.
“That the All Progressives Congress (APC) is having leadership crisis is no longer news. What is news now is that the party is collapsing with no leader in charge. Following the Appeal Court ruling sustaining the suspension of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the party, late on Monday, June 16, 2020, members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party started making disparate claims as to who is the Acting National Chairman. It is as if the party doesn’t have a constitution or those who operate the constitution are either ignorant of its provisions or have decided to set aside the constitution and just embark on a free for all fight. Yet, APC is the ruling party in Nigeria.
“Is it possible for a ruling party in control of the federal government, with President Muhammadu Buhari who is incontestably the moral leader, not to be able to resolve a matter as important as who preside as the National Chairman of the party? How can a party so blessed with experienced and very skillful leaders such as Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande, Chief Ognonnaya Onu, Chief Tony Momoh, etc. be incapable of resolving the problem of leadership vacancy? With twenty Governors and in control of the National Assembly leadership producing the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, shouldn’t that serve as a source of strength to be able to solve any leadership dispute in the party, no matter how complex?”
The statement titled “Old Ambition-Virus 2023: Why a meeting of NEC is the solution,” Lukman said the situation APC finds itself is very traumatic for every member.
“By extension, the inability of the party to find solution to the leadership crisis makes it also traumatic for all our leaders including those of them who today serve as the face of the crisis – Comrade Oshiomhole, Chief Eta, Chief Gaidom and their accomplices in and out of the NWC. What makes the situation more frustrating is the reticence of President Buhari in the face of what obviously could damage the legacy he will bequeath to the nation. While, we must celebrate the fact that his leadership style is required to ensure that the party is managed independently and therefore made possible for the exercise of supremacy of the party based on decisions of organs, “old ambition-Virus 2023” may have weakened the capacity of the party to benefit from the commendable leadership approach of President Buhari.
“This is a sad return to all the dastardly known political credentials of the predecessor ruling PDP, which APC is expected to have destroyed. Why should this be happening under the watch of all our leaders who inspiringly led us painstakingly to produce APC and defeat the PDP in 2015? With the manner Sen. Ajimobi is being dragged into being one of the disputants, all APC members and patriotic Nigerians must call our APC leaders to order. In particular, President Buhari and all APC leaders who are vested with the responsibility of assisting President Buhari to move this country forward, should focus in directing the affairs of the party towards convening a NEC meeting to commence the process of curing all our leaders of “old ambition-Virus 2023” as diagnosed by Asiwaju Tinubu in March 2020.
By provisions of our party’s constitution, it is only the National Convention that can discharge that function. And it is only the NEC that can convene the National Convention. Any hesitation not to convene NEC and hopefully activate the process of convening the National Convention could suggest that beyond the NWC, the whole party, APC, is infected with the “old ambition-Virus 2023”, all our leaders, President Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu inclusive. The first test is whether NEC will be convened or not.
“Beyond President Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu, our leaders, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Governors, Asiwaju Tinubu, Chief Akande, Chief Onu, Chief Momoh, etc., all of them individually, should demonstrate the needed sensitivity and commitment to resolving this matter. APC must not be allowed to turn into a Frankenstein monster that will destroy our leaders and pollute our democracy. The capacity of our leaders to resolve this crisis is never in doubt. The issue is how speedily? A stitch in time, saves nine!
“Noting that the PDP was largely plunged into crisis by a garrison styled leadership, which is the direct opposite of President Buhari’s approach, our current crisis may suggest wrongly that having a liberal President who provides free atmosphere to the party is responsible for the crisis facing the party. This will be a very wrong conclusion. However, the question is, what further measures could be required from the President in order to ensure the emergence of a good synergy between him (President Buhari) and the party? What may be apparent is that “old ambition-Virus 2023” sickness afflicting other leaders as diagnosed by Asiwaju Tinubu in March 2020 may block support to the President to resolve the crisis.
This is why all leaders who believe they are not infected by the “old ambition-Virus 2023” should step forward to support President Buhari and protect any further distraction and potential damage to his legacy. To such an extent, one would expect that Asiwaju Tinubu being the Chief Physician of “old ambition-Virus 2023”, as well as being that old politically strong ally of President Buhari, whose partnership assisted in producing the APC and ensuring the defeat of PDP in 2015, he will be in the forefront in activating the moral authority of the combined leadership of President Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu to resolve the current APC crisis. The combined moral authority of President Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu should have involuntarily moderated the conduct of other leaders of the party especially members of the NWC.
“Does the current APC leadership crisis therefore suggest declining moral authority of our two leaders? It is very easy to reach conclusions. However, what is of interest to all party members, and by extension other well-meaning Nigerians, is what will be required to re-energise the moral authority of President Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and direct it properly to resolve current and future leadership crisis in the party.”
NBA Closely Monitoring Edo Election, Says Aikpokpo Martins
The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) says it is closely monitoring the activities leading to the governorship election in Edo State.
NBA First Vice President, John Aikpokpo-Martins, disclosed this on Thursday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily in Abuja.
He explained that the body is satisfied with the peaceful manner political actors have conducted themselves so far.
“The NBA does not have the resources to follow up from the beginning to the end. As an association, this particular team was set up to observe from tomorrow till the election will be over; that is to say to the announcement of the result.
“However, we have been watching and observing all that is going on. For now, we are satisfied to the extent that the parties have conducted themselves very well, they have campaigned hard,” he said.
Speaking on the possibility of violence in the polls, the legal practitioner said there have been allegations of “threat to violence but not actual violence yet.”
The NBA leader said the allegations and counter-allegations do not automatically translate to violence on the election day.
Aikpokpo-Martins, who is also an indigene of Edo State, said the state does not have a history of violence in previous elections.
Although he admitted that the political atmosphere is tensed with the “temperature very high,” he is however optimistic of a peaceful conduct of the exercise on September 19.
“The security is very tight now. There are a lot of soldiers, a lot of policemen on the streets. I am very sure that will dissuade merchants of violence from going out to disrupt the election in a violent way,” he said.
His remarks come two days after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki embraced his main rival and contender in the poll, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The duo beaming with smiles warmly hugged each other, an indication that they have decided to toe the line of peace and avoid unnecessary bloodshed in the election.
Obasanjo’s Comment: Not Every Criticism Should Give You Sleepless Nights – Adesina
Mr. Adesina who on Wednesday made the comment in reply to recent criticism by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The former president while delivering a speech titled ‘Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over’ at a consultative dialogue attended by various socio-cultural groups, said Nigeria is falling apart under Buhari.
At the consultative dialogue attended by members of various groups, including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, and Pan Niger Delta Forum, Obasanjo noted that the country is becoming the world capital of poverty.
He said, “I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel as Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in,” Obasanjo said. “Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state; economically our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country.
“And these manifestations are the products of recent mismanagement of diversity and socio-economic development of our country. Old fault lines that were disappearing have opened up in greater fissures and with drums of hatred, disintegration, and separation and accompanying choruses being heard loud and clear almost everywhere.”
Reacting to comments by the former president, Mr Adesina said all criticisms must be thoroughly looked at to ascertain what value they add to discussions around moving the nation forward. He, however, argued that “not every criticism should give one sleepless night”.
According to Adesina, there is no government that Obasanjo has not criticized.
“Obasanjo has criticised every government since the Shehu Shagari government that succeeded him in 1979. The only government he has not criticised is the Olusegun Obasanjo government”.
The media aide added that Obasanjo has a right to air his opinions, he, however, stressed that it is in the Buhari government’s right to take the former president’s reproval or dismiss them as mere claims aimed to detract from a performing administration.
Earlier in the week, the Presidency asked former President Olusegun Obasanjo to help in proffering solutions to the problems plaguing the country instead of being Nigeria’s “divider-in-Chief.”
While reacting to the recent outburst by Obasanjo that Nigeria is becoming a failed state, the Presidency in a statement on Sunday, called on him to quit critiquing the President Muhammadu Buhari government.
“In his most recent statement, former President Olusegun Obasanjo attempts to divide the nation while President Muhammadu Buhari continues to promote nation-building and the unity of Nigeria,” the presidency said.
“The difference is clear. From the lofty heights of Commander-in-Chief, General Obasanjo has descended to the lowly level of Divider-in-Chief (to adapt the coinage of Time).”
Obasanjo, according to the Presidency, should “once again sheath the sword and rest the pretentiousness about the Messiah that has (mis)led him to pronounce often wrongly, as he disastrously did in the 2019 elections, about the life and death of Nigerian governments.”
It restated that Buhari’s comments on West African leaders sticking to their constitutionally allowed terms is for the good of the region.
While accusing Obasanjo of a failed attempt at elongating his tenure when he was in office, the Presidency called on him to stop the “mushrooming of a poisonous atmosphere of ethnic and religious nationalism.”
“Surely, he must have disappointed many of his local and foreign admirers by showering commendations on a few extremist groups who have vowed to shun the invitation to the National Assembly to participate in the process of a constitutional amendment,” the presidency added.
Ondo PDP Accuse APC Of Attacking Party’s Campaign Team
As the political campaign rallies towards the October ten 2020 governorship election commence in Ondo State, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the State has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) of attacking the campaign team of its governorship candidate, Eyitayo Jegede in Oba-Akoko in Akoko South West Local Government Area of the state.
A press statement made available to newsmen in Akure, the state capital by the Head of Media, Research, Eyitayo Jegede Campaign Organisation, Samuel Fasua partly reads:
“No fewer than five persons sustained varying degrees of injuries Today, Wednesday, September 16, 2020, when, quite unexpectedly, the convoy of Ondo State governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu stormed Oba-Akoko in Akoko South-West and started attacking the campaign team of Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, the PDP governorship flagbearer.
“As at now, no fewer than three vehicles in the convoy of Jegede have been badly damaged, while Jegede himself is being held hostage inside the palace of the monarch of Oba-the Oloba, by gun-totting hoodlums suspected to be agents of the governor.
“Curiously, Akeredolu was sighted inside the convoy while the attacks lasted, while police operatives in the location simply vacillated and looked on in the face of the orgies of madness.”
Fasua in the statement laments that the continued attacks of APC thugs on PDP supporters in the state in recent times are threatening the peace of the state.
The statement appeals to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector General of Police to intervene before the situation gets out of hand.
“We earnestly call on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector-General of Police to urgently wade in, to save the lives of members of the public who are being prevented by the powers-that-be in Ondo State from belonging to political parties of their choice.” the statement ended.
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