‘APC may lose elections in Edo, Ondo if Oshiomhole remains chairman’

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Salihu Lukman, director-general of Progressive Governors Forum, has asked the party’s national executive committee (NEC) to appoint a new national chairman to replace Adams Oshiomhole.

On Wednesday, an Abuja high court ordered the suspension of Oshiomhole as chairman pending the determination of a substantive suit seeking his removal but, on Thursday, another high court in Kano issued an interim order halting his suspension.

In a statement on Friday, Lukman said retaining Oshiomhole as the APC national chairman might cost the party governorship tickets in the forthcoming elections in Edo, Ondo and Anambra states.

“First, pending the settlement of all the cases around Oshiomhole’s membership, we need to invoke provisions of Article 17 (vi) which provide that in the event of a vacancy, ‘the relevant party organ shall appoint another person to act in his place pending ratification by the National Convention or Congress,” he said.

“The relevant party organ, in this case, may have to be the NEC. Combinations of majority of the remaining members of the NWC in consultation with President Buhari, Governors, other party leaders who are leading members of the National Caucus can resolve all these issues and convene the NEC to appoint an Acting National Chairman.

He said the party is in a mess because of the way the Oshiomhole-led NWC members constituted “themselves into an unaccountable assembly with a thuggish temperament, which seeks to browbeat every member of the party especially aspiring candidates into submission”.

“Whether we want to accept it or not, we today found ourselves with the embarrassing situation whereby almost all the structures of the party have been frozen at all levels,” he said.

He said it would be inadvisable if the Oshiomhole-led NWC conducts the Edo, Ondo and Anambra governorship primary elections with all the challenges on the ground.

He added that it would be reckless of any politician to aspire to contest on the platform of the party with Oshiomhole as the national chairman.

He said: “It is important to ask the question, assuming in all of these, Oshiomhole remained as the National Chairman and proceed to organise primary elections for Edo, Ondo, and Anambra, how advantageous will that be to APC?

“Let us also assume for the purpose of analysis that undisputed candidates emerge from the primaries in which no one within the party is contesting the results.

“Whether those undisputed candidates include Governors Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN of Ondo State is immaterial. The Zamfara and Bayelsa judicial cloud would appear to have already gathered with any opposition party led by PDP just positioned to harvest what will come with such clouds.

“Given such reality, it will be foolhardy for any upright thinking politician to aspire to contest on the platform of the party with Oshiomhole as the National Chairman. The only possible remedy will be if Comrade Oshiomhole is able to humble himself and go back to the root cause of the problem and resolve it.”

He asked Oshiomhole to “humble himself and go back to his roots and resolve all the causes of the problem”.

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