A press statement from “The Coalition of 2019 APC Aspirants”
— THE NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC), ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE, MUST GO
We, the Coalition of 2019 APC Presidential Aspirants, wish to call on the national chairman of the party, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, to resign. We demand that he resign within 14 days or incur the wrath of a multitude of aggrieved party men and women across the country. The reasons for this call are not far-fetched:
First, Adams Oshiomhole is bereft of the visions required to lead a ruling party. Since assuming the helm of the party, he has not been able to articulate a coherent agenda or clear manifesto for upcoming elections, let alone the future of the party. Instead of being guided by the cardinal principles of the APC, which promote inclusiveness, diversity of opinion, and mass empowerment, the only vision Nigerians have seen from Mr Oshiomhole thus far is cantered on vulgar vanity, sheer ego, and rabid autocracy.
Second, Comrade Oshiomhole has only succeeded in creating a level of acrimonious divisions never witnessed in Nigerian political history. Today, there are warring factions within the party in virtually all 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. Perhaps, political factions are not uncommon after primary elections, but not to this degree. The bastion of APC votes, the great state of Kano, is wallowing in deep crisis. The flagship of APC states, the great state of Lagos, is brewing in crisis. The sole APC state east of the Niger, the great state of Imo, is in a total mess of its own. As if these potentially soluble crises are not enough, there is a cocktail of confusion in many APC states or constituencies which have missed the INEC deadline and will not be able to field candidates. Think of the APC state of Zamfara, for instance!
Third, the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee introduced exorbitant nomination fees, contrary to progressive democratic ethos. This prohibitive scheme not only created public embarrassment for President Buhari, it also scared away the masses, especially the youth and women, who had the burning desire to aspire for political office under APC or contribute to the future of the party.
Fourth, and worse still, many aspirants who still managed to cough out the exorbitant nomination fees were either excluded or arbitrarily disqualified for no just cause. Simply put, the APC primaries were characterized by arbitrary exclusion of qualified aspirants, lack of level playing field, lack of transparency, crass impunity and stark arrogance on the part of the party leadership, which provoked several aspirants and their supporters to seek refuge elsewhere. It would also draw a well-deserved rebuke of Oshiomhole by the Presidency. In the words of Nigeria’s First Lady Dr (Mrs.) Aisha Buhari, “It is disheartening to note that some aspirants used their hard-earned money to purchase nomination forms, got screened, cleared and campaigned vigorously, yet found their names omitted on Election Day…”
Overall, Comrade Oshiomhole no longer enjoys the confidence of majority of APC members. The former union activist has also lost the confidence of the governors elected under our party as well as the National Assembly. Further, it is clear that Mr Oshiomhole has been an embarrassment to the Presidency, as can be gleaned from the recent rebuke of the party leadership by the First Lady. Mrs Buhari lamented that Mr Oshiomhole has brazenly allowed impunity to reign under his watch in the “All Progressives Congress being a party whose cardinal principle is change and headed by a comrade/activist whose main concern is for the common man.”
In short, Oshiomhole, who was brought in to stave off earlier crisis in the party and lead it to victory in 2019, has brought in a conundrum of the crisis by himself. This is not acceptable to hardworking men and women of our great party. Therefore, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole must go. Party leadership is not union activism where success can be assumed by mundane bluster and protests. We need a result-oriented chairman who has the stature, intellectual capacity, and the political sagacity to lead us to victory in 2019 and beyond.
Dr SKC Ogbonnia*
on behalf of 2019 APC presidential aspirants, and the voiceless majority
October 10, 2018