The clock seems to be running down on Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s reign as National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as pressure mounts on him to resign by the electorates over his poor handling of the recently concluded primary elections across the country.
The conducts and process of the primary elections of the party has been complained about continuously as the protesters claim the party leaders were unfair.
A faction of the party loyal to Usani Usani, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, held a protest in Calabar yesterday and called for the resignation of the former Edo State Governor.
The enraged members carried placards with the inscriptions: “Stop Imposition Oshiomhole! Stop Fighting Our Chosen One! Oshiomhole Must Go! No Usani, no APC in Cross River State!”
Mr Sylvester Nsa, a commissioner representing Cross River on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), addressed the protesters saying, “Oshiomhole should resign.
“If he continues, he will destroy this party. The people of Cross River have gone out to protest against impunity, injustice, total and blatant refusal to respect court ruling by the national chairman.”
Nsa accused Oshiomhole of “playing down the integrity of the judiciary,” saying: “Oshiomhole must leave us alone, otherwise, he would come to Cross River and walk alone because the people are angry and have spoken that we want Usani.”
The Etim John faction had produced Usani as governorship candidate while that of Dr Mathew Achigbe, which Oshiomhole recognised had Senator John Owan-Enoh. The faction challenged the legality of its rival in an Abuja High court and got a ruling that its executive and its recognition by the national body were invalid.
Achigbe’s faction and the national body ignored the ruling, saying the Abuja court lacked jurisdiction and that a subsisting case by the Achigbe bloc was pending in a High Court in Cross River.
Also, four APC senatorial aspirants in Delta South kicked against their exclusion from the primary, despite claiming to have met all the requirements. The aspirants, Temisan Omatseye, Michael Johnny, Evans Omatsoguwa and Omatsola Okorodudu, issued a joint statement dismissing the primary as a sham.
The trio said they paid N7 million, being the cost of the expression of interest and nomination forms, filled in the same and were screened by “a team appointed by the NWC and chaired by former Senate President Ken Nnamani.”
Shockingly, “at the venue (of the election), we were informed that a publication had been released by the APC that only one person was cleared to contest and that we, the remaining four contestants, had been technically disqualified by the APC.
“Meanwhile, the only cleared candidate has inundated the social media with claims of being unopposed. A claim that is false, as neither the delegates nor the other four aspirants got together to endorse him in any form.”
In Niger State, winners of the senatorial primary warned that the APC would be kicked out of the state, if the party’s leadership attempts to replace their names with incumbent senators.
Senators David Umaru (Niger East), Aliyu Sabi Abdulahi (Niger North) and Mustapha Sani (Niger South) were defeated in the exercise.
Muhammad Enagi Bima, who spoke on behalf of the aspirants yesterday in Abuja, said the APC should be ready to forfeit Niger State to any opposition party, if it fails to affirm the mandate given to them.
The leader of the factional executive of the party in Lagos State, Mr. Fouad Oki, in an interview said: “APC has just exhibited impunity greater than what it accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of. Oshiomhole is a leopard that can never change his skin. He did not show leadership in his state, Edo.
“The way he handled the Lagos primaries was a shame. He colluded with Bola Tinubu. I am waiting to see how they will translate the 1.9 million voters they claim to have in the state for President Buhari in 2019.”
He also alleged that the national leader, Tinubu, and Oshiomhole were acting a script that might work against Buhari’s interest in the next general elections.
A former national legal adviser of the party, Dr. Muiz Banire, spoke further on the Lagos State primary.
“It was a rude shock that the chairman of the governorship primary, Clement Ebri, affirmed the result of the exercise, less than 12 hours after he had admitted in a live broadcast that no elections were held“, he said.
But reacting to the complaints, APC spokesman, Mr. Yekini
Nabena, noted: “That is why it is a called democracy. You cannot satisfy both sides at the same time. There must always be a winner, like it or not. There would always be complaints, irrespective of who won the primaries. So, the party is going to set up a committee, to talk to all the aggrieved parties, so that we can come together as a family.”
On the allegation that the NWC abused its powers by imposing candidates, Nabena said the outcome of the committee’s report would determine the veracity of the claim, adding that the APC would consider the report dispassionately.
On Sunday, the wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, vented her disappointment on Twitter in a veiled reference to Oshiomhole.
She complained: “APC is a party whose cardinal principle is change and is headed by a comrade/activist whose main concern is for the common man, yet, such impunity could take place under its watch.”
Mrs. Buhari’s objection came after her brother, Mahmood Halilu Ahmed, contested the party’s Adamawa governorship primary and lost, despite her alleged effort to influence the exercise.
Jubrilla Bindow and Ibikun Amosun have since held several meetings with President Buhari and his vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on issues bordering on the APC primaries conduct