Friday, 04 December, 2020

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Edo guber: Fresh crisis looms as ex-NWC member accuse Oshiomhole of electoral infraction


The All Progressives Congress (APC) has now become house of commotion as party  members have accused the national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, of electoral infractions ahead of the Edo State governorship party primaries, warning that the ruling party will loss the state with him still in charge. Former National Auditor, Captain Muhammad Bala Jibrin, accused Oshiomhole of floating party constitution, alleging that he unilaterally submitting direct mode of primaries to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) three days before the National Working Committee (NWC) sat to take decision on it. On his own, the Director-General, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, warned that any electoral process undertaken by the party under the headship of Oshiomhole will deny the party governorship ticket in Edo State and by extention, the South-South geopolitical zone. In a statement Capt Jubrin, a former APC National Working Committee (NWC) member and governorship aspirant in Bauchi State in 2019 issued at the weekend in Abuja, he accused Oshiomhole of electoral fraud and dictatorship in running the affairs of the party. The retired Army Captain further lamented that the ruling party has not only become a shadow of itself but also at a crossroad, urging President Muhammadu Buhari and national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to rescue the party before it finally crumbles under the weight of Oshiomhole’s impunity. “In his bid to continue with illegalities and acts of impunity, which he perpetrated on a large scale during the November 2018 APC primary elections, Oshiomhole, without conscience and sense of fairness and justice, wrote a letter to INEC that the APC had decided to adopt direct primary for the Edo State APC governorship. “He did this three day ahead of the meeting of NWC that was supposed to decide on the matter. Under normal circumstance, this immoral action is enough to remove him from office because it is not just an infraction but a desecration of anything just and fair. The NWC members are also culpable on that. “It is important to note that the APC Constitution did not define or explain the meaning of a direct primary election. Article 20 ii(a) stated that direct primary would be used in the nomination of councillorship election. “Therefore, we can say that the contemplation of the drafters of the APC Constitution is that direct primary means allowing all card-carrying party members to vote in a primary election. However, there are two issues that unless addressed the whole exercise will be subjected to abuse and manipulation, which is the clear intention of Oshiomhole. “First, not every party member can vote or be voted for. Article 9.3 (i) states that: “Only fully registered and financially up-to-date members of the party shall have the right to vote and be voted for into any of the elective positions, subject to the provisions made for such elections pursuant to this Constitution or other Laws or Regulations. Consequently, non-financial members shall not enjoy the above rights.” How do you verify, under this situation, who is a financial member or not? “Given this clear provision, only the NEC can decide on who is a fully registered and financially up-to-date member of the party that is qualified to vote or be voted for, including the mode of the election of candidates during the primary election. “Therefore, it is only proper for the NWC and Oshiomhole to subject themselves to NEC, as the only constitutional body that has the final say on the issue. This means that to ensure checks and balances and roll back the creeping improprieties and his lawlessness, NEC should summon an emergency meeting and thrash out the issues once and for all. “Second, to conduct a direct primary, the most elementary requirement is an authentic register of party members. Article 9.4 (i) states that: “…the party shall update its membership records every six months and remit updated copies to appropriate Secretariats…” “As we speak, the National Secretariat of the APC has no up to date register of members. The last time the register was updated was in 2017, and since then much water has passed under the bridge with the defection of some APC leaders, like Atiku, Kwankwaso, Saraki, Yakubu Dogara, etc. to PDP, and the decamping of some PDP leaders to APC. As the lawyers say, you can’t build something on nothing. “While the absence of up-to-date official register of members is a clear dereliction of duty on the part of the NWC, the insistence on adopting a direct primary without a register of members smacks of sinister motive to cause confusion and violence and manipulate the process to serve the whims and caprices of Adams Oshiomhole. “We saw Pastor Ize-Iyamu, he wants to impose by all means as the governorship candidate of APC in the Edo elections, announcing on live on television program that he has registered as member of APC online. When did the APC develop online platform for membership registration? “Where is the registration portal domicile and who manage it? When has the APC announce such development? Has it been advertised? Has the party extended the online registration of members to Kano, Kwara, Taraba, Cross River, Ogun and other states where we have exodus of members in and out of the party shortly before the 2019 general elections?” the statement read. Acussing Oshiomhole of fuelling crisis within the party, the former National Auditor claimed: “Unless Oshiomhole has an agenda to weaken APC and lowers its esteem before millions of Nigerians, it is inexplicable that he remains at the centre of all the party’s crisis that has engulfed the state chapters of the party since November 2018. From Zamfara to Ogun, from Imo to Rivers, from Bauchi, Adamawa to now Edo, you can see his hands and his self-centred tendencies visibly. “Rather than become a unifying factor, Oshiomhole has become the most divisive party chairman in the history of party politics in Nigeria. Because of the flagrant violation of the party’s Constitution by Adams Oshiomhole, the APC has now become a shadow of its former self. Its 2013-2018 format, in which party members feel at home and have a say in the affairs of the party is no more. The APC is at risk of losing its core if it has not lost it already. Because of Adams Oshiomhole’s ways, the APC is now at the crossroads. “All well-meaning Nigerians will like to see President Buhari complete his term peacefully and leave behind a legacy of robust party politics, real democracy, democratic institution and popular participation of citizens. However, it seems, Oshiomhole will not allow that. He has not learned one lesson and is digging deeper,” he quipped. Appealing for the intervention of the party chieftains to rescue the party, he wrote: “All well-meaning party leaders should reflect on this and take the necessary action before the APC scatters. If the APC is to survive and institutionalize itself, as President Buhari envisioned during the last NEC meeting, party leaders must wake up. We cannot continue to allow an Adams Oshiomhole to taint a worthy legacy of anti-corruption, good governance and infrastructural development put in place by our beloved President Muhammdu Buhari. “I hereby call on President Buhari, the National leader Bola Ahmed Tinubu and all other well-meaning leaders of APC to come out and condemn these acts of impunity by Comrade Oshiomhole and save the party from imminent collapse. A word is enough for the wise,” the statement read. Tagged “Abuse of office and impunity, the retire Army captain insisted at NWC lacks the consituational power to determine the mode of elections in a state, insisting that: “Oshiomhole, is engaged in not only abuse of office but trampling on the APC Constitution simply to perpetuate impunity and injustice just because he holds the office of National Chairman. “Therefore, when we take the constitutional provision, and the decision of NEC together, it is evident that the NWC has no power whatsoever on these matters until they go back to NEC. However, both were flagrantly disregarded and disobeyed by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole,” he insisted in the statement. In his own statement little ‘Beware: Comrade Adams Oshio is no longer a valid member of our great party, APC’, Okechukwu warned that the party is facing the fiasco of Zamfara and Bayelsa states in the prOdessa leading to the Edo poll.
“May I once more crave the indulgence of the leaders and members of our great party to take due caution as Oshiomhole is no longer a valid member of our party.
“This means that we must call him to order, indeed stop him forthwith before the Zamfara or Bayelsa State fiasco. For all his shenanigans of presiding over the affairs of our party, as a suspended member, may in the full glare of the law be adjudged null and void. For it is truism that the Appeal Court has not delivered final judgment over his suspension.
“We must recall that Oshiomhole validated the suspension of Barr Inua Abdulkadir, vice chairman North West, when his ward suspended him. Like Super King, being narcissistic as usual, he glossed over his suspension by his word, forgetting that our great party’s constitution is scant with time, for it allows only seven days for the offender to appeal.
“Oshiomhole didn’t appeal until months after the gravel of the Hon Justice Danlami Senchi of FCT Federal High Court knocked him off. Without prejudice to what maybe the final judgment of Appeal Court of Abuja Division, one hereby appeal that he should step aside to save the fortunes of our great party.
“Can we imagine the likely scenario of a court case challenging the legality of APC’s documents and candidates submitted by a suspended chairman? To me the lost of Edo State will mean that APC has no foothold in the whole South South geopolitical zone. Just as the lost of Ondo State will mean dangerous penetration of PDP into our progressive base,” Okechukwu warned in the statement.

Credit: The Sun

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