There are strong indications last night that the leadership crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) may linger for now, as sources yesterday said the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, alongside some South-South leaders have commenced moves to shop for a replacement for the suspended National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole. Saturday Telegraph learnt that the latest move, according to the sources, is aimed ensuring that the positions remains in the South-South geo-political area.
However, it was gathered last night that there were some internal wranglings among the stakeholders of the APC from South-South on who controls the party in the zone and as well as produce the replacement for Oshiomhole. Oshiomhole is being restrained by an Abuja High Court from parading himself as the APC National Chairman. It was further gathered that the South-South stakeholders has Amaechi, Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio; Minister of State for Power, Mr. Jerry Agba; Minister of State for Niger Delta, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN); the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo- Agege; National Vice Chairman, South-South, Hilliard Eta and others. Amaechi is leading a faction, Omo-Agege also leading another faction, while some other chieftains are standing on their own. According to a source, Amaechi was behind the meeting of the APC South- South stakeholders that was convened by the governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, in Abuja.
The meeting, which held in the Edo State governor’s Lodge on Thursday night, gave a vote of confidence on the Acting National Secretary, Chief Victor Giadom, just as the stakeholders from South South were asked to support him. But one of the stakeholders that went to the meeting said he saw it as Amaechi’s meeting and the need for the stakeholders to support Giadom. According to him, Giadom is Amaechi’s nominee at the National Working Committee and now he is the Acting National Secretary, he is projecting him to become the Acting National Chairman.
In the communique of the meeting attended by Amaechi, Agba, Keyamo, Ndoma- Egba, Mr. Osagie Enhanire and others, the stakeholders said: “That as a party, we commend our brother, the acting chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Victor Giadom for rising to the occasion by providing leadership for the party in this trying times.
“That we fully support the convening of the NEC meeting on Tuesday March 17, 2020 as the NEC is the only recognised organ under the Constitution of our party to resolve this crisis. “That we insist that the party should respect the present zoning arrangement by retaining the Chairmanship of our great party in the South South zone, even in acting capacity. “We also resolved that the most senior party officer from the zone being the Acting National Secretary, Chief Victor Giadom, should be confirmed Acting Chairman for the time being.
“We urge all our brothers and sisters from the zone to fully embrace the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting and not boycott the emergency NEC meeting which has been slated for Tuesday March 17, because, boycott in a democratic environment is always counterproductive.”
The South-South National Vice Chairman, Hilliard Eta and the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege stayed away from the meeting. The duo are supporting Oshiomhole. Eta had earlier a statement on behalf of the South-South APC passing a vote of confidence on Oshiomhole. He also asked Stakeholders from the South South to boycott the meeting held on Thursday, called by the governor of Edo State. However, another source from the zone said that Eta is trying to save his position in the National Working Committee, since the removal of Oshiomhole would also affect him. The Edo State APC is plotting to swap the position of the APC National Chairman with that of National Vice Chairman.
However, the Acting National Secretary has beefed up his security. The Acting Secretary, he used to go with one Toyota Landcruiser, is now using three, with one as back up. In another development, members of the National Working Committee (NWC) loyal to the Acting National Secretary, Chief Victor Giadom, yesterday drafted the Deputy National Organising Secretary, Malam Mohammed Ibrahim, to replace the National Organising Secretary, Mr. Emma Ibediro. Ibediro is one of the NWC members said to be loyal to the suspended National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and objecting to the scheduled Emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) called by Giadom. Ibrahim who briefed reporters at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja claimed that Ibediro continuous stay in office was illegal in view of an Abuja court order delivered by justice Nnamdi Dimgba on the 14th September, 2018.
He presented a copy of the court judgment to justify his claim, stating that he would exercise the role of the national organising secretary of the party since he was duly elected deputy national organising secretary of the party in the national convention of the party held in 2018. He dismissed the media reports that the Emergency National executive committee (NEC) meeting of the party scheduled to hold on Tuesday has been cancelled.
He noted: “I am assuring nigerians that the organisation of the NEC meeting has reached advanced stage. We will proceed with the NEC as planned. I advice those planning to scuttle it to desist from spreading such rumours. “The plan by desperate forces working with various interests outside the system to distract the party is dead on arrival. We are calling on loyal party members to sustain the tempo and brace up to rebrand the party.”