Erstwhile Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole’s’s bid to displace his predecessor, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, as the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress may have hit the rocks as four states in the South-South and sone states in the North have rejected his ambition.
Oshiomhole’s successor and political godson, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State had arranged a South-South zonal caucus meeting at Edo State Government House in Benin where they were expected to endorse the former governor.
Ex-governor of Rivers State and current Minister of Transportation. Rotimi Amaechi, and Oyegun were absent.
However, four chairmen walked out of the meeting, which they described as “ambush,” by Obaseki and the zonal national vice-chairman, Hilliard Eta, to force them to dump Oyegun.
They stated that it was a wrong ploy to prevent Oyegun from exercising his constitutional right to seek a second term.
APC state chairmen that rejected Oshiomhole are Davies Ikanya, Rivers; Joseph Fafi, Bayelsa; Etim John, Cross River; Amadu Attai, Akwa ibom.
Explaining why they rejected Oshiomhole, Plants said: “We were here for a meeting only to be ambushed by the national vice chairman of the party to adopt a preconceived candidate.
“Yesterday (Sunday), we held a meeting which he attended, only for him to come and manipulate, sort out every suggestion and he is trying to say he has come out with a resolution. First, I want us to know that the zonal executive committee does not have the power to elect, nominate or to adopt candidates for national offices.
“It is the national convention that can do that. Secondly, there are very senior members in the zone that were shut out of this meeting purposely. Number one, the national chairman of the party who is from this zone and the national vice chairman of the party ought to sought the permission of the national chairman of the party even to convene this meeting because the constitution states that the national vice chairman shall assist the national chairman.
“So, in this zone where we have a sitting chairman and he is not invited to a meeting, you have six ministers, you have former governors, you have very senior citizens of this zone and they were shut out of the meeting only for the national vice chairman to ambush everybody, ignore every motion that was moved, even when somebody moved a motion that he should disqualify himself having shown bias from the beginning in this meeting, he still sat there and he is saying to the public that there was a resolution.
“We want you to know that out of the states of the zone, four states are saying that this was an ambush, it was not acceptable, there was no resolution. We have said that every person is free to run in the election. We stand by the resolution of the national executive committee (NEC) that there is waiver. The national chairman can recontest if he wants to recontest, any other person from the zone can recontest if they want to recontest. What has happened in this meeting is a farce, is not binding on anybody, it is null and void. Four states are saying no, whereas just two states – Edo and some parts of Delta are the people that are saying that they have a resolution. This is not how democracy should be practiced. Arising from this meeting today, the majority view is that there is no consensus on any candidate.”
Also speaking, Fafi said: “I want to also align myself with my colleagues from other states that they are not aware of what happened here. It is undemocratic, unexpected and a complete fraud and we dissociate ourselves from what has happened here and we believe that the election should be open to any interested candidate from the South South and the people will decide who to vote for and not the decision of Edo State.”
Meanwhile, Oyegun was on Tuesday endorsement by some APC leaders from North-East, North-West and North-Central.
“A change of leadership is not on the cards. There is no surprise in the air. The dynamic national chairman is sure to win” the leaders said.
They also urged APC National leader and former governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other APC leaders in the South-West to back Oyegun’s candidacy.
In a statement in Dutse by the chairman of APC United Front, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa, the leaders praised Oyegun for unifying the ruling party, fostering collaboration and encouraging engagements that neither diminishes others’ moral worth.
Calling his performance in four years exciting, the leaders said the
APC under Oyegun’s leadership existed as a united political group.
“APC is not a loose coalition of personal and sectional factions”.
They hailed Oyegun for his flexible position on political issues,
reconciliation of feuding political groups and his commitment to a
“The incumbent, Chief Oyegun will be elected for the second time.
Party faithful and their leaders in the north are certain of Oyegun’s
Specifically, they eulogized Oyegun for bringing unparalleled
brilliance and unbridled patriotism to the chairmanship job.
“Oyegun is a stabilizing factor in Nigerian politics. His success in
the convention will be based on his performance, popularity and
honesty. Other aspirants do not pose serious danger to Oyegun. They
have nothing to offer” the leaders said.
They commended South-East and South-South APC leaders for supporting Oyegun.
“We don’t want a southern gang up against the north. We don’t want to
be plunged into darkness. Oyegun, a role model and an icon, is held in
reverence and affection by the vast majority of Nigerians. He believes
in the course that seeks to prime humanity to loftier heights” the