The Director General of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Salihu Lukeman, has in a memo addressed to the Chief Bisi Akande-led All Progressives Congress National Reconciliation Committee fingered the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, as the source of the party’s woes.
According to the document sent to reporters in Abuja on Sunday, the PGFDG noted that when the APC came on board, it successfully minimised the problem of imposition of candidates, at least for the 2015 elections.
He noted that it was sad that soon afterwards, old habits began to rear their heads.
Lukeman said, “Inability to resolve problems associated with management of 2015 elections had been compounded with more problems from 2019 elections. In fact, multiplicity of these problems has made us to lose elections in Adamawa, Bauchi, Oyo, Sokoto and Zamfara.
“Perceived weaknesses of the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led NWC served as the justification of electing Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as replacement to Chief Oyegun. Sadly, challenges of internal democracy and fair competitive practices during candidates’ selection processes in the party remained a dream.
“Now, clearly the problem associated with candidates’ selection process has produced what can be regarded as an electoral college. Citizens can vote but our Supreme Court will eventually determine the winner. All as a result of very poor management of candidates’ selection process by our party.
“Unfortunately, our party’s NWC is hardly able to come up with any reassuring response. The crisis in the party is clearly getting worse and worse by the day. It has got to a stage whereby the competence of members of the Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC to provide needed leadership to ensure victory in every election has been eroded.
“We can win election and on account of some inabilities to competently manage legal challenges associated with nomination of candidates, we are compelled to surrender victory to our opponents.
“This is the narrative of the Supreme Court judgment of February 13, 2020 in respect of November 16, 2019 Bayelsa elections. It was also the case with the May 24, 2019, Supreme Court nullification of the election of all APC candidates in the 2019 elections in Zamfara State.
“In other words, our NWC can be described as a very efficient Trojan horse that opens the backdoor for electoral victory to our political opponents. It is really unfortunate that we are faced with all the avoidable electoral tragedies that befell us, all because our NWC has decided to abdicate its responsibility.
“Part of the problem now is that he is surrounded by sycophants mainly from Edo State. Any attempt to help him through objective advice is condemned as betrayal especially when such help comes from people who were close to him.
“Many of those who claimed now to be his supporters and loyalists are people who only relate with him based on his position of power and capacity therefore to influence access to political positions. His success as a leader who is able to direct the party towards electoral victory is never their consideration except if they are the candidates.
“One cannot blame this sycophantic crowd around our national chairman. But I will definitely express my disbelief at the way Comrade Oshiomhole has become all of a sudden, a leader who is intolerant to criticisms.
“His level of intolerance is so high that any disagreement or criticism expressed against any of his decisions or actions is classified as betrayal and therefore requiring disciplinary actions. The procedure for disciplinary actions has become so cheapened that all the relevant provisions in the party’s constitution are violated.
“As a result, Comrade Oshiomhole is today the leading accuser, prosecutor and judge in almost all cases where disciplinary actions have been administered in the party.”
He suggested a reversal of disciplinary measures taken by the Oshiomhole-led NWC as a first step to douse tension within the party.
Lukman also suggested that a meeting of relevant organs of the party be convened to fashion out clear measures on how best to deal with issues. This, he said, would go a long way to assist the Akande peace panel to succeed.
Attempts to get an official response from the APC leaders were unsuccessful as of the time of filing this report at 8:30pm.
However, a top-ranking member of the party who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said, “I do not think this is something requiring any official response.
“It is a memo if I am not mistaken, I and several of our colleagues believe that it is his opinion which is well within his rights to express. The Akande panel has competent members to act on this memo if they find it credible.”