© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
APC primaries: State chapters turn against Oshiomhole, NWC
THE ongoing All Progressives Congress (APC) primary elections across the states of the federation have set state executives of the party against its National Working Committee (NWC) headed by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
In almost all the states where the primaries have been conducted, there have arisen disagreements between the state leadership and the NWC.
In Ondo State, for instance, the rancour got so bad that the state’s leaders of the APC described Oshiomhole as a total failure, while the Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, lamented that the NWC has declared a war on the party.
“This is a declaration of war against our party constitution,” Akeredolu said, after some of his loyalists were disqualified by the NWC.
“The decision to rig out our loyal and committed members from exercising their right after collecting money for nomination form from them was taken by few individuals.
“Let me say very expressly that we shall wage war against the decision of some few cabals to turn our party to a rogue party. You cannot encourage people to obtain forms at such an extravagant amount and then overnight tell them they aren’t allowed to contest. On what ground? This is fraudulent and an act of stealing by tricky.”
Similarly, one of the disqualified candidates said that Oshiomhole “does not have the intellectual capacity to understand issues and the wisdom to bridge differences”.
“In order not to kill the APC, please, Mr. Adams Oshiomole resign now, it would be wrong to underestimate the character of the people of Ondo State,” said Tunji Abayomi, an aspirant for the Ondo North Senatorial seat.
Also, in Ogun State, the State’s APC executive had to go ahead with the primary elections after the committee sent by the NWC allegedly refused to show up for the exercise.
The Secretary to the Ogun State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, accused Oshiomhole of planning to impose a governorship candidate on party members.
On Wednesday, two parallel governorship primaries held in Ogun producing two different candidates namely: Adekunle Akinlade, the preferred candidate of Governor Ibikunle Amosun, and Dapo Abiodun, who won the primary poll conducted by the NWC.
In Zamfara State, the APC is factionalised with one faction — headed by Governor Abdulaziz Yari — at loggerheads with the National leadership of the party, and the other faction — headed by Kabiru Marafa — siding the NWC.
While the Marafa faction supports direct primaries, Yari’s faction opposes it, and being the man in charge, Yari is using his powers to ensure that the primary election holds his way or not at all.
A similar scenario is playing out in Kaduna State, where Governor Nasir El-Rufai is spoiling for a fight with Oshiomhole following the automatic ticket which was given to Shehu Sani, the Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District.
Sani and El-Rufai are sworn political foes and the latter has already lined up someone else to take the former’s senatorial slot.
On Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari met with Governors El-Rufai and Akeredolu, and although their discussion was not made public, it is believed to be centered on the crises rocking several state chapters of the APC as a result of the primary elections.
In Delta State, parallel primaries were also held by the two APC factions in the state, one headed by Ovie Omo-Agege, a serving senator, and the other led by one Cyril Abeye Ogodo, a loyalist of O’Terga Emerhor, who is also contesting for a senatorial position.
As the crises rage on across the various APC state chapters, it is left to be seen how Oshiomhole will manage the situation to prevent the ruling party from imploding.