Director General of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) Mr Salihu Lukman, has described ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as a political party that was no longer functional due to its inability to hold regular meetings of its constitutional organs as provided by law.
He also blamed part of the crisis in APC on its National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, accusing him of being the accuser, prosecutor and judge in most of the disputes afflicting the party.
“The hard truth is that as it stands today, APC is not a functional political party. None of its organs at any level is meeting as provided in the party’s constitution.
‘’It is even debatable if our membership register exists. At best, it will be the same old 2015 membership register,” he said yesterday.
Efforts to reach Oshiomhole for reaction, last night, proved abortive, as his mobile phone could not be accessed.
In a lengthy memo to the Bisi Akande-led APC National Reconciliation Committee, Lukman also traced the genesis of the crisis in the party to the processes leading to the 2015 general elections.
He said: “Part of the components of the contributions of APC to Nigeria’s democracy include that the problem of imposition of candidates in elections were minimised considerably within APC, at least in the 2015 elections. Unfortunately, that is where our problems started.
Contestants in party primary election failed to develop the needed sportsmanship to accept results. The old habits of aspiring candidates taking over leadership structures of the party and through that therefore predetermining results of the primary elections remained the case.”
Sycophants from Edo
While he contended that the procedure for maintaining party discipline had been so cheapened, to the extent that the national chairman dominates the whole process, PGF DG also blamed the chairman for surrounding himself with those he described as sycophants, who he said are mostly from Edo State.
“The crisis in the party is clearly getting worse and worse by the day. It has gotten to a stage whereby the competence of members of the 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 judgement 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, all because our NWC has decided to abdicate its responsibility. This is quite disheartening and certainly beyond any expectation.
How can all these be happening under the watch of Oshiohmole as the National Chairman? Oshiomhole’s leadership credentials cannot be disputed. But given what is going on now in APC under his watch, it is very clear that he is not that same Oshiomhole that was an inspiring union leader who competently handled all organisational leadership challenges to the admiration of Nigerians.
“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 advice 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 these sycophantic crowd around our National Chairman. But I will definitely express my disbelief at the way 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 such that all the relevant provisions in the party’s constitution are violated. As a result, Oshiomhole is today the leading accuser, prosecutor and judge in almost all cases where disciplinary actions have been administered in the party. The only probable exception may be the case in his Ward in Edo State where he is also being alleged to have been disciplined”, he stated.