The Deputy National Chairman (North) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Lawal Shuaibu may have lost his battle to get Comrade Adams Oshiomhole sacked as the party’s national chairman.
Shuaibu who launched an Oshimhole –must-resign campaign last week, does not have the support of the majority of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) members save for one or two.
Chairmen of the party in the Southsouth states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers, have given him a seven-day ultimatum to apologise to Oshiomhole or incur the wrath of the people of the zone.
Some members of the House of Representatives elected on the platform of the party also do not agree with the deputy national chairman on his position.
But a defiant Shuaibu asked those criticizing him to say whether “they at happy with what is happening in the party.”
Sources said the NWC members opted to back Oshiomhole because some key opposition figures have been implicated in a plot to cause crisis in APC.
It was also gathered that four key issues brought about Shuaibu’s disagreement with Oshiomhole.
These issues are: reforms of the APC, alleged leadership style of Oshiomhole, mutual suspicion and allegation that Shuaibu ran a parallel campaign structure in 2019.
Investigation revealed that most of the NWC members knew about the cold war between the APC National chairman and his deputy as far back as last year, and have become indifferent to it.
Some of the NWC members, sources said, refused to support Shuaibu because of the information at their disposal that some key opposition figures have been plotting to create crisis in APC.
A member of the NWC said: “We have far deeper information on the face-off between the two leaders. With the exception of one or two NWC members, most of us do not support Shuaibu.
“His letter was not new because even when Chief John Odigie-Oyegun was in charge of the APC as the national chairman, he had issues with him.
“So, we have decided to see the fight strictly as a personal affair than a party matter. Attempts have been made to cause disunity and mutiny in APC. So, we decided to support the national chairman of the party in the overall interest and the survival of APC.
“We cannot be dragged into this matter and we cannot be used to cause revolt in APC.”
Another source said: “The truth is that Oshiomhole came with some reforms to do things differently in the party but Shuaibu prefers the old order.
“The APC chairman came with an agenda to cleanse the system and anyone who does not key into his style is usually shoved aside.
“ Shuaibu however insisted that Oshiomhole cannot uproot what he inherited. He is of the opinion that the APC chairman should have a blend of the old order and the new order. He asked for consultations and not a bulldozer style.
“But Oshiomhole suspected some moles in the system and he does things with surprise to avoid leakage. He could not trust some of his lieutenants because the opposition was after APC.
“Were it not for the hide and seek strategy of Oshiomhole, PDP would have successfully infiltrated APC and got its strategy for the 2019 polls.
“Oshiomhole- Shuaibu ‘s relationship has been a ding- dong affair. This manifested during the primaries for 2019 poll when the party stood its ground on many issues, especially the fielding of candidates.
“Shuaibu resisted Oshiomhole’s decisions on critical challenges like defections and primaries in some states but he never had his way. As the oldest NWC member, he thought he could provide guidance for Oshiomhole but Shuaibu alleged that he was treated with disdain.
“For instance, Shuaibu wanted the party to pander to the conditions given by defectors from APC to PDP. Oshiomhole drew the battle line with the defectors to instil party discipline.
“Although Shuaibu complained about APC losing some states , if you review the 2019 polls, you will see that there was wisdom in asserting party’s supremacy. Most of the defectors lost. In the House of Representatives, only about 67 members got second term ticket.
“When Shuaibu spearheaded negotiation with rAPC (defectors), the party national chairman and most APC leaders knew nothing would come out of it. Oshiomhole was suspicious of Shuaibu ‘s links with ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and other rAPC leaders. They saw the negotiation as sheer ego boosting.
“As a matter of fact, Shuaibu was not expected to be returned to office at the last elective convention of APC but Saraki and other APC defectors pulled the strings to sway votes in his favour to retain his seat in the NWC.
“The matter became worse when some former governors who were against Oshiomhole were having the ear of Shuaibu, especially Owelle Rochas Okorocha ( Imo), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and Abdulaziz Yari ( Zamfara).
“So, it is usually dramatic at the NWC meeting. While Oshiomhole will go one way, Shuaibu will think otherwise.
“Oshiomhole fingered some governors and members of the NWC in his questioning by the Department of State Security Service. It was an ambush and he almost lost his coveted seat. Therefore, he does not ignore threats from either Shuaibu or members of the NWC and the party.
“The frosty relationship between Shuaibu and Oshiomhole got to a head when the Deputy National Chairman (North) was acting like an opposition leader in the NWC. He crossed the red line and Shuaibu became isolated by most NWC members.”
Shuaibu was also accused of running a parallel structure during the 2019 polls campaign.
Apart from forming a group, he was accused of running his own campaign.
“He was aggrieved that he was not properly integrated in the scheme of things and he wasted no time in working for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election through his own pseudo-political group.”
Findings confirmed that both leaders later disagreed on the party’s candidates for the Office of the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the coming 9th National Assembly.
Another source added: “As a Senator, Shuaibu felt the party should throw the contest open for fairness and equity but the party’s leadership however opted to do the bidding of President Muhammadu Buhari who prefers Dr. Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila.
“ Shuaibu and most APC leaders did not know that Buhari was the driver of Lawan and Gbajabiamila projects but he only used Oshiomhole as a shield in deference to all APC Senators and House members-elect.”
Responding to a question, a leader of the APC said the party could not afford to take chances against the background of alleged moves by some opposition leaders to split it.
“We had barely won the 2019 poll when they started talking of the 2023 general elections,” the source said.
“We don’t know what Shuaibu is up to but we are watching him in order not to be caught unawares.”
When contacted, the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu declared that the party should not be brought into the matter.
“It is not a party issue, it is between the chairman and his deputy. We are too focused to be delving into the issue between two of our leaders,” he said.
Reps condemn call for Oshiomhole’s resignation
Some members of the House of Representatives elected on the platform of the APC are also against Shuaibu’s call for Oshiomhole’s resignation.
They are of the view that the party chair should be encouraged to see through his effort to rebuild the APC.
Ademorin Kuye, an incoming Rep from Lagos said: “the call is uncalled for, unreasonable and unacceptable because Oshiomhole has performed well, he has achieved victory even in the face of stiff opposition from PDP and he has helped restored dignity to the party.
“What those calling for his resignation should note is that Oshiomhole has done well since coming on board and his rebuilding efforts must have, as a matter fact, led to stepping on toes. It’s going to be tough, but the fact remains that it’s going to be better for all of us.
“Rather than call for his resignation, the parry leaders should rally round him. This is because those that have always been in control of everything may feel insulted for being queried by the party chairman, but is paramount that the effort of rebuilding the party and institutionalizing party supremacy should be supported by all.”
A returning member, Nuhu Dau Magaji (Adamawa) said those calling for Oshiomhole’s removal failed to take the interest of the party into consideration.
“The only message I have for those calling for our party chairman’s sack is that they have to wait for the next four year because there is a procedure through which such action can be taken.
“We have a constitution, the way they are going about it is not in consonance with our Constitution.
“They are just bad losers, we are 100 percent behind him, he is our hero,” he said.
Abdulrazak Namdas (Adamawa) ,another re-elected Rep warned that the PDP would take advantage of the situation to infiltrate the party.
“Personally, I don’t think this is the time to call for the resignation of any party leader because when we have issues the party has several ways of resolving them,” he said.
“My advice is that they should remember that we are human beings and bound to make mistakes. Besides, and more importantly, we should be careful about making this kind of divisive statements in public. Rather we should wait and see how we rebound from the loss and chart ways of avoiding it in future.
“Calling for the resignation at this time is capable of creating cracks through which the opposition would infiltrate us and cause more damages for our party. We should not give any room for the opposition to have a go at us.”
Olumuyiwa Folarin (Ondo) said the party chairman should not be singled out for any blame.
His words: “As far as I’m concerned, I see those calling for the Chairman’s resignation as a group of people overreacting to issues.
“Oshiomhole is a human being, and like all beings, he cannot be perfect. As such, mistakes are bound to be made by him just like everyone else.
“My take is that to single him out for blame is unfair and a subtle way of blackmailing him and buck passing because he is not the only one in the executive committee. Other people are there to take decisions with him, so everyone should be blamed together for whatever setback we suffered in this election.
“Also, what is happening is the states is something we have to look at holistically. As national chairman, imposing his will or compelling the governors to do his bidding is one thing that should not happen but to single the party chairman out alone for blame is not justifiable.
“As far as I’m concerned, Oshiomhole has not done anything wrong.” $�4b�