APC Won’t Lose Edo, Oshiomhole Boasts

…meets Buhari

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, boasted on Friday the party would not lose his home state, Edo, in any election.

He spoke with State House correspondents after he led state chapter chairmen of the party to a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

There has been reported disagreement among National Working Committee members and other stakeholders of the APC on whether Oshiomhole should continue to lead the ruling party or not.

The APC state governors were also said not to be united on the continued leadership of Oshiomhole.

The meeting with the chairmen came barely 24 hours after the governors also held a separate meeting with Buhari on Thursday. Oshiomhole was expected at the Thursday meeting, but he was absent. Governor Godwin Obaseki attended the meeting.

The two meetings were said to be connected with efforts to resolve the crises in the APC, particularly the situation in Edo, before the governorship poll in 2020.

Remarkably, the meeting was brief; it started at 12pm and ended within 24 minutes.

Speaking after the meeting, Oshiomhole claimed the state chairmen visited to congratulate Buhari on his re-election and to commend him for the manner he had steered the party so far.

He also denied that he was supposed to attend the meeting the governors held with Buhari, insisting that it was for the governors alone.

“There was no reason for my absence from the governors’ meeting with the President yesterday (Thursday). The meeting was for the governors and Mr President and I was not available to be part of the meeting. There was nothing to it.

“But as you can see, I am here today because I am to be here”, he said.

On the crises in the APC, Oshiomhole admitted there were issues, but maintained they were normal.

Asked if the crisis would not cost Edo the APC, Oshiomhole boasted that the APC would never lose the state to any other party, no matter the candidate fielded.

His response was a veiled reference to speculation that Governor Obaseki might seek a second term on another party’s platform, if the APC denied him a ticket.

He stated, “The first thing to appreciate here is the fact that in a human organisation, there is bound to be contestation, sometimes. Even when the destination is not in dispute, how best to get there may be a point for argument and those arguments are reflections of the democratic nature of the party.

“I don’t know any organisation that doesn’t have some internal disagreements; what matters is the commitment of everyone, both the leadership and the followership, that when there is a communication gap, as soon as it is noticed, efforts are made to resolve it.”

Oshiomhole gave details of the peace efforts, saying, “You may have read in the papers, even on the electronic media last week, when we held the meeting of the national caucus and, subsequently, Friday the 22nd, we had a meeting of the National Executive Council. The resolution taken at that meeting is that a national committee will be set up to reconcile those aggrieved for whatever reason. I will tell you that we are on top of the situation.

“Let me reassure you, the APC is not at risk of losing Edo State in the next election. Edo people have accepted the APC as a preferred party since 2008 when I assumed office, and if you look at the result of elections, it shows that the people have faith in our party; on the basis of the performance of the government that the party has produced, both when I was there and even when I had left.

“That I come from a place does not mean that the place cannot have a quarrel. You will be exceptionally lucky as husbands and wives if you do not have misunderstandings with your spouses and sometimes, your children. If anybody suggests that whenever you have arguments in the family house, the family may go under, the person may be a poor student of human history and human organisation.”

On the mission of the state chairmen to the Villa, he said, “The state chairmen represent the party and it’s been their desire to pay a visit to Mr President, to thank and congratulate Mr President on his re-election and all the bye-elections won so far.

“They are happy with the way the President is handling governance. They came to express appreciation. The President too appreciates the role of the chairmen in providing leadership in the states.”

Incidentally, the chairmen hurried out of the venue of the meeting, declining to speak on the issues discussed with Buhari.

(Saturday Punch)

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