“It was Rivers, Zamfara and Bayelsa. Now Edo and Ondo are basically on a roller-coaster with perhaps emerging with the same predictable outcome that consumed our electoral victories in Zamfara and Bayelsa States. Why should this be allowed to happen?”
This was the question governors of the Progressive Governors Forum, the umbrella bodies of governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), asked on Tuesday, as the din caused by the crisis in the party continues to echo across the country.
The sentiments of the governors, conveyed through the Director General of the Forum, Salihu Lukman, is coming against the backdrop of the resignation of Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State, who was denied the opportunity to re-contest his position, following his disqualification on Friday by the seven-man screening committee, headed by Prof. Jonathan Ayuba.
It was on the same Tuesday that Obaseki announced his resignation from the party, after a meeting with the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, that the Court of Appeal, Abuja, hammered Oshiohmole by endorsing his suspension by a Federal Capital Territory (FCT), High Court, Jabi, Abuja.
Lukman in a statement claiming that the sacked APC boss had sold the party to buccaneers, and enthroned undemocratic practices antithetical to free and fair election, a situation, which he said must worry every member of the party.
“It is very difficult and challenging to come to terms with unfolding development in APC. The disconcerting reality of becoming clobbered into another undemocratic political platform, which is intolerant to basic tenets of free and fair contests is hard to admit.
“Being troubled should have spurred us into some sober reflections with the objective of remedying the situation. Unfortunately, it would appear that we are more determined to reproduce all the obdurate painful experiences, every time we are faced with electoral contests.
“It is clear that, APC leadership as currently constituted under the leadership of Comrade Oshiomhole is imprudent and cannot be entrusted with the task of leading the party.
“Comrade Oshiomhole’s NWC has hawked the soul of the party to political buccaneers whose narrow interest is just about unfairly winning elections. Oshiomhole has failed on his promises to provide a party register in all the state and set up a mechanism for conflict resolution in the party.
“APC does not belong to anybody. It is a product of sacrifice by leaders and members of our old legacy parties,” the director-general said.
“Nobody should contemplate leaving the party on account of the rascality going on in the party under Comrade Oshiomhole’s leadership. All members of the party and lovers of democracy in Nigeria must rise against what is going on in APC. It is a struggle for the soul of APC.”