By Uche Mbah
Embattled All Progressives Congress, APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, has been strategising on how to stem the slide of his political party into oblivion. With crisis hanging on the party like an albatross, from Abeokuta to Portharcourt, Gusau to Kaduna, Adams Oshiomhole is struggling to hold together the crumbling House of Asher that has become a parable of Humpty Dumpty. As the leader of the king’s horses and men, to put the party together again is a task he has been mandated to do by the presidency. Inundated by a deluge of complaints from party leaders-state governors, serving senators and some aggrieved aspirants- President Mohammadu Buhari has allegedly given a marching order to the former union leader to “clear the mess” within one week. The repercussion of not doing that is left hanging in the air.
The APC crisis is actually a disaster foretold. It is the culmination of internal wrangling and revolt against impunity, nepotism and reign of fraud-a common denominator in all political parties. But the fact that the party was taken over by what an angry opposition party member described as a pint sized man with a giant ego has fueled the whole crises. John Oyegun, the former Chairman, was more of a diplomat under whose watch the party saw the highest level of cohesion, although it lost much political ground to the rival Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, mostly due to the ramrod stance of the president, who has the penchant for over protection of protégées even if they are found breaking into the vault of the Central Bank, as a PDP chieftain aveered last week. And this dovetailed into the Tinubu factor, which has woven itself into the life wire of the party.
The loss of juicy positions which would have positioned him in vantage position in power sharing negotiations had left Tinubu angry and embittered, but at the same time calculative of the next move. His open coldness towards the former chairman forced him to work assiduously for the election of Adams Oshiomhole as the party chairman in the belief that he will be more amenable to control than Oyegun. Fearing that he will lose, the choosing of Oshiomhole had to be by voice vote, a situation that did not go down well with some governors. Subsequent actions of the new Chairman was to confirm their fears, since he appears to promise more than he can do and then break all rules trying to vindicate himself. A case in hand was the promise he allegedly made to President Buhari before his last trip to the United Kingdom, that within ten days the Senate president Bukola Saraki will be impeached. The President was said to have given him a blank cheque to perfect and execute the plan, leaving all security apparatus at his disposal. In an effort to outdo himself, he got the overzealous Director of State Security, Lawan Daura, sacked in controversial circumstances. Today, Saraki is sitting comfortably in his seat while his is fighting an epic battle of survival.
Most of his travails comes from APC primaries. Allegations of candidate impositions, Parallel Primaries and outright scheming out of candidates were said to be the order of the day under his watch. This magazine was told that the APC secretariat lost relevance to his private residence as the operational headquarters of the party.Many party loyalists became aggrieved such that by far the majority of political cases in courts are APC taking APC to court.Aisha Al Hassan, a former minister under the party, had to resign her ministerial position and party membership and went ahead to strip the party secretariat of all personal belongings, including wall clocks and carpets.Shehu Sanni was dribbled up and down until, tiring of him, he was left in the lurch to resign. Governor Amosun has been fighting a battle for the soul of his own gubernatorial nominee, accusing Adams Oshiomhole of conniving with Tinubu to cook up primary results.
For Tinubu himself, it appeared that the Osun result has emboldened him. In connivance with Adams Oshiomhole, he was said to have abandoned the Lagos Governor, Akinwumi Ambode, mid sail.
The desperate fight of Adams Oshiomhole with state actors has resulted in no candidate being fielded in Zamfara state for governorship and other positions by APC. Although Adams Oshiomhole is trying to use Bragadaccio to arm-twist the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, into accepting late entries, the INEC Chairman is mindful of the legal provisions on the issue. All these has culminated in the serious demand by stakeholders, particularly governors, that he be removed. The battle line has been drawn.
Signatures are being allegedly collected to drive home their point.It reached a point where , according to sources, he threatened that if they want him to go, they should return monies allegedly used to prosecute the single candidacy of the President.
The pressure became so much that he released a press statement indicating that the pressures to remove him is because he is too stubborn to allow business as usual. Unfortunately, many think that he was impunity embodied. He admitted direct primaries in some places and not in others. In fact, in his own state, he was said to have influenced automatic tickets for his preferred candidates.
For some inexplicable reason, immediately the press release was sent out, his media team were busy chasing a recall of the release. Later, while talking to the press, he decided to downplay the issue, insisting that it is only one or two governors that are against him.
The whole saga was compounded by the unexpected emergence of Atiku Abubakar as presidential candidate of the PDP. Atiku has been having a personal working relationship with Bola Tinubu, who, according to former president Obasanjo, the exact position he is holding in that party is not clear-an indication that he is a king without a direct kingdom.Tinubu was instrumental to Atiku not clinching the APC ticket in 2014.+But since then, they worked together with Atiku providing the Private jet for Buhari campaign despite his personal differences with Buhari, who was said to have been after Atiku when he was comptroller of Customs.
This magazine learnt that Tinubu, who is not known to be a blind gambler, may have silently pitched his tent with Atiku, a position he is not meant to acknowledge prematurely. Indications that there may have been a scheduled meeting in the Accra capital of Ghana between the two to fine tune areas of collaboration. This was premised on the fact that Afenifere, the Pan Yoruba group, has been routing for Atiku because of his position on restructuring. Even his altercating ego, Obasanjo, has joined the Atikulated bandwagon. If he continued to hold on to his position, he will be rowing against the mainstream Yoruba race.He did it before and found out the hard way how uncomfortable he was. Hence his desperate efforts to hold unto his influence by any means possible. He will win back his people after the hurly burly is done, and the battle is lost and won.
To soften the grounds, Bisi Akande, his close ally, was dispatched to the United States to deliver a lecture on restructuring to APC faithfuls. Sources indicate that all Akande said in that conference are Tinubu’s position.
If all these are true, then the House of Usher is in danger of falling.Already more defections to the opposition party are being witnessed. Recently, so many people decamped to the PDP in Kano, including an aspiring Senator.And the land mark judgment in Portharcourt by the Supreme Court on Rivers APC seems to have struck a raw nerve. Even at that, the party appear to be in mortal dread of what the result of Osun and Ekiti Election tribunal will bring to them. Will the number of APC states still be more depleted? Time shall tell.