Amidst rebellion by some members against the leadership of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has been scheduled to hold in Abuja on Tuesday, March 17 at 3pm.
The organ of the party last met in November 2019 and skirted the demand by some members of the NEC to suspend Oshiomhole then as chairman, over his alleged dictatorial tendencies and paralysing the party’s organs. The rebels had also blamed Oshiomhole for the party’s losses in Zamfara, Rivers, Bauchi and others.
Venue for the new meeting is the National Executive Committee Hall at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, now under cordon by the police and the DSS, following the crisis over Oshiomhole’s chairmanship.
A sign of crisis in the party was that the meeting notice was signed by acting National Secretary, Chief Victor T. Giadom and not Architect Waziri Bulama who was named on Wednesday as substantive replacement for Mai Mala Buni, who had moved on to become governor of Yobe State.
Giadom invited all NEC members to attend the emergency meeting in line with Article 25 (B) (II) of the Constitution of the Party.
The call came hours after the APC Progressive Governors Forum also called for an emergency meeting of the NEC.
President Buhari as the national leader of the party had met on Thursday with Oshiomhole and Atiku Bagudu who leads the Progressive Governors Forum.
The agenda of the NEC which last met in December, is predictably going to centre over Oshiomhole’s position, now being challenged in the court.
The NEC may also consider the tempest building over the recent appointments of key officers, supposedly approved by a meeting of National Working Committee of the party on 14 January.
Arch. Waziri Bulama was appointed as the Party’s Acting National Secretary. He replaces Mai Mala Buni, who is now the Governor of Yobe State.
Former Oyo governor Abiola Ajimobi has also been appointed as deputy national chairman(south). He replaces Adeniyi Adebayo, who is now the minister for industries.
Mr. Paul Chukwuma is the new National Auditor.
The appointments were said to have followed nominations from the respective zones, according to a statement by National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu.
But Ekiti state APC has faulted the appointment of Ajimobi, as the replacement for Adebayo. It wanted Senator Gbenga Aluko to take the position.
PGF’s Director-General, Salihu Lukman described the Abuja High court injunction against Oshiomhole as a “big opportunity” to reposition the party ahead of the 2023 general election.
The forum, while acknowledging the existence of the conflicting court orders of the Abuja and Kano federal high courts, called for the appointment of an acting chairman for the APC until the determination of the issue relating to the legality of the suspension of Oshiomhole in court.
“The reality is that our party APC is faced with a big problem whereby none of our organs are meeting as provided by the constitution. In fact, we are even not sure who our members are. There is, therefore, the urgent need to resume the process of party building with confirmation of our members as well as recruiting new members,” Lukman said in a statement.
“We need to invoke provisions of Article 17 (vi) which provides that in the event of a vacancy, “the relevant Party organ shall appoint another person to act in his place pending ratification by the National Convention or Congress.”
The forum claimed that members of the Oshiomhole-led NWC have constituted themselves into an unaccountable assembly in the affairs of the party.
“Already, this is the second year since the last Convention in 2018 where Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC was elected. What this means is that with or without our current challenges we are actually due for a National Convention,” Lukman said.
Lukman said once a National Executive Convention (NEC) is convened, there will be an “emergence a new atmosphere in the party that will promote reconciliation and re-orient the party to regain its political profile as a party.”
Oshiomhole is currently in a legal battle to keep his position.
Justice Danlemi Senchi of Abuja High Court on Wednesday granted an order of interim injunction restraining Oshiomhole from parading himself as the APC national chairman.
However, a Federal High Court In Kano on Thursday set aside the ruling of FCT High Court suspending Oshiomhole.
Justice Lewis Allagoa of Kano High Court ordered the police and Department of State Service (DSS) to provide security for Oshiomhole to resume in his office.
Oshiomhole had also gone further to file an appeal at the Appeal court.