975 views | Akanimo Sampson | June 25, 2020
Some Igbo political warlords in the All Progressives Congress (APC) are threatening to sink the ruling party if their principals are not fairly treated in the fractured party.
The development will further worsen the leadership crisis rocking President Muhammadu Buhari’s ruling party. The Igbo APC chieftains are locked in a bitter war.
Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, who is leading the political attack dogs of Transportation Minister, Chibuike Amaechi, has taken on Joe Igbokwe of the Tinubu camp.
Igbokwe is the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Drainage and Water Resources. Eze is accusing him of unleashing venoms against the personality of the transportation minister.
According to him, ‘’Igbokwe had ranted that the minister and South-South Leader of the APC may be dropped by President Buhari, if he fails to stop the Rivers State chapter of the party from embarrassing APC Nigeria”.
‘’Igbokwe said, Amaechi may be compelled to drop his position if he cannot call you fake APC members to order even when you could not deliver a single councillor in that due selfish sense of superiority and imposing some fake and inordinate power you do not have.
It is this kind of political stupidity that led Wike to dislodge your fake Buharists in Rivers. Meaningless bravado, selfishness, self-importance, hustling tendencies with nothing to put on the table is the real problem. Too much noise from Rivers.
‘’This is a mere balderdash emanating from a political whippersnapper in an attempt to engage in undue bandy. I am wondering when Igbokwe took up an appointment as Presidential Spokesman.’’
He then cautioned the Lagos APC chieftain to channel his energy more to his primary assignment of cleaning up dirty drainages in Lagos and stop being a busybody.
‘’There is more to the political drama that was displayed in Rivers during the 2019 elections than mere eyes could see. Some national forces from within and outside the APC fueled the crisis in a bid to weaken and pull down the minister given his towering and intimidating political profile in Nigerian politics.
‘’Rivers APC has found the path of peace with the new State Executive Committee under the watch of Dr Davies Sokonte, following the adoption of more pragmatic approaches towards solving the problems within the party’’, Eze said in a statement this Thursday.
He, however, reminded Tinubu that he once acknowledged Amaechi as the General of the Commonsense Revolution that swept off PDP from power, adding that his principal led President Buhari’s campaign organisation twice and succeeded ‘’thus becoming the first African to achieve that.
‘’Amaechi is not a personality a nobody like Joe Igbokwe can use unkind words on. It simply shows how frustrated he has become and probably to create a rift between Tinubu and Amaechi.’’
On the APC crisis, Eze said, ‘’Nigerians are not deceived as the ambition of one man is the fire tearing down the party but God will help us to rescue our party from such ‘Emperoristic’ forces.’’
While assuring Tinubu that any further attack on Amaechi will be resisted ‘’as we will not allow the likes of Joe Igbokwe or whatever he represents to bring down Amaechi that ThisDay newspapers presented as the Minister of the Decade.
For him, Amaechi remains an iconic political heavyweight to reckon with in the politics of Nigeria given his numerous achievements and track records in public service.
He has accordingly called on Tinubu, to tame Igbokwe and tone down his alleged barbaric wildness in the public space, claiming that Amaechi has earned much respect and public confidence in leadership and should be reasonably shielded from vituperative tantrums.
The Southern Examiner reported on Wednesday that the APC was taking a dangerous dimension because of the former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu.
The anti-Tinubu forces have been alleging that President Muhammadu Buhari appears to be aloof, and leaving the APC machinery under the control of the Tinubu camp which is said to be pulling the strings to entrench their positions and views on the party.
Tinubu is suspected to be nursing a 2023 presidential ambition. But, the APC National Leader’s presidential ambition is not going down well with some political potentates in Northern Nigeria. One of such political potentates who do not seem to be hiding his disdain for Tinubu is Governor el-Rufai of Kaduna State.
In its intelligence report on Nigeria’s politics, Menas Associates, a political risk consultancy says the forces moving to tear APC apart are increasing more rapidly than those seeking to keep it together. ‘’Buhari’s personal popularity — which has been a major unifying factor for APC in the last five years — is beginning to fade as his mixed ability to deal with the current simultaneous and unprecedented challenges facing Nigeria dent his reputation.
At the moment, it appears President Buhari is lending support to the Victor Giadom-led faction of the APC. Giadom, an Ogoni from Rivers State, is a political associate of Amaechi.
President Buhari’s Spokesman, Garba Shehu, in a series of tweets on Wednesday confirmed that his principal will be attending this Thursday virtual National Executive Council meeting of the party.
“The President has received very convincing advice on the position of the law as far as the situation in the party is concerned and has determined that the law is on the side of Victor Giadom as Acting National Chairman.”
“Because he will always act in accordance with the law, the President will be attending the virtual meeting Giadom called for tomorrow afternoon. In addition to the President, the Giadom meeting will, hopefully, be attended by our governors and the leaders of the National Assembly.
“We urge the media to stop promoting manufactured controversies and to not give any further room for mischievous interpretations of the law on this matter”.
But, Giadom is a suspended deputy national chairman of the party.
The fear in some APC circles is that Buhari’s position will deepen the crisis in the party. He is alleged to have taken a position against majority members of the National Working Committee (NWC), who do not support Giadom.
Buhari on Monday, received in the audience three APC governors, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, Simon Lalong of Plateau and Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa.
They discussed the crisis in the party following the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole by the courts, in a case engineered by some top members of the party, with an eye on 2023.
Majority of APC NWC picked Abiola Ajimobi as the acting chairman and even went further to kick out Giadom from the party.
The APC said Giadom was no longer a member of the NWC, having resigned in 2018 to run for an election in 2019.
The Rivers wing of the troubled party suspended him (Giadom) and nominated Worgu Boms as his replacement.
While the unyielding state wing of the party on Tuesday, secured an injunction that barred Giadom from parading himself as a member of the APC, majority of NWC members of the APC have rejected invitations to the virtual emergency NEC meeting of the party.
After a four-hour emergency meeting on Wednesday, Vice-Chairman of the APC (South-South), Hilliard Etta, and Acting National Secretary, Waziri Bulama, said they resolved that attending the NEC meeting will amount to “embracing illegalities and turning a blind eye to the infractions on the constitution of the party”.
“We wish to unequivocally state that members of the NWC believe that the President was offered wrong advice or blackmailed into lending his weighty office to the illegality of the NEC meeting purportedly convened by one Victor Giadom on June 25”, they said.
“We hereby respectfully implore Mr. President to kindly avail himself with facts of the matter regarding the impasse presently experienced by the party so as to guide him in his assessment of the matter because we are sure that the President, if properly advised, would come to the conclusion that the meeting convened by Chief Victor Giadom bothers on illegality and criminality.
“The NWC regrets to turn down the invitation to the illegal and unconstitutional NEC convened by Chief Victor Giadom. We believe that attending such a meeting will amount to embracing illegalities and turning a blind eye to the infractions on the Constitution of our great party.”
There are also indications that Tinubu may not attend the crucial meeting, the first since the exit of Adams Oshiomohole, the suspended National Chairman.
Insiders say Giadom called the NEC meeting after due consultations with APC governors and senior party members.
With the notice of meeting sent out, the President, Vice-President, NWC members, all APC governors, the leadership of the National Assembly, past chairmen, are expected at the Presidential Villa for the NEC meeting excluding Tinubu and others who are hand-in gloves with Oshiomhole.
Technically, Tinubu, according to those who know better, is not a member of APC NEC. He is also not a member of the APC NWC.
When Channels TV on Wednesday evening asked Giadom if Tinubu was invited to the NEC meeting, he simply said that they should check the APC constitution to know who the NEC members are.
In spite of the unfolding APC drama, it might not be over politically for Tinubu. He still has the capacity to unsettle the party in 2023.