By Our Reporter
A fresh internal crisis may be looming in the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) as the deputy national chairman party, Lawal Shuaibu, has again accused the national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, of exhibiting ‘lawlessness’ in running the affairs of the party.
This act according to the party Chief, could lead to another defeat for the party in the forthcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states, just like it played out in Zamfara State.
This he said in a statement issued on Wednesday, May 20, titled ‘APC and its future, let’s us exercise caution’, Shuaibu described as illegal and breach of the party’s Constitution the recent appointment of some national officers by the party’s chairman.
“There is already (an) absence of transparency,” Mr Shuaibu said on the Ondo and Edo primary elections.
The party lost all its victory in Zamfara elections in a legal battle before the Supreme Court, to the opposition. The court faulted the APC’s conduct of primaries that produced its governorship, national and state assembly candidates at the 2019 elections.
He warned of a possible disintegration within the party if the national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, continued to breach its constitution.
He alleged that the appointment of the national officers is a clear indication of “constitutional flaws detrimental to the progress of the party.”
According to the deputy national chairman, APC under Oshimhole is now subjected to arbitrary administration with limpid defiance to the law of the ruling party.
Nigeria Daily notes that Shuaibu, an opponent of Oshimhole, was one of the national working committee members fuelling the crisis that almost led to the removal of the former Edo governor.
“The party founded on the principles of constitutionalism and the rule of law, is now subject of arbitrary administration, without regard for the dictates of the law.
“The ruling party which ought to be a model for others in the upholding of the rule of law; is now the nest of lawlessness.
Also, in respect to the recent appointment, Shuaib, citing article 20 (a) of the APC constitution, posited that “not even NEC has the power to appoint any national officer of the party in any capacity.”
He faulted the inauguration of Waziri Bulama as the APC acting national secretary, accusing the party leaders of lack of transparency in the forthcoming primaries in Edo and Ondo states.
“The ruling party which ought to be a model for others in the upholding of the rule of law is now the nest of lawlessness. The entire legal framework governing the party administration in Nigeria today, the Nigerian constitution, the party constitution, the Electoral Act and INEC regulations and guidelines are more honoured by the party in breaches than obedience,” he noted as he quoted Article 9.1(ii) and 9.4 (i) of the APC Constitution to back up his assertion.
“NEC is the main decision-making organ after the convention and shall meet every three months. The power to set up standing or ad-hoc committees of the party is vested in the same NEC.
“Not even NEC has the power to appoint any national officer of the party in any capacity. Let me ask this simple question, what is difficult in organising a midterm convention to elect the officers in line with the constitution so that even the officers will have confidence that they are elected like all other officers.
The constitution of the party in Article 25 (A) (1) page 89 stipulates that there shall be a convention every two years.
“We had (a) convention in 2018 and another one is due in 2020. What is the hurry in appointing an acting national secretary when we have the duly elected Deputy National Secretary who has been acting in that capacity since December 2018 in line with Article 14.4 of the constitution on page 58?” the deputy national chairman (north) further argued.
Mr Shuaibu was suspended in 2019 for engaging in anti-party activities after the release of a May 28 letter to Mr Oshiomhole, where he raised similar concerns.
His suspension was reversed in March 2020 by the Oshiomhole-led national working committee to foster unity, shortly after the party’s crisis climaxed.
However, in his new letter, Mr Shuaibu, insisted that all issues he raised before his suspension have played out and the party leaders are doing nothing.
“What are the leaders of the party doing in the midst of this anarchy? Are they all equally fed up with the seeming collapsing party in the hands of a politically injured person that seems to be nursing political revenge? The leaders need to take a stand so that the followers know whether the party is now either a jungle or that entity of our collective dream at the inception.
“Majority of the members of the party are already perplexed, disillusioned and some even weighing their options. A stitch in time, I believe, saves nine!” he said.
When contacted for more clarity on the issues raised Mr. Shuaibu’s line was switched off as at the time of filing this report.
The APC spokesperson, Lanre Issa-Onilu did not answer his calls or message.
A call was also put across to Mr Oshiomhole’s spokesperson, Simon Ebegbulem, for possible reaction and he responded with “Oshiomhole is too big to respond to such an issue, call the party’s spokesperson.”