Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum Salihu Lukman has written a letter to the party’s national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, blaming him for all the woes befalling the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The forum is a body comprising governors elected on the APC platform.
In a letter entitled “APC: Appeal for Reconciliation,” dated August 6, 2019 and addressed to the APC national chairman, Lukman said: “As a loyal party member, I have difficulty reconciling the absence of meetings of superior organs given all the challenges the party is going through, warranting the suspension of three serving governors (two of them now senators) and two members of NWC.”
Assessing Oshiomhole’s leadership, Lukman said: “My distant observation is that there is hardly any difference between your approach in managing the party and the way Chief Oyegun had managed it during his tenure. Instead, things have really got worse and painfully, it would appear, you are in denial of this reality.”
Referring to earlier efforts he made to draw Oshiomhole’s attention to the growing problems in the party, he said: “Kindly recall that sometime in June this year (2019). I sent what I called a private memo on the issues of reported disciplinary actions against Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state by the National Working Committee (NWC).
“Of course, the memo noted that before the 2019 elections, the NWC had similarly suspended former Governors Rochas Okorocha and lbikunle Amosun of Imo and Ogun states respectively. Between June and now, Sen. Lawal Shuaibu, APC deputy national chairman, North and Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, APC vice national chairman, North-west have also been similarly suspended.”
“It would appear that the leadership problems facing the party are getting deeper and in the circumstances the business of building the party will be sacrificed.”
“We had challenges that deprived our party the opportunity to contest 2019 election in Rivers, stripped our party of electoral victory in Zamfara, engendered highest levels of leadership animosities in Imo, Ogun, Adamawa, Bauchi, Kano, Ondo, Oyo, etc. Today, with Kogi and Edo elections approaching similar leadership animosities are defining political life of the party in those states.
“Since emerging as the national chairman of our party, I have had cause to review decisions and actions you have taken as the national chairman and often, I have difficulty reconciling many of the decisions and actions you took with the leadership standards you upheld,” Lukman said.
“It is a painful reality that we have found ourselves in situation of near stalemate in many states under your leadership. Embarrassingly, our leaders, including your very self, appear to be stubbornly inconsiderate of other options of resolving these challenges.
“If the electoral loss of Oyo, Imo, Zamfara, Adamawa and Bauchi are not a wakeup call to the dangers that lie ahead, what could have been! Is it that our leaders are indifferent to the possible return of People’s Democratic Party (PDP)?” he said.
The Progressive Governors Forum DG further said: “In all my years of association with you, I never imagine that one day you will be so comfortable as to be indifferent to challenges that could threaten our national democratic development.”
On the way out, the forum’s DG said: “Sir, there is the need to urgently refocus our party and all our leaders on the most critical political issue in the country, which is about reconciling our leaders at all levels.
“This is urgently needed in order to recreate the electoral advantage of our party. It is an advantage, which will keep diminishing once our leaders continue to grandstand and take positions with reference to technicalities.”
While saying the party’s chair should allow room for divergent views while proffering solutions to problems, as against grandstanding, he said: “Grandstanding with reference to technicalities is the trade mark of Nigerian lawyers, with due apologies, which has produced the reality whereby the capacity of our legal and judicial systems to deliver justice are weak.
“Once our reference point is some of those technical details, which rationalises where we are, the tendency is that all proposals will be reduced to conquest scenarios, which may only deepen and create new conflicts.”
On the removal of Chief John Odigie-Oyegun as national chairman of the APC, Lukman asked Oshiomhole: “Above all, sir, can we in all honesty justify why Chief John Odigie-Oyegun had to be asked to vacate the leadership of the party on accounts of your management records of the party’s affairs between June 2018 and now?
He explained: “Some pointers may be helpful in this respect. Many of us who are members of the party could not understand why it took more than two years after winning the 2015 election for Chief Oyegun to convene meeting of organs of the party. notably, National Executive Committee (NEC) and National Caucus.
“Today, more than four months after winning the 2019 elections and almost one year after the last NEC meeting on August 30. 2018, no sign of any meeting in sight. The only organ that is meeting is the NWC.”
But all efforts to speak with the press secretary to media aide to the national chairman, Simon Ebegbulem, proved abortive, as calls and a text message sent to him at about 8pm last night were not replied.