Oshiomhole-backed NWC dares Buhari, says NEC meeting illegal

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Oshiomhole-backed NWC dares Buhari, says NEC meeting illegal

June 26
06:52 2020

Eighteen members of the All Progressives Congress National Working Committee loyal to the party’s sacked National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, on Thursday,  insisted that the APC  National Executive Committee meeting attended by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), was illegal.

The NWC members, who said this in a statement signed by the acting National Chairman, Hillard Eta, and the acting National Secretary, Waziri Bulama, stated that they were consulting their lawyers and other stakeholders on the dissolution of the NWC and other decisions taken at the NEC meeting on Thursday.

They insisted that the NEC meeting was illegally convened by the suspended  Deputy National Secretary of the party, Victor Giadom.

A few hours after the NWC was dissolved at the instance of Buhari, the 18 members dared the President and others at the NEC meeting by issuing a statement where they referred to themselves as officials of the party.

Before the end of the virtual NEC meeting,  which began at noon on Thursday at the State House  Abuja, Buhari’s social media aide, Bashir Ahmad, in his Twitter handle, said the dissolution of the NWC was based  on the recommendation of the President.

He wrote, “Following the recommendation of President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress has been dissolved. Details to come…”

At the end of the meeting, the Chairman of  the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Atiku Bagudu, in an interview with State House correspondents, confirmed that the NWC had been dissolved.

He was joined by other state governors elected on the platform of the party, when he disclosed this to journalists.

He also disclosed that the party had set up a national caretaker committee headed by the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni.

Other members of the caretaker committee are the Osun State Governor, Isiaka Oyetola, representing the South-West; a former Senate President Ken Nnamani, (South-East), Stella Okorete (women representative), Niger State Governor, Sani Bello (North-Central); Dr James Lalu (the physically challenged), Senator Abubakar Yusuf(Senatè), Akinyemi Olaide (House of  Representative),  David Leon  (South-South), Abba Ari (North-West), Prof Tahir Mamman (North-East) Ismail Ahmed (Youth) and Senator   Akpan Udoedehe (Secretary).

Answering a question on the belief that the latest developments in the party were designed to whittle down the influence of the APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, the governor said there was no truth in the claim.

He stated, “You mentioned the name of one of our leaders, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who is a founding father of this party.

“We are all together to rescue this party. Nobody is happy with the situation under which the party is now operating because we are in courts for various problems and crises.

“So, this decision was taken by NEC to address some of these issues. Nobody  is targeted and they are against nobody.”

Bunu said his committee would work for a  duration of six months within which “we will do whatever we can as enshrined in our constitution and ensure that we strengthen the party and cap it up with the convention.”

On the crises rocking the party across the states, Bunu said, “NEC is the highest organ of the party if not convention and by our constitution, NEC can act for convention in-between.

“Whatever that happened during the last NWC culminating in Edo primaries has already been ratified by NEC. So, we are good to go. All litigation will be withdrawn.”

Shortly after the appointment of Bunu was announced, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), inaugurated him.

The meeting also had in attendance Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; President of the Senate,  Ahmad Lawan; Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; and state governors elected on the platform of the party.

Others in attendance are National Deputy Chairman, Lawal Shuaibu; Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Idris Wase; the House majority leader, Hassan Dogowa; and the Deputy Chief Whip, House of Representatives, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha.

State governors that attended included those of Nasarawa, Niger, Jigawa, Yobe, Plateau, Kogi, Imo, Gombe, Osun, Ogun, Lagos, Kwara, Ekiti, Kano and Kebbi.

Giadom was the first to arrive for the meeting as he was sighted at the venue as early as 8.30am alongside the former National Deputy Chairman-North, Lawal Shuaibu.

Apart from those present at the Presidential Villa, some other NEC members participated virtually in accordance with the protocols of COVID-19, which promote social distancing.

Faulting the NEC meeting, the pro-Oshiomhole NWC members in their press statement, stated, “The National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress wishes to reiterate its earlier position that Chief Victor Giadom has no authority whatsoever to convene a meeting of the National Executive Committee of our great party.

“Article 25(B) of the constitution of the APC is explicit that only the National Chairman or the National Working Committee is given the prerogative of summoning meetings of the National Executive Committee of the party either for statutory quarterly meetings or for emergency meetings. The same provision of the constitution makes it compulsory for a notice of minimum of 14 days in respect of statutory quarterly meetings and seven days in respect of emergency meetings.

“We note that Chief Victor Giadom had convened and conducted a virtual meeting purportedly to be a National Executive Committee meeting of our party wherein certain far-reaching resolutions were purportedly reached. While the National Working Committee is studying the unfolding drama, it will be consulting with stakeholders and team of lawyers on the next line of action

“Therefore, all members of our great party and concerned Nigerians are urged to remain calm pending the outcome of the consultations.”

According to Eta and Bulama, other NWC members who were “part of this press statement” include the National Vice Chairman (North-West), Inuwa Abdulkadir; National Vice Chairman (South-West) Pastor Bankole Oluwajana, and the National Vice Chairman, (North-Central), Alhaji Ahmed Wambal.

But the forum of state chairmen of the APC applauded the President and members of the party’s NEC for dissolving the NWC.

Spokesperson for the group, Mallam Lawal Liman, who is also the Zamfara State Chairman of the APC, said, “We have said the APC is a strong party because we have a strong leader and the NEC has finally taken a decision which we are confident about.

“We believe all the NEC members are happy with the decision because when the leader of the party was giving his speech, many things were listed, some of us were nervous, we were touched that whoever has this party at heart will be happy about this decision.”

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