By Akanimo Sampson
Some aggrieved players of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari’s party, have started firing at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, pressing for the removal of Adams Oshiomhole, as their national chairman.
Oshiomhole, a former Governor of Edo State and an ex-labour leader does not seem to be finding politics easy as the APC big boss. Protesters on Monday stormed the party’s secretariat, demanding his sack in a bid to save the party from continued failure.
They said his continued stay in office will bring misfortune to the party, adding that his action allegedly led to a reduction in the number of the states controlled by APC from 24 to 18.
The sack Oshiomhole mass protest is developing as Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State had declared that the embattled APC chairman and his associates came from a background of “armed robbers’’ to allegedly steal the mandate of Rivers people, but were strongly resisted, hence Oshiomhole’s bitterness towards Rivers.
Wike who stated that he is not a violent politician, however, emphasised that under no circumstances would Rivers people allow Oshiomhole and his associates to rob Rivers mandate, and accordingly called for the resignation of Oshiomhole in view of his failure to stop the inauguration of Bayelsa State Governor as he boasted.
He was speaking in an interview at the Government House Port Harcourt on Saturday: “This is a country where you see people who do not have character. Today they sing a song, tomorrow they sing another song. I think Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the APC is not a character that anybody should associate with.
“First of all I have never been violent and I will never be violent. However, when you see an armed robber come to your house, will you plead with the armed robber and say please I beg you to leave my house. People think that armed robbers are only those who cart away people’s money. The worst form of armed robbery is when you steal people’s mandate and just like what Oshiomhole is noted for. He thinks because he’s in the ruling party, he can use security to steal the mandate of the people.
He was taught a lesson, a bitter lesson and I want to repeat, if you come to steal our mandate, the people will respond accordingly. They will oppose your stealing of their mandate and so Oshiomhole thinks that because he is in the ruling party nobody should say anything or do anything. Stealing is not only when you go to rob a bank. The worse form of armed robbery is when you steal the mandate of the people. ”
Wike described Oshiomhole as a politician without character, noting that the APC chairman is always driven by survival instincts, adding, “Oshiomhole cannot lay claim to having canvassed for one man, one vote because he is not practising the philosophy.’’
The Rivers governor stated that he stopped attending the National Economic Council because
Oshiomhole turned it into a forum to bash former President Goodluck Jonathan when he had gone to praise Jonathan at Aso Villa for ensuring credible elections.
“When Jonathan made sure the election was free and fair, Oshiomhole came to the villa and thanked Jonathan. When Jonathan left office, one of the reasons why I don’t go to NEC meeting is because of Oshiomhole when he was a member. When Jonathan left, there was no day at the NEC meeting Oshiomhole will not bring Jonathan down. Meanwhile, that was the same man Oshiomhole went to praise for allowing one man one vote. But when the man left, Oshiomhole changed. That is his character”, he said.
Continuing, Governor Wike said Oshiomhole became governor through questionable means, noting that the questionable emergence of Oshiomhole led to the constitutional amendment for Governorship Matters to terminate at the Supreme Court.
“Nigerians know one matter that led to the amendment of the electoral act where Governorship election has to go to the Supreme Court is because of the Oshiomhole matter. So he cannot come out and say he was clean in terms of the Electoral process. That will be very bad. Oshiomhole said he fought godfatherism and the same time he wants to install himself as a godfather in Edo state. Why is he fighting Obaseki, because the man doesn’t take instruction from him. He preaches what he doesn’t practice. ”
Adding, he said, Oshiomhole lacks the powers to challenge the pronouncement of the Supreme Court. “I will not be a member of their party, I have always been a member of PDP and they know that. Oshiomhole knows that his party does not even score up to 25 percent in my state. He cannot not tell me that. There is a saying in my place. Somebody who has nothing to say, he says see how you are. So Oshiomhole has nothing to say about me. And I want to tell him that his party is probing him about the so called hospital he says he built. I am not the one.’’
In the meantime, Genesis Johnson, a spokesman of the protesters, said they were disappointed with the leadership style of Oshiomhole, accusing him of impunity, saying his poor handling of issues led to the Supreme Court nullification of the party’s victory in Bayelsa.
According to him, “look at what happened in Bayelsa state, it was caused by Oshiomhole and we say enough is enough. We want him to park his load and leave that office. He is not the only Nigerian that can manage that office.
“Since he came into this office, he has been creating problems for this party. We suffered to win election and at the end of the day opposition members go to court to take over the state. We are not happy with his conduct and we the party faithful we ask him to go.”
The protesters have vowed to sustain their protest with the view to seeing that the national chairman gave way for the party to move forward.
Johnson spoke hours after Babachir Lawal, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, accus