*Buhari’s ministers fuel crisis secretly
The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) has divided the governors elected on the platform of the party.
While 13 governors are backing the Abiola Ajimobi-led National Working Committee, seven others are opposed to it.
The seven governors, who have branded themselves as “reformists,” are desperate to hijack the party’s structure ahead of the 2023 general election.
The 13 governors have, however, described the seven governors as “day dreamers” and “people driven by hubris.”
The crisis is not sitting well with some stakeholders who are now pleading for peace.
The immediate past national chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and the Deputy National Secretary, Mr.Yekini Nabena, in separate statements yesterday called for an immediate resolution of the crisis which was sparked by the suspension of the national chair, Comrade Oshiomhole by a court and the dispute over who should hold the fort in his absence.
A former deputy national secretary of APC, Mr. Victor Giadom, is laying claim to the position over and above the Deputy Chairman (South) Senator Abiola Ajimobi and the National Vice Chairman, Prince Hilliard Etta.
Oshiomhole said yesterday that Giadom was out to harm the party the way his group allegedly did in his home state of Rivers.
Nabena expressed a similar sentiment about Giadom, saying he was acting out a script.
The 13 governors who are backing the Ajimobi-led NWC, The Nation gathered yesterday, see the hand of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the APC crisis and have vowed to find a solution.
However, the other seven APC governors, who have styled themselves as reformists, are not so inclined towards the current leadership of the party.
A few ministers are also said to be fueling the crisis.
Sources said their overall objective is to seize the party’s structure ahead of the 2023 elections.
It was gathered that attempts by some of the aggrieved governors to destroy the minutes of a meeting of the North-East APC held in Gombe State last Saturday were foiled by Governor Babagana Zulum and some party leaders.
The plot to destroy the minutes was meant to pave the way for a fresh crisis in line with a disowned order of a Federal Capital Territory High Court which purportedly asked Giadom to act as National Chairman of the APC.
The National Vice Chairman (Northeast) of the party, Comrade Mustapha Salisu, who purportedly filed the motion, has said he was never a party to it.
He also said he did not ask anyone to file any motion on his behalf.
“I was not part of such shenanigan. It is not in my character to play such dirty politics, and I condemn in strong terms those behind it,” Salisu said on Thursday in reaction to the filing of the suit in his name.
The 13 pro-NWC governors are said to have been alarmed by revelations that the crisis in APC is being fueled by some PDP leaders.
A source cited the defection of Governor Godwin Obaseki to PDP on Friday with an APC governor allegedly playing a key role in the development.
The governor is believed to have helped in getting Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, a waiver to contest the governorship race.
Obaseki himself told reporters in Abuja yesterday that he still enjoys the support and sympathy of APC governors.
“I still thank God that I enjoy national support; not just support from my colleagues from the APC,” he said after his screening for this week’s primary of the PDP in his state.
A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The division among the APC governors is deeper. We have 13 on the side of the NWC and seven described as “dreamers.”
The 13 governors believe the party should survive all its leaders. They are therefore working for the stability of APC.
“They are of the opinion that instead of destroying APC, its leaders should sink their differences.
“They are worried that President Buhari is being blackmailed as if the APC was formed to realise his ambition alone.
“They are also insisting that 2023 Presidency should not be allowed to lead to the collapse of APC, irrespective of the aspirations of various leaders.
“They were shocked at the way their colleagues have been taking undue advantage of the judiciary for different rulings.”
On the fate of the suspended National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the source said: “I think we will soon get over that with measures put in place by the 13 governors and other party leaders.”
He said those opposed to the Oshiomole-Ajimobi leadership were doing so because of 2023 politics.
His words: “They have been boasting that they have pocketed the judiciary and can get any judgment. Although we have left the ultimate divine judgment to God, we will do our best to curtail their hubris.
“It is unfortunate that some ministers in President Buhari’s cabinet have teamed up with these seven governors to plot the collapse of the APC which produced the government in which they are serving.
“They hide under the guise of being “reformists” to cause crisis. For instance, one of the governors actually facilitated Obaseki’s negotiation with PDP so that APC could lose.
“Also, another of the seven governors is said to be boasting that they have piled up funds to destroy APC completely unless they have their way.”
Asked the way out, the source said: “The two camps have not been able to reconcile. No one is mediating between the two camps as I am talking to you. We are hopeful that President Buhari will be decisive in saving APC from collapse.”
How attempts to destroy minutes were foiled
A member of the APC NWC said the plot to destroy the minutes was meant to pave the way for a fresh crisis in line with the disowned order of a Federal Capital Territory High Court which purportedly asked the Deputy National Secretary, Victor Giadom, to act as the National Chairman of APC.
The source said: “To justify the need for Giadom to be acting National Chairman and the National Vice Chairman (North-East), Comrade Mustapha Salihu, to be National Secretary, a ranking member of those seeking to destroy APC called the Zonal Secretary to bring the minutes of last Saturday zonal session in Gombe.
“The leader said the purpose was to destroy the minutes and attendance register for strategic reasons and in the interest of the APC. He said he was acting on the instructions of other leaders from the North-East.
“Sensing danger, the Zonal Secretary contacted North-East leaders, including Governor Zulum who was in Abuja on Friday.
“The Zonal Secretary was directed to keep the records of the meeting in Gombe. I think they are desperate to initiate a fresh crisis. The minutes and other documents are now in safe custody.”
* Giadom wants to kill APC – Oshiomhole
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, speaking in an interview yesterday in Abuja, claimed that Giadom was out to destroy the APC the way his group allegedly ruined the party in Rivers State in the run-up to the 2019 election.
Oshiomhole said Giadom ceased to be a member of the NWC of the party a long time ago and that in any case, there was no way a deputy national secretary would be handed the affairs of a party over and above other high ranking officers.
“It is common sense that if the chairman is absent, it should be the deputy. In the absence of the deputy, it is the vice chairman. How does the deputy secretary come in?” he said
“As we speak, we have a secretary sitting in the office, working late hours to ensure that the secretariat functions. I think that my brother, Victor Giadom, wants to take our party through the route of Rivers State where they created so much problem.
“As we speak today, in Rivers, we have a crisis. My plea to them is that they should put God first and put our national party’s interest second and our democracy deep in their hearts and not try to use externalities to destabilise our party the way it has been destabilised in Rivers State.
“How can a deputy National Secretary, assuming he was still one, claim to be chairman?”