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Oshiomhole: Stepping on Powerful Toes Cost Me APC Chairmanship

By Nwa Diokpa

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Immediate National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomhole has stated the reason why he lost his position as the chairman of the party.

He revealed that he has no regrets over his deeds during his time as a former National Chairman of the party and that if given a second chance he will fight the same forces again.

He stated this while answering questions on the Morning Show in ARISE NEWS Channel, saying that he stepped up on many powerful toes in the party who instigated his ouster.

Oshiomhole was removed on June 16 following a Court of Appeal judgment ratifying the verdict of an Abuja High Court that affirmed his suspension by his ward in Edo State.

However, his suspension had generated another leadership contest in APC that saw the emergence of three interim national chairmen within 48 hours.

President Muhammadu Buhari, in collaboration with other party leaders, waded into the matter and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, headed by Oshiomhole was dissolved.

“I have no regrets whatsoever on the decision to sack the NWC, which of course put an end to my chairmanship. No regrets. The average Nigerian wants strong leadership; they want things to be done differently.

“You don’t want a situation where a few people control our political destiny. In trying to democratise and return the party to the party members, you have powerful forces, few in number, but have access to resources. Who will resist that?

“Whether anybody appreciates it or not, between President Muhammadu Buhari and myself, we agreed that we must return APC to APC members and that’s why we introduced direct primaries; we produced a membership register.” He said

Oshiomhole added that the president supported the decision to change the pattern of conducting party primaries to direct primaries, saying that the decision, which set him against many state governors, was not unilateral.

He said: “And of course, there were those opposed to direct primaries, but as a compromise, this is something I couldn’t really speak to, because at the end of the day, some governors said they wanted indirect and some of us, the president inclusive, said we wanted direct.

“That’s why we approved direct primaries for the presidency because indirect primaries, you can’t bribe everybody; but with the use of delegates, you can.

“So, if we were going to return, assuming I was going to return to APC tomorrow as chairman, I will sustain some of the radical measures which some people were not happy about.

“I do not want a tenure that is not eventful. I want to drive changes and the slogan of my party is change. If we thought things were perfect, why did we talk about change?

“We must continue to change the way we do things and continue to improve. Just try and do things better. I do not regret the fact, along with my colleagues in the NWC, to disqualify a serving minister who publicly said arrogantly that he didn’t do NYSC and that being a minister is a greater service than NYSC.

“You know that NYSC is obligatory and to default on it, you cannot hold public office. I am also happy that a governor said to me he is not going to do primaries somewhere in the South-west.

“That he’s going to do his own primaries even when the constitution of APC is so clear that only the NWC can conduct primaries. He went and did his own primaries, we did our own and I insisted that it’s only the one we did in line with the constitution of the APC that will be upheld regardless of the powers behind the other guy.”

The former labour leader noted that he stepped on powerful toes, which led to his sack, insisting that he will fight the same forces if he had the chance to return.

 “Of course, I am aware that when you step on powerful toes, they will fight back, but I had no intention that I was going to be a life chairman. No.

“The person who invited me to bid for that office is the president and I thank him for the support he gave me and his standing fast. I am now in history as the only chairman whom eight ward members out of 24 allegedly suspended and that was the basis for removing someone who was elected in a convention of 7,000 people.

“I decided I wasn’t contesting it because of my understanding of loyalty, particularly when you hold the office of trust, whatever has happened belongs to the past and I can’t do things differently.

“I have seen some analysts say, comrade ought to know that so so people are powerful, or some governors are powerful, how can I do that? Are the laws made for the powerless?

“In any case, from the age of 18, I had been fighting power. If power is abused, I have asked God to give me the power to confront and defeat power. Why do I want to survive for survival’s sake?

“I put my job on the line even as a daily paid worker, to fight what I considered to be unjust. But let me assure you that I do not regret anything that we have done because you cannot change Nigeria without offending some powers.” He stated


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