APC Crisis: Progressives Governors Forum seeks President Buhari’s intervention

Aanya Igomu, Abuja


Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has been called upon to intervene in the leadership crisis rocking his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The Director-General of the Progressives Governors Forum, PGF, Mr. Salihu Lukman, who made the call, explained that the presence of many experienced leaders should be an advantage to solving the leadership crisis that has lingered for months in the APC.

Lukman also urged other APC chieftains like Mr. Bola Tinubu, Mr. Bisi Akande, Mr. Obgonnaya Onu, and Mr. Tony Momoh to be proactive in resolving the crisis.

It would be recalled that in March 2020, some members of the APC took the party’s National Chairman, Mr. Adam’s Oshiomhole to court challenging his legitimacy to be the chairman. After several court rulings, on June 16, the Appeal Court upheld a ruling that suspended Mr. Oshiomhole from being the APC National Chairman.

The PGF DG who described the leadership crisis as shameful, said “is it possible for a ruling party in control of the federal government, with President Muhammadu Buhari who is incontestably the moral leader, not to be able to resolve a matter as important as who presides as the National Chairman of the party? How can a party so blessed with experienced and very skillful leaders such as Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, Chief Tony Momoh, etc. be incapable of resolving the problem of leadership vacancy? With twenty Governors and in control of the National Assembly leadership producing the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, shouldn’t that serve as a source of strength to be able to solve any leadership dispute in the party, no matter how complex?”

Mr. Lukman called for a National Executive Committee, NEC meeting adding that an NEC meeting may have resolved the crisis at its early stage.

He said that the reason for the crisis was the struggle for power in 2023 which is when Nigeria will hold its next General Election.“Somehow, this situation reminds one of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s diagnostic of March 15, 2020, when he argued that “we must be alert to another sickness that seems rampant within a certain segment of society. That sickness is old Ambition-virus 2023. This illness afflicts many in the political class along with their allies in the media. Those touched by this malady find that their ability to tell time and discern the difference between the present and the future has been strongly impaired.”‘

Mr. Lukman alleged that the “Ambition-Virus 2023” may have spread beyond the National Working Committee members hence the inability to resolve the crisis.

“Without a doubt, this diagnostic is true. On the strength of this prescriptive accuracy, we may need to ask, is APC faced with a cancerous situation? Could the cancer have spread to have consumed all our leaders? Somehow, this may appear to explain the state of health of members of the NWC. Virtually all of them may have been infected with the highest degree of the “old ambition-Virus 2023” on accounts of being proxies to politicians that are already in critical stages on account of the sickness. Being proxies, they will do nothing without the approval of their patrons (if you like godfathers).

“With the godfathers in critical stages, it would appear that to treat the “old ambition-Virus 2023”, we must go beyond the members of the NWC. In fact, the NWC members are just the face of the symptoms. The careers of the symptoms are not the NWC members but their godfathers. In other words, it will be foolhardy to imagine we can resolve the leadership problems of APC by solving the current leadership tussle in the NWC.

“We may recall that the last time, in March 2020, we had this problem, it took the combined intervention of President Buhari, Governors, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and other leaders to create the temporary reprieve, which was terminated by the ruling of the Appeal Court of June 16, 2020. Before the intervention of these leaders in March 2020, the controversy around who has the authority to convene a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) given the suspension of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the party was the dispute. With the resolution of the problem and particularly since meetings of NEC are statutorily required to hold quarterly, why didn’t the NWC under Comrade Oshiomhole convene any NEC meeting between March and now when the crisis resumed? Wouldn’t it have been possible that NEC may even have pre-empted the current crisis?

“Maybe the NWC members, including Comrade Oshiomhole are conscious of the high possibility of the of the party’s NEC taking steps to apply the right treatment to the “old ambition-Virus 2023”, which may include terminating the tenure of the NWC members responsible for the crisis. Termination of the tenure of any of the NWC members responsible for the crisis could mean destroying the ambition of the godfather behind the affected NWC member. Is it why the crisis is lingering and no end in sight? What is it that can be done to help our leaders find a permanent handle to resolve our current APC leadership challenge? Can we immediately activate intervention of our leaders – President Buhari, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Governors, Asiwaju Tinubu, Chief Akande, Chief Onu, Chief Momoh, etc. similar to what happened in March to resolve this matter? Or, is it that these leaders are also infected by the “old ambition-Virus 2023” sickness?” He said.