Facts have emerged over how the plot to oust the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, was foiled yesterday by some governors of the party sympathetic to his cause.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling party was billed for today to decide on Oshiomhole’s continued stay as national chairman, but President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, sanctioned the indefinite postponement of the meeting after a parley with APC governors at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
New Telegraph exclusively gathered last night that it was a near brawl at a meeting of the APC governors under the aegis of Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), which preceded their meeting with President Buhari.
The meeting, which held at the Kebbi State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, was for the APC governors to arrive at a position on Oshiomhole and the botched NEC meeting before proceeding to the Villa to meet with Buhari.
Though Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna) were conspicuously absent from the meeting, our correspondent gathered that the purpose of the PGF meeting was defeated as tempers flared, when Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, who also doubles as chairman of the PGF, came up with a post-meeting communiqué, which not only endorsed Oshiomhole’s ouster, but agreed that the NEC meeting should hold as scheduled.
The communiqué was meant to be presented to President Buhari as the position of the governors on Oshiomhole, but troubled started, when Imo State governor, Hope Uzodinma, challenged Bagudu on how the stand was arrived at.
A source at the meeting told our correspondent that Uzodinma not only confronted Bagudu, but demanded the he (the Kebbi State governor) explain to his colleagues, how the position to support Oshiomhole’s sack as APC national chairman was arrived at.
His words: “It was a charged atmosphere at the meeting of the Progressive Governors’ Forum held at Atiku Bagudu’s house before the APC governors later proceeded to the Villa to confer with President Buhari.
“The meeting was for the governors to take a stand on Oshiomhole as well as the NEC meeting that was supposed to hold today, but the conviviality that normally characterize such meetings was missing as Governor Bagudu’s move to have his colleagues adopt a communiqué prepared ahead of the meeting and which supported Oshiomhole’s sack, hit the rocks.
“Uzodinma, who faulted the move which would have sealed Oshiomhole’s fate, practically charged at Bagudu over the communiqué, describing it as a fraud. He was supported by his colleagues from Borno, Ogun and Gombe states; Babagana Zulum, Dapo Abiodun and Inuwa Yahaya.”
The source added that while the heated debate over Uzodinma’s observation raged, the pro-Oshiomhole governors, who indisputably outnumbered their colleagues on the other side, insisted that the party’s national chairman should not be removed.
He further revealed that the Imo State governor even went ahead to “warn Bagudu and his co-travellers to desist from using the PGF to champion their interest,” while insisting on the sack of the Director General of the Forum, Salihu Lukman, who according to him, is being used by some of the governors to attack Oshiomhole.
The pro-Oshiomhole governors threatened to remove Bagudu as chairman of APC governors. Bagudu, however, pleaded with his colleagues to allow peace to reign.
Before the governors left the Kebbi Governor’s Lodge, it was agreed that Oshiomhole must stay on while the NEC meeting must be postponed.
New Telegraph learnt that at the Villa, President Buhari told the governors that the NEC meeting would not go on. “The governors told the President that they have also agreed on the postponement of the meeting,” one of the governors said.
President Buhari also told the governors to nominate two of its members who will join the APC Reconciliation Committee headed by a former Interim National of the party, Chief Bisi Akande.
“The President also told the governors not only to support the Akande committee, but to also direct all those, who are in courts with the party to withdraw their suits,” the source added.
Meanwhile, the National Working Committee (NWC) meeting of the APC will hold today at the party’s National Secretariat.
“All members of the NWC are expected to attend as important matters concerning the party will be considered and deliberated at the meeting.
“Recall that a Court of Appeal, on Monday, stayed the execution order of a High Court restraining the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole from further acting in that capacity,” Lanre Issa-Onilu, the party spokesman stated in a statement.