Senator Adams Oshiomhole, former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, has decried the unconstitutional and undemocratic manner he was booted out of office as chairman of the party despite the sterling achievement of the National Working Committee he superintended over.
He listed one such achievements as the sweeping out of former Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki from national and Kwara politics and without the support of then governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Oshiomhole who traced how APC governors collaborated to ensure he was sacked as national chairman at a book launch in Abuja, noted that the progressives governors reneged on their promise to raise funds to back candidates of the party in states where the party had no sitting governor, in the last minute, back in 2019, a situation he said almost derailed the plan of the APC.
According to him, the governors had insisted on usurping the powers of the NWC to decide who gets the ticket of the party in their states, a position he
Despite the antagonistic posture of the APC governors, he disclosed the NWC he chaired was able to realize one of its top priority agenda, namely the retirement of Senator Bukola Saraki through a prudent deployment of resources. He said the party gave N800 million to Kwara State to support the ‘Otoge’ project which decimated Saraki’s stranglehold on Kwara politics.
Senator Oshiomhole disclosed further that similar support was sent to Ogun state to check the excesses of a former governor of the state adding that Taraba and Imo ( about N600) also got funding of the party without the active support of APC governors. While noting the success of the party in Kwara, Imo and Ogun, he said the party failed in Taraba.
He said his NWC also supported Senatorial and House of representatives candidates with as much as N20 millions as the case maybe. In retrospect he said, that despite these achievements the governors deployed all unlawful schemes to remove him as chairman, noting that the acclaimed puritan politician Salihu Lukman, then Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum never wrote a word in his support.
Instead he said the book author, Lukman, wholeheartedly welcomed a contraption and unlawful Caretaker Committee headed by Governor Mai Mala Buni.
Tracing his relationship with the book author to their days in the labour Union, he said Lukman should learn to draw a line between discussing family issues inhouse and criticizing for the sake of it , pointing out that unwarranted criticism only gives opportunity to the opposition.
The book, APC in and Transition Politics, is the 6th in the series of books authored by the irrepressible Salihu Lukman , with aim to refocus the APC to its commitment to progressive politics.
Earlier in his contribution, John Kayode Fayemi, former governor of Ekiti state, applauded the courage of Lukman to differ on issues, noting that his involvement in politics has never been for personal aggrandizement .
Rather than single out such critical minds for vilification, Fayemi opined that people like Lukman should serve as conscience of the party to draw it back to its progressive part.
“Every progressive party always have people like him and the only way to give credit to such people is to continue to regard them as the conscience of our party.
‘If there is anybody who can be described as the conscience of the All Progressives Congress and progressive politics in Nigeria today, more than any of us is Salihu Mohammed Lukman. So our being present here is a token is paying homage to the voice of the voiceless and that individual committed and insisted to be the voice in the wilderness that our party must be progressive.
“This party leader should be the one that tells our president that this is the feedback from the communities and constituency out there not what he is hearing in the villa where he is locked out. All of us who hold public offices we know how it can be. The book should be a compulsory read for members of the National Working Committee at the national level, state level, local government, ward level so that we can begin the rebuilding process of this organic party, Dr Umar Ganduje is highly committed”.
Speaking in the same vein Chief Sharon Ikpeazu declared that roles should be created for persons like Lukman in the progressive party, if must retain it’s calling as she called for the creation of the Progressive Institute to ape the
DMI and Republican Institute in America
The book launch was graced by present and past leaders of the APC including its pioneer chairman Chief Bisi Akande.