The subject of who the substantive chairman of the ruling party in Nigeria, All Progressive’s Party (APC), really is has been a confusion-causing matter for at least a week now. The issue came to a head as the party has found itself in the biggest controversy to ever threaten its existence since its founding in 2013.
Former Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole was the substantive APC chairman until powerful forces within the party began to plot his removal.
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In a matter which happened too quickly to alter, an Abuja High Court on March 4, ordered Oshiomole to step down, pending a determination of the substantive suit as he remained suspended in his Edo state domain. However, in a swift motion to counter the move, Oshiomole got a Kano High Court to allow him to remain in office until the determination of the original substantive suit.
On Tuesday, June 16, the Court of Appeal in Abuja affirmed the suspension of Adams Oshiomole as APC chairman.
The Appeal Court decision set on motion a series of events which has since threatened the survival of the ruling party. It opened the door for two members of the National Working Committee (NWC), Abiola Ajimobi and Victor Giadom, and their loyalists to struggle for the top position.
The Interim Chairman in dispute, Chief Victor Giadom, has since Oshiomole’s ouster moved to affirm his position as the substantive APC Interim chairman. Meanwhile, the late former governor of Oyo state and the Deputy National Chairman (South), Senator Isiaka Ajimobi, was favoured by some quarters within the party to take over the mantle of leadership after Oshiomole’s ouster.
The position taken by Giadom was considered ex-judis of the APC constitution as he could not have been in a position where he could assume chairmanship of the party. Also on June 17, the APC spokesperson declared Senator Abiola Ajimobi as the Interim National Chairman. Incidentally, the death of Ajimobi which was announced officially on Thursday, June 25, further emboldened Giadom to call for an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) via Zoom video call – a meeting which the National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was not invited to.
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However, the little control which Giadom had gotten soon got expended at the same NEC meeting where President Muhammadu Buhari and his loyalists were also waiting to ambush him and seize total control of the party.
At the NEC meeting, a resolution was reached to dissolve the NWC and appoint a caretaker committee until the matter of substantive chairman could be ascertained. The Attorney General of the Federation was also said to have sworn-in the new Caretaker Committee Chairman who is also the Yobe state governor, Mai Mala Buni.
In other news, the emergency NEC meeting yesterday was said to have not been in line with the APC party constitution and so all decisions reached there could be rendered null if tested in court.
As of Friday, June 26, Giadom is said to be considering walking back his decision to call for the controversial NEC meeting.
Likewise, if Oshiomole considers further challenging the decision of the Court of Appeal at the Supreme Court, the current iterations might favour him if he got the apex court’s backing.
As things stand, the APC as a party has no leadership with a legal and party’s constitutional backing. But for the time being, Mai Mala Buni can be considered to be a figure-head chairman of the Caretaker committee – as he is favoured by the president.
Featured Image Source: Independent Newspapers
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