12 June 2018

Nigeria: APC Convention - Win or Lose, I'll Continue to Work for Party - Oshiomhole

A chairmanship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, said whether he wins the slot or not, he will continue to work for the success of the ruling party.

Mr Oshiomhole made his position known while addressing journalists after his screening at the Katsina Governor's lodge Asokoro Abuja on Monday,

According to him, "the process of election is more important than the outcome".

"The process is better than the outcome. I am satisfied not because I am chairman but because my party is in power and my commitment is not just to be chairman. Chairman or no chairman, I work hard and I will continue to work hard to see that our party retains power at the centre and also retains power in many more states and many more senators so we can have the energy we need to deepen the change and sustain the changes."

The party has zoned the chairmanship seat to the South-south and Mr Oshiomhole would be running against Clement Ebri, a former governor of Cross River State and Ibrahim Emokpaire, a member of the party in the United Kingdom chapter, among others.

Mr Oshiomhole, who saw the screening as an examination, said he did his best and "it is now left for the committee to decide".

"When you write you sit for exam and write your papers, you try to do your best trusting your examiners will find your answers good enough to give you a pass or even a distinction. That will lie within their discretion but I can only say I did my best.

"I think the issues are basically about going forward. Nobody should seek to lead if you do not have, first, a level of understanding what the challenges are, before you can't do prescription without diagnosis and fortunately I have been a founding member. I was one of the governors that participated in the merger meetings.

"I understand the mission and vision of the APC because we were founding persons so I know what our dream was and the gap between that dream and the current reality. And I am also clear as to what to do differently so that dream is realised."

Speaking on the speculation that he was sponsoring some of the contenders, a political strategy in Nigeria, he said "Well I don't react to speculations, I react to real issues. If they are speculations, they should be allowed to die as speculations."

Expressing confidence in his ability, he said he was used to competition and being a democrat, everyone is free to join the race.

"I am used to 'contestation', I am used to competition and I am a democrat. That is why I didn't agree with those who said extend our tenure without election. I think democracy is problematic but there is no better way to govern a people who are not children, people who do not want to be spoon-fed and in this business, it's not just what to do but how it is done and who is involved in the doing.

"It's about participation so I am excited, the people (contenders) by the way are no strangers, at least I know one and incidentally we have contested against each other before. He rigged me out and I pursued him and I won, and I retrieved the mandate from him and went back to seek second term.

"So if I was able to 'defeat' him (Ebri) as ordinary union leader, now as a man who has had the privilege of presiding over the "Nigerian Labour Congress nationwide and a two-time governor, if I had to compete with a person who was governor for 18 months, illegally, I don't have any problem. As for the others, you know in the boxing ring, heavyweights don't engage featherweights but I am happy. I think that we are in a democracy and people are free to contest."

Mr Ebri led Cross River between January 1992 and November 1993 under the National Republican Convention (NRC). He left office in the aftermath of the coup that brought in late dictator, Sani Abacha.

Mr Oshiomhole who enjoys the support of President Muhammadu Buhari and other major APC leaders, is expected to emerge party chairman.

Meanwhile, Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, chaiman of the screening sub-committee, who said 179 members have obtained nomination forms to run for various positions in the forthcoming National Convention also said they will abide by the rules and regulations guiding the convention and stick to zoning.

He also said the result of the screening, which started Sunday will be presented Tuesday.

Nigeria

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