Nigeria: 'Drowning' Oshiomhole Looking for Straw 'To Cling On' - Okechukwu

(file photo)
17 December 2019

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is 'drowning' and 'searching for straw to cling on,' a leader of the party in the Southeast has said.

Osita Okechukwu, who is also the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria, was one of those pardoned Monday by Mr Oshiomhole's APC leadership months after they were controversially suspended.

In his first official reaction to the reinstatement, however, Mr Okechukwu attacked Mr Oshiomhole and said the suspension was illegal.

He questioned the legitimacy of his suspension alongside that of the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu; ex-Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun; ex-Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha; and the former minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru.

They were all pardoned by the party's National Working Committee (NWC) on Monday.

Their suspension was announced on March 1, 2019, by the NWC chaired by Mr Oshiomhole for alleged anti-party engagements in the build-up to the 2019 general elections.

In his reaction obtained by PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday evening, the VON DG quoting Article 21 of the party's constitution, argued that their suspension was a "clear breach of the constitution of APC" to suit Mr Oshiomhole's whims and caprices.

"The power to discipline party members, which is exercised subject to fair hearing, is granted only to the respective Executives Committees of the Ward, LGA, State and National, by virtue of the first paragraph of Article 21 of the APC constitution," Mr Okechuckwu said.

The anti-party allegations leveled against Mr Okechukwu were rejected by his primary constituency (ward, local and Enugu State APC) which the constitution confirms as "one of the adjudicatory bodies with regard to compliant or allegation against any member of the party."

It is until the local levels act that a report of an erring member can be submitted to the NEC for final decision.

"From the above my brothers and sisters, friends and well wishers, my humble self and indeed His Excellencies Rotimi Akeredolu, Rochas Okorocha and Ibukunle Amosun and Pastor Usani Usani were never suspended by their Ward, LGA, State or National Executive Committee as envisaged by the APC's Constitution," Mr Okechukwu said.

He also accused the party chairman of rigging him out of the 2019 Enugu West Senatorial District primary elections, which he said later cost the APC the seat and led to a flawless defeat of its presidential candidate in the state.

"My election, stone timed to kill two birds, one to send Senator Ike Ekweremadu packing and two to garner 25% for President Muhammadu Buhari in Enugu State, an objective Oshiomhole stymied," said Mr Okechukwu.

The Edo State Deficit

In reference to the existing feud between Mr Oshiomhole and his successor as Edo governor, Godwin Obaseki, Mr Okechukwu questioned the former's leadership capability.

PTEMIUM TIMES has reported the feud between Mr Oshiomhole and Mr Obaseki which has led to two factions of the APC in Edo.

Mr Obaseki is believed to be among APC governors opposed to Mr Oshiomhole's stay as party chairman.

"Consequently, the drowning Comrade Adams Oshiomhole instead of searching for straw to cling on should not only learn that rule of law governs our great party, but should rush home and quench the inferno he has simulated in Edo State, as charity has to begin at home," Mr Okechukwu said.

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