Nigeria: APC Crisis - NWC Members Insist Ajimobi Is Acting Chairman

(file photo).

Fifteen out of the 21 members of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have reaffirmed Abiola Ajimobi as the party's interim national chairman.

The APC spokesperson, Lanre Issa-Onilu, had on Tuesday announced the former Oyo State governor as acting national chairman shortly after the Court of Appeal in Abuja upheld the suspension of the embattled national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.

Earlier on Wednesday, in a separate press conference at the party's Abuja headquarters, the Deputy National Secretary of the party, Victor Gaidom, declared himself acting national chairman of the party.

This he said is in accordance with the judgement of Justice S.U. Bature in suit no FCT/HC/M/6447/2020 dated March 16, 2020, which ordered the suspension.

In a contrary position, shortly after Mr Gaidom's address, the NWC members said Mr Ajimobi remains the acting national chairman and said Mr Gaidom was not even a member of the party.

Speaking for the 15 NWC members, 12 of whom were in attendance, Hilliard Eta, the APC national vice-chairman (South-south) said Mr Gaidom has not returned to the NWC since he resigned his position to contest as deputy governor in the last Rivers State governorship election.

"You said chief Victor Gaidom has annulled the screening of Edo State governorship aspirants. Even a properly elected chairman that is currently on suspension cannot on his own make such decision.

"Chief Victor Gaidom has long ceased to be a member of the NWC. He has voluntarily resigned his membership to be able (because that is the constitution of our party) to contest as deputy governorship candidate of our party.

"And, at no time - I (Mr Eta) superintend over the South-South and at no time - did I present Gaidom again to come to the NWC. You can check all the records and you will see that this is the fact," Mr Eta said.

However, PREMIUM TIMES obtained a copy of the NWC signed attendance list of the meeting held on Wednesday, June 17. Mr Gaidom was in attendance and signed as a member of the body.

Meanwhile, this is not the first time he would be attending core meetings with the body without any form of hesitation from the other members.

Mr Eta, in company of other members of the NWC, announced a seven-member panel for Edo State governorship election primaries and another five-member appeal committee.

Ajimobi calls for peace

The man whom the NWC members announced as acting chairman, Mr Ajimobi, is ill and on admittance at a Lagos hospital, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

His spokesperson, however, released a statement late Tuesday calling on party stakeholders to observe peace as he assumes office.

Speaking through his spokesperson, Bolaji Tunji, the former Oyo State governor announced his plan to call the party's National Executive Council (NEC) meeting to douse the mounting crisis in the party.

"We should therefore let peace continue to reign until we call the NEC meeting and take a position on the way forward," he said.

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