Wednesday, June 16, 2021

APC chairmanship: Oshiomhole formally declares intention, says party needs fresh ideas


Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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Former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, on Thursday, noted that the All Progressives Congress, APC, was in dire need of fresh ideas which he noted was absent.

Mr Oshiomhole stated this while declared formally his interest to contest for the office of national chairman of the party in the party’s forthcoming Convention.

Acknowledging the contributions of both the former interim chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, and its incumbent chairman, Odigie Oyegun, Mr Oshiomhole lauded the leaders for leading the party to victory in the 2015 general elections.

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“I also appreciate Chief Oyegun’s contributions. I want to place on record that whatever anybody will say, he led the party to victory.

“In this world, things can get better. I am contesting, not because I think there is a leadership failure, but democracy works better when new blood is given the opportunity to offer fresh ideas and build on the foundation laid.”

The aspirant, therefore, promised to run and all-inclusive administration and address agitation for restoration of internal democracy.

He said: “We will strive as much as humanly possible to promote internal democracy within the party. For me, I am clear that a political party is a structured, voluntary association and not an amorphous informal mob that is not governed by the mood of its leaders at various levels.

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“Therefore, APC must be seen to operate on the basis of its rules which is the party Constitution and other laws of the Federation, as they relate to the formation and administration of political parties.

“Indeed, the Constitution of the party is the basis of the contract between the party members. Thus a credible membership register is a pre-condition for sustainable internal party democracy.

“As governing party, founded on the values of social democracy, we must be seen to play politics of inclusion which encourages debates, contestations and consensus on policy choices.

“Under our leadership, we will give effect to article 25 of the APC’s Constitution which provides that National Convention of the party shall be held once in two years; National Executive Committee (NEC) every quarter and National Working Committee (NWC) once every month.

“In addition, we should be able to organise annual platforms to review not only the activities of the party but even of governments elected on the platform of the party at all levels.

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“Similarly, other organs of the party including those at the zonal and state levels will be encouraged to meet as stipulated by the Constitution. In this way, there will be a bottom-up approach to internal democracy within the party from unit to ward to local government to state to zonal and national levels.

“These meetings will be dedicated to issues of party management, mobilisation and policy debates. Once the National Working Committee leads by example, it will have not only constitutional powers but the moral authority to compel all other organs of the party to toe the line. Conversely, when the head is right and the direction is clear, every other person will behave responsibly and appropriately.

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“We will endeavour to ensure that the party conventions beyond elections also seeks to discuss development, governance and policy issues.

“Also, we will organise activities at regular intervals across the six geopolitical zones where issues and challenges facing the polity, economy and society will be discussed by party leadership and elected and appointed officials, and members.”

Speaking on the face-off between the Presidency and the National Assembly, Mr Oshiomhole blamed the party national working committee for its failure to foster harmonious working relationship between the two arms of the government.

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He said: “it was the responsibility of the party leadership to ensure that the government remains focused and interdependent of each other. It is our irreducible duty to ensure that both the executive and legislature find a common ground to work together. ”

The aspirant dismissed the insinuation that he was being sponsored by a certain leader of the party to fester the latter’s interest.

“I want to assure our leaders and our overall leader, President Muhammadu Buhari and leaders of National Assembly and our governors that I am clear on what my task will be if elected. I want to be of help to those who need help but I am not capable of being used.”

Prominent dignitaries and party stalwarts included the Presidential Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang; APC national vice- chairman, south-south, Honourable Hillard Eta; host governor, Godwin Obaseki, and Imo state governor and chairman of the All Progressives Governors’ Forum, Rochas Okorocha.

Others are former Bayelsa state governor, Chief Timiprieye Silva, Speaker Edo state House of Assembly, Kabiru Adjoto, Deputy Whip of the Senate, Senator Francis Alimikhena, amongst others.

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