A chieftain of the APC in Edo, Charles Airhiavbere, announced on Tuesday that he and other stalwarts had joined forces to back up President Muhammadu Buhari and Adams Oshiomhole to resolve the crisis plaguing the party.
Mr Airhiavbere, a retired major-general and frontline aspirant for the governorship slot in the forthcoming Edo elections on the platform of the APC, made the announcement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
The APC, led by Oshiomhole, a veteran labour leader, has faced recurring leadership crisis that appears to be threatening Oshiomhole’s plum job.
Mr Airhiavbere lamented that the crisis which has pitched Oshiomhole against some interests in the ruling party was being induced by those he described as political dissidents in the APC.
”We shall help President Buhari and Chairman Adams Oshiomhole to overcome the crisis being induced against the party by political dissidents in the APC.”
He explained that it was getting clearer by the day that what was at the core of the entire plot against Oshiomhole was “the ambition of Gov. Godwin Obaseki’’.
According to him, the governor is being used as a “pawn” in the power struggle by some governors, who are vacating office in 2023.
Mr Airhiavbere argued that the quest of the governors was to weed every politician associated with the defunct Congress for Progressive Change and the Action Congress of Nigeria in the build up to the 2023 general elections.
The APC chieftain said the ultimate game plan was to erase Buhari’s legacy and everything associated with him if the dissidents grabbed power in the next political dispensation.
He noted that “the indiscretion, insubordination and desperation of the Edo governor is what has thrown the APC into crisis at the moment.
“It is feared that it may likely send the APC to coma if the dissidents are not checkmated forthwith.
“However, there already a groundswell of support from majority of both the national working committee and members against the dissidents and their attack dogs.
“It is unfortunate that the dissidents have already concluded their alliance with the opposition to the extent that opposition governors have openly endorsed Obaseki for second term.
Airhiavbere argued further that most of the allegations against Oshiomhole contained “coterie of lies and mischief, fabricated to remove him from office.
He described Oshiomhole as a man with an enviable track-record of managing people and resources, dating back to his days as leader of the Nigerian Labour Congress.
“This is the major reason why all the political heavyweights in Edo State are with him.
“Therefore, APC as a party must be careful with the dissidents presenting charcoal to Nigerians and telling them it is deodorant in their desperation to remove Oshiomhole from office.
“They are only ganging up and getting afraid of Oshiomhole because they have realized that he will not compromise with them at all levels of the party.
Mr Airhiavbere, who contested the Edo governorship primaries with Obaseki in 2016, recalled that the transition from a civilian administration to another civilian administration from PDP to APC in 2015 showed that democracy was evolving steadily in Nigeria.
He advised public office holders, elected on the platform of the APC to show character, be disciplined and to display unimpeachable loyalty to the supremacy of the party.