There was drama on Tuesday as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress Adams Oshiomhole allegedly got into a shouting match with the APC National Vice-Chairman (North-East), Mustapha Salihu, during the party’s National Working Committee meeting in Abuja.
The report by Punch revealed that a lot of people were heard at the meeting making a lot of noise, with some banging tables.
Salihu, who stormed out of the meeting, later confirmed that he clashed with Oshiomhole.
He said the noise was over the ex-Edo governor’s alleged attempt to impose a former member of the presidential campaign council, Waziri Bulama, as National Secretary of the party.
According to him, the decision did not follow due process and endorsement of the Zonal Executive Committee.
The position became vacant after Mai Mala Buni resigned his appointment to contest last year’s Yobe State governorship poll, which he won.
Salihu insisted that Oshiomhole had ceased to be the national chairman of the party because of a court order upholding his suspension by his Iyamho ward in Edo State.
He said, “Unless I see the reversal of the court order suspending Oshiomhole as the APC National Chairman, I won’t allow him to sit here as the national chairman.”
Salihu accused Oshiomhole of name-dropping whenever he wanted to have his way.
He said, “This is an illegality, the party has set a precedent. When Babachir Lawal left to become the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, I replaced him from Adamawa. When Alhaji Lai Mohammed left his post as the National Publicity Secretary to the party to become a minister, Bolaji Abdullahi from Kwara replaced him.
“He (Oshiomhole) keeps dropping names whenever he wants to perpetuate illegality. He doesn’t have the right to call for nomination.”
But the National Legal Adviser of the party, Babatunde Ogala, said he was not aware of any order validating Oshiomhole’s suspension.
Explaining how Bulama emerged, Ogala told journalists that he was the one who moved the motion at the meeting for his appointment as acting National Secretary pending the party’s convention.
He also denied knowledge of any shouting match at the meeting.
Salihu warned that the process leading to Bulama’s emergence could land the party in court.
He said, “Yesterday (Monday) we held our zonal meeting and we agreed on how to go about the position of National Secretary.
“Behold, today (Tuesday) Adams Oshiomhole ordained someone to be the National Secretary. I want to tell you this is illegality.
“There is a serious discussion going on between Borno and Yobe to meet come up with a secretary. We had a meeting yesterday and agreed that the two states should meet.”
Salihu said the condition that could make Borno fill the position left by someone from Yobe was for Borno to surrender the position of Deputy Auditor.
“I told Borno Governor (Babagana Zulum) this morning that I would be in Borno on Friday to consult them and proceed to Yobe and by Monday come up with a name.
“I am not the type of person that will sit and watch illegality. NEC positions are like ministerial positions and are shared across the states. As we speak, Borno has a NEC position.
“If there is a need for them to cede to Borno, there must be consultations. The person who is duly elected at the convention must resign voluntarily and cede his own seat to Yobe. That is what I canvassed but the chairman, as usual, wants to perpetuate his illegality, just the way he did in Zamfara and in other states where we lost. He is still trying to go ahead to adopt Bulama as National Secretary, which is a nullity because he didn’t follow the constitutional procedure.
“What he told us was that it was President Buhari that mentioned Bulama’s name but I know it is not true. The President is not known to do unconstitutional things but he (Oshiomhole) keeps dropping names each time he wants to do illegality but this time round we are going to resist him.”
Salihu vowed to pursue the implementation of the court order upholding Oshiomhole’s suspension.
He said he would write to the Independent National Electoral Commission and Department of State Services not to recognise Oshiomhole as national chairman.
He added, “I have not seen any court order vacating that subsisting court order. So, I am not recognising him as national chairman, he doesn’t have the right to call any meeting.”