Osita Okechukwu, the Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON) and senatorial aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, to resign.
Mr Okechukwu, who lost the Enugu West senatorial ticket to Juliet Ibekaku, the special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on justice reform, said this on Sunrise Daily, a programme on Channels Television, while speaking on the issues surrounding the party primaries on Wednesday.
He said when the chairman was elected, he believed and respected him; but with events in the last three to four months, he believes the best option is for Mr Oshiomhole to resign.
“As national chairman, I had high respect for him like most of our members. But today, three, four months down the line, he has grossly breeched the constitution of the APC, grossly divided the APC further that it is only Mr President and the leadership for the party that can couple together the mess.”
“I was a member of the APC merger committee. I (can) stand to say I am (a) foundation member, like Comrade Oshiomhole. We started by saying we are true progressives, patriots, (who) wanted to make change, (who) wanted to avoid discrimination, eliminate what those we defeated in 2015 were doing.
“We talked of change. Our motto is justice, peace and harmony. The constitution went further to say that if you want to conduct any primary or congress to elect anybody, it must be democratically done.
“I think actually, unlike those who are saying he is a mole, I don’t think so. What I know is that as a social scientist, the little I could read on Adams Oshiomhole is that he suffers from Narcissism, what we know as I too know (ITK). So he doesn’t believe anybody except himself and that is costly to the APC.”
Mr Okechukwu believes the issue of the primaries can be traced to the composition of the panels that conducted the election which he alleged were filled with the chairman’s kindred.
“What we noticed, especially in the South -east where I come from, is that Oshiomhole populated the leadership of the panels with his kindred and cronies.
“Go to the records of the outcome of those primaries, one in Kano, Kebbi, Akwa Ibom, (filled with) Edo people. Is that federal character principle? Is there no qualified chairman that could come from Jigawa, Kano, Ekiti, and Enugu?
“I thought that the 37 chairmen of the panels will represent different states and each state should have a spot. That is the internment of the APC constitution; that is the internment of the Nigerian constitution.
“So if you went out of your way to grossly violate the constitution of the party, the outcome is on the plate.”
Speaking on the pro -Oshiomhole protest held at the party’s national secretariat on Tuesday, Mr Okechukwu said he believes that was sponsored by the chairman.
“When I saw a crowd at the party secretariat chanting his songs, I said so it has gotten to a stage where comrade went to hire people to start defending the indefensible.”
Comparing the tenure of the former chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, he said “what happened in Oyegun’s time is far different from the ‘calamity’ we have now.”
Babatunde Ogala, the party’s national legal adviser who also spoke on the programme, said he will not defend or speak for the chairman as he is not his spokesperson but that it appears all issues raised by Mr Okechukwu are personal issues with the chairman.
“I am not in the position to speak for Adams but the ones that concern the party are the once I will rather talk about. I will not want to join issues with him. I am not saying he is wrong or right. If it was the opposition, we can. But I won’t come and exchange words with a senior member of our party.”
He urged Mr Okechukwu to rather than this, make use of internal dispute mechanisms of the party as he is already using strong words that he should not use.
He questioned Mr Okechukwu’s claim that the chairman flooded the election committee with his kindred, noting that it’s not about where you come from but credibility.
“He should have asked how were those names were arrived at. The NWC had the list of those who went to conduct the election. Is it about where you come from or about credibility?”
Mr Ogala, noting that pointing accusing fingers won’t help the party, said “if you want this party to win in 2019, we shouldn’t throw the party under the bus.”