ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE, returned to his desk, as national chairman, of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, at the party’s national secretariat, Abuja, last Tuesday. Abuja division of Nigerian Court of Appeal, set aside, March 4, order by an Abuja High Court, that suspended him as national chairman of the party. The three-member Appeal Court Justices, led by Abubakar Yahaha, ruled that “an emergency picture has been painted so that intervention by this court at this time and in this process is granted”.
“There is the information that a national executive meeting of the 2nd applicant is to be held tomorrow and following the ruling of the FCT high court under the situation, the first applicant would not be able to attend if this happens, then there is no chance that any status quo would be maintained.
“The status quo can only be maintained in the circumstance if there is a stay of execution of the FCT high court judgment. In this vein, therefore, we find merit in this application. We hereby order stay of execution on the ruling of the FCT high court in suit number: FCT/HC/CV/837/2020 delivered in the 4th of March 2020 pending the determination of the motion on notice which is now slated for hearing on Thursday the 19th of March 2020.
“We also hereby give an order of injunction restricting the respondents in the suit, their agents, their privies and all officers jointly or severally from proceeding to take any other steps to give effect to the said ruling pending the determination of the motion on notice,” the Justices ruled. By this judicial pronouncement, Oshiomhole, got the respite he badly needed.
Unquestionably, Oshiomhole is a distinguished activist in trade unionism. No doubt, that trade union activists in the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, confused the leadership of trade union activism, with the leadership qualities needed for the office of national chairman of a national political party. In dare strains of what the party needed for that office, advocates of activism in the party, rooted for Oshiomhole to occupy the national chairmanship position.
Leadership in national political party, in liberal democracy, thrive most, under the leadership principles of constructive superior reasoning, logical arguments, engagements and persuasion; as well as, diplomacy and majority will of the people. These principles are model in political party leadership and democracy. They thrive over autocracy of trade union actors, which Adams Oshiomhole represent.
Oshiomhole is not known to be in the class of leaders who believe in superior reasoning. Who believe in logical arguments, engagements and persuasion. Who believe in diplomacy, and that majority will of the people should prevail. His leadership style is dictatorial, as he rightly acknowledged. He knows more than everyone else, even more than the president, and locked in on one man-show.
As Oshiomhole returned as national chairman of his party, did he learn any lesson? Perhaps. He sang new song of reconciliation, as he re-joined his colleagues in the National Working Committee. He seemed sober. He pledged to put the interests of party members and that of Nigeria first.
Oshiomhole’s words: “Party politics is about contestations. I am not the best chairman in the world and I don’t claim to be so, you can fault my style but you cannot fault my sincerity. The NWC is not divided. None of us seated here wants to destroy our party. My style is my style but I’ve learnt to reconcile my style with the style of others”.
Will Oshiomhole, ever, overcome his trade unionism demeanour? Will APC and Oshiomhole’s demeanour foster peace and reconciliation in the party? The gladiators on Oshiomhole’s removal looked displaced. Even though, some appears to be in reconciliation mood — all singing new songs.
Not until the Appeal Court determined the substantive case whether Oshiomhole was properly suspended by the party executive of his home Ward, in Edo State. The basis of which an Abuja High Court judgement of March 4, 2020, removed him as national chairman of the party. Or, political solution will suffice, as being sought by the party. Just time, and time will tell.