ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE, looking weathered and subdued, presently, has become a man with a lone voice. The once vibrant, somehow ferocious and energetic politician, may be succumbing to depreciating popularity and political neglects. He seems to have gone into his shell with less followers – the price for political arrogance, high-handedness and abuse of power.
The political terrain, the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, the platform on which Oshiomhole served eight years as governor of Edo State, south-south, Nigeria, and the party on which he, also, served as national chairman, is no longer conducive for him. He is, hardly, any more, a newsmaker, who was often sought after by news reporter for “breaking news”. Where next for Oshiomhole, which direction?
Oshiomhole, on Monday, issued a press statement he signed himself, titled: “My Position Has Not Changed”, that he had no intention to return as national chairman or ruling party. He averred that no court pronouncement or decision will make him reverse his decision – not even if he was given a second chance; in the office he held for two years.
Oshiomhole issued the statement in response to a suit filed by Hilliard Eta, former national vice chairman, south-south, of the ruling APC, challenging the dissolution of the national working committee, which he [Oshiomhole] was the chairman. He did not, however, name Hilliard Eta, in his statement. He said the author of the filed suit was described as his ally and associate.
Hilliard Eta, on November 26, 2020, filed a suit in a Federal High Court, Abuja, asking the court to sack Mai Buni caretaker committee, appointed by APC NEC meeting presided by President Buhari, at the presidential villa, June 25, 2020; and declare him the acting national chairman of the party. The action by APC NEC, in dissolving the party’s NEC, and appointing the Buni led caretaker committee, Eta, said was not in compliance with the constitution of the party.
Oshiomhole’s statement said: “In reporting the legal action taken by a member of the dissolved National Working Committee of the APC, some attributions have been made to the effect that the plaintiff is an ‘ally of Oshiomhole’ or an “associate of Oshiomhole. For the avoidance of doubt, the 21-member NWC under my leadership largely worked cohesively and harmoniously.
“The only exceptions were those of the three members used by forces desperate to take control of the party. The majority of 18 members worked as a team and not as allies or loyalists of anybody. When the National Executive Committee in its wisdom dissolved the NWC, I immediately announced publicly that I accepted the decision, regardless of its illegality or otherwise, as it affected my position as national chairman.”
WAY FORWARD, for Oshiomhole, by his statement, appears to be humility and submissiveness to the ruling party, as the internal crisis in APC deepened. He acknowledged the role President Buhari played towards his emergence as national chairman of the party, in June 2018; and said he remained loyal to the president’s administration.
Political observers and analysts, see a worsening internal crisis in the ruling party, with Eta’s suit, if the situation is not well managed.