The contentious meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), scheduled for Tuesday, has been postponed.
The postponement was announced Monday by the Chairman of APC Governors Forum and Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, while briefing State House correspondents after he led APC governors to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari in his office.
The meeting was expected to decide the fate of party chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, after an Abuja high court directed him to stop parading himself as the chairman of the ruling party.
A court of similar jurisdiction in Kano had also issued a counter directive asking Mr Oshiomhole to continue serving as chairman of the party.
Mr Oshiomhole approached the Court of Appeal to challenge the Abuja court’s ruling.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the appeal court earlier on Monday suspended the case indefinitely.
The feud in the ruling APC became fierce with the suspension of Mr Oshiomhole, following an application filed by some leaders of the party.
Since then, the deputy national secretary of the party, Victor Giadom, has taken over the party’s secretariat, hinging his reason on the Abuja high court order.
Mr Giadom had called the controversial NEC meeting for Tuesday.
This decision drew criticism from some members of the party but some high-ranked members also threw their weight behind Mr Giadom.
On Thursday, four serving ministers and some leaders from the South-South enjoined party members to attend the meeting and endorsed Mr Giadom to replace Mr Oshiomhole.
“That we fully support the convening of the National Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday, March 17th, as the NEC is the only recognised organ under the constitution of our party to resolve the APC crisis.
“That we insist that the party should respect the current zoning arrangement by retaining the chairmanship of our great party in the South-South zone even in an acting capacity,” the communique issued by the group and read by Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, stated.
The Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma; a national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, and the chairman of the party reconciliatory committee, Bisi Akande, at the weekend decried the crisis in the party.
Both Messrs Tinubu and Uzodinma ascribed the rumbling to the ambition of some of the party leaders ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
“The plotters launched their attack solely because they perceive the chairman as an obstacle to their 2023 ambitions. People went to court knowing full well the party constitution prohibits such action because these people had not yet exhausted all internal disciplinary procedures. We even had a national deputy secretary improperly call for a NEC meeting on the basis that he believed himself the acting national chairman. Clearly, this man would not have summoned the temerity to make such a move had he not been instigated by powerful individuals who he thought would reward or, at least, protect him for committing the wrongful act,” Mr Tinubu wrote in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES
Speaking in a similar vein, Mr Akande expressed disappointment at the growing number of court cases filed by party members without exhausting internal dispute resolution avenues.
Also in support of Mr Oshiomhole, some South-South leaders of the party led by Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege, on Sunday, passed a vote of confidence in the embattled chairman and questioned Mr Giaidom’s status as a member of the party’s NWC.
“That in line with the resolutions reached by the National Working Committee (NWC) of our party, we dissociate ourselves from the purported NEC meeting being summoned by Hon. Victor Giadom as he does not have the constitutional powers to summon the NEC meeting,” the communique signed by Mr Omo-Agege stated.
On Monday evening, the appeal court granted Mr Oshiomhole a stay of execution of the Abuja high court order, meaning he is to continue in office as APC chairman.
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