A day after his suspension was lifted by the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress APC, the deputy national chairman (North) of the party, Lawal Shuaibu, returned to the party secretariat on Wednesday after months of staying away.
Mr Shuaibu had been at war with Mr Oshiomhole whose leadership style he had regularly criticised. He had vowed not to return to the secretariat as long as Mr Oshiomhole remains the chairman.
His suspension was lifted alongside that of the national vice chairman (North), Inuwa Abdulkadir, both of whom were suspended in 2019 for alleged anti-party activities.
In an interview with journalists at the party’s national secretariat on Wednesday, Mr Shuaibu said he had no personal issue with Mr Oshiomhole. He said a letter he wrote to the national chairman at the height of the crisis in the NWC of the party was “just an advice” to strengthen the party.
“Nobody suspended me, it was just a fight that I wanted to avoid. I don’t want to continue the fight and that was why I kept quiet,” he said.
“There was never any war. My letter to Oshiomhole was not personal. To be honest, I was not fighting him. I was advising him just to save the party from total collapse.
“The structure of the party has become weakened as a result of the inability of the party’s leadership to re-position it. The party has become weakened from ward up to national. This was what I was trying to avoid.
“But as he (Oshiomhole) said, in the spirit of reconciliation, old things have passed away,” he told journalists.
Asked whether his difference with Mr Oshiomhole on the candidate fo the party for the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State would not reignite the feud, Mr Shuaibu said the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki, is APC’s sure bet for victory in the election.
“It does not make sense to bring another person to contest against the governor. Governor Obaseki is the strongest candidate of the APC we have in Edo State,” he said.
Mr Oshiomhole long fell out with his successor and former protege, Mr Obaseki, and has vowed to block the reelection bid of the governor on the ticket of the APC.
Despite the national chairman’s conciliatory tone since his reinstatement by the Court of Appeal, Mr Obaseki’s faction of the party in Edo State is yet to sheath the sword.
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