2023 Presidency Behind My Travails – Oshiomhole

  • Briefs President Buhari on court order

BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – Embattled National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole insists his current travails in the ruling party are traceable to highly ambitious and selfish individuals eyeing the Presidential ticket come 2023

He said for these people and their cohorts, they will stop at nothing, including pulling down all perceived opponents in their desperation to be relevant with the 2023 general elections in view.

The APC Chairman pointedly accused enemies from within and without as massing in deceit and working behind the scene to execute the dubious plot of ousting him from office to promote their selfish interest and inordinate ambition of becoming Nigeria’s president.

Comrade Oshiomhole, who was at the Aso Rock Villa on Thursday to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on developments within the ruling party, particularly in relations to the court order suspending him from office, spoke with State House correspondents shortly after the close door meeting.

Besides those he described as ‘blacklegs’ within the APC’s fold, Oshiomhole said; “There are other forces who see me for whatever reason as a threat to them.”

According to him, those “leading this anti-Oshiomhole campaign” are weak politicians who cannot boast of winning a councillorship seat let alone lay any claim to leadership position in our party, adding; “I’m proud to say that I have done my best not only when I was a governor, I have done my best as chairman of this party, I have worked not only alongside members of this party but also with support from the good people of Nigeria for the president to be re-elected; and for us to have majority in the two chambers of the National Assembly.

“I also worked hard to deliver my unit; my ward; I worked hard to deliver my local government; I worked hard to deliver my federal constituency, three of them in my senatorial zone; and I also worked hard to deliver my senatorial district.

“Those fighting me just feel that if they cannot give me orders, then they must do everything to embarrass my person. But I believe that he who God stands with, no man born of a woman can bring him down.

“I can’t say more than that. Those who are parading themselves, holding meetings at night, my prayer to my God is that let them meet at night, what they do at night will be destroyed in the day time. I don’t go for night business; I do day business. They know themselves, they know me and I know them.”

Comrade Oshiomhole further said; “It is just unfortunate that if you have out of 100, 90 people are happy with you, who will call and say well done, those 10 who are not happy are the ones that will call news conference to denounce you. They are the ones who will hold midnight meetings in a Minister’s house to say how can we bring him down.

“They are the ones who will plot how do we get rid of him because they want to be president in 2023 even when their hold on their states at the moment is doubtful if they were to go for referendum in terms of their approval rating.

“But as for me, I live my life as the Christians say live it as if there will be no tomorrow, on day by day basis.

“God will see me through. He knows my heart, He knows my conscience and He knows the wishes of the overall majority of our members and to them, I remain ever grateful.”

Offering further insight on the current crisis, the former Edo State governor said; “You see there is an issue in this country. People want strong leadership, the averaged Nigerian wants to have a strong leader for Nigeria; they want to have strong leaders in various institutions; they want institutions that are strong enough that cannot be controlled by individuals. That was why President Obama said, what Africa needs are strong institutions not strong persons.

“Unfortunately, a section of our elite wants weak institutions that they can control and if you refuse to oblige them the misuse of your institution, then they go for your jugular, that is the only thing. Otherwise I ask you, remember the confusion we had at the last NEC meeting?

“That meeting took place exactly a week or about 10 days after we had won Kogi election and Bayelsa election before the court took it and donated it to somebody else. Yet in the face of this victory, people said Oshiomhole must be removed, precisely because we won more seats.”

The former Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President also stated that no matter what one does, there are those who will always want to fight you and nothing will stop them from fighting you.

“But I know that my tenure will be defined by God not by man. And I worry more about what I will be remembered for when I was chairman rather than how long I was Chairman. And I am convinced that I have done my very best, mistakes would have been made and I want to see the one person who will say he has never made mistakes.”

On the court order against him, Comrade Oshiomhole said “just yesterday (Wednesday) morning I suddenly saw in the news that an FCT High Court has suspended me as National chairman. And that one of the persons who went to court was my Vice Chairmen (Northeast), one Mustapha (Mustapha Salihu APC National Vice Chairman Northeast) and four others. I was taken aback because in the same suit, they joined the APC, the police and the DSS.

“Our lawyers told me that in law when you sue a federal agency, FCT High Court has no jurisdiction to entertain it. Number two, the purported suspension of my person by my ward, first I am going to give you a document to that effect so that you can form your opinion. Number three, I am not an officer of my ward, I am the National Chairman of my party, elected at a national convention by over 7,000 delegates, so how could nine persons sit down somewhere and purport that they have removed a National Chairman. And the court contrary to all logic, all judicial precedence find comfort in granting an interim interlocutory order to stop me from functioning pending when the matter is determined. In other words, he has given the order without the facts being laid before him and in the process adjourned the case to April 7.

“The calculations are clear that between now and April 7th, my opponents in the system would have had ample time to do all the mischievous plans they have in place to distabilise the APC. Because, some of them have membership of more than one political party.  But happily this afternoon (Thursday, March 5, 2020), a Federal High Court that I believe has jurisdictions on federal issues because the DSS, the police are not State institutions but federal institutions, has given an appropriate order to restrain the so-called suspension that was allegedly imposed on me by my ward in Edo State.

“I thought that I had a duty to brief Mr. President as the overall leader of our party about this development. Incidentally, when I requested for the audience yesterday I wasn’t sure what has happened today will happen. But I had a duty to inform him about the court order. But happily before coming here, the order from a Federal High Court that made nonsense of what the  FCT court purported to have done has already settled the question.

“And I showed to the President the resolutions of my ward even though a ward executive does not have the powers to remove a National Chairman, just to say that the document that we have says clearly that my ward passed vote of confidence on me.

“How the court can hold vote of confidence and twist it to mean vote of no confidence, only that judge can explain it to himself.

“But the good news is that this is not a final court or is it the only court, incidentally it is just the court that didn’t have the jurisdiction even to listen to this matter. And our lawyers so pointed it out but the judge was determined to oblige those who want to distabilise the All Progressives Congress”, he said.

“Those behind this plot, the hands, which include as you saw yesterday, the Edo State governor and his people jubilating, but that is the irony of life that you will help give birth to a child and the child look for cutlass to want to chop off your neck. It has happened in history, it has happened in this country so I won’t be the only person”, the APC National Chairman posited – Additional reports from The Nation

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