If there must be a permanent resolution to the mirage of controversies rocking the APC, a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting must be convened, the party’s acting National Chairman, Prince Hilliard Eta, has said.
Prince Eta, who was named on Wednesday as acting chairman following Abiola Ajimobi’s health challenge, stated this in an interview, saying the NEC meeting was at the root of the crisis bedevilling the ruling party.
He said, “It (NEC) is at the root of all of the controversies, and if there must be a permanent resolution to the mirage of controversies, then we must hold a NEC meeting.”
Daily Trust reports that the party had fixed its NEC meeting for March 17, but it was postponed indefinitely following the meeting of governors who are members of the party with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The acting chairman noted that the meeting was being delayed because of the COVID -19 pandemic, saying nobody was afraid or scared of a NEC meeting.
He further said, “I think what has militated against the constitution of a NEC meeting in the immediate past or in the recent past is of course the COVID-19 pandemic that has stopped the gathering of more than a certain number of persons. As you are aware, we have over 120 people in the NEC .”
Eta pledged to work hard with his colleagues in the NEC to address the challenges bedevilling the party.
“I do know that the temperature of the party has to be brought down in such a manner that we can have a proper conversation, a proper discourse within the party; that for me is essentially what I need to focus on. The other one is of course to bring to conclusion the processes of the primary election in Edo; and if I’m still here, Ondo and some by-elections that we have in senatorial and state assembly constituencies,” he said.
On Governor Godwin Obaseki who dumped APC on Tuesday, Eta said; “If in the wisdom of NWC, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State becomes such a person that must be brought back so to speak or preach to; because we are fishers of men, that will be strictly in the wisdom of NWC.”
Speaking on the gazette signed by Obaseki banning political gathering that could make the direct mode of primary adopted by APC impossible, Eta said, “he said we should not gather more than 20 people, we will gather 20 intermittently.
“What if we decide only 20 people will go and vote.”
Giadom to act for 2 weeks – Court
Meanwhile, an FCT High Court has approved an application for Victor Giadom to function as acting national chairman of the APC for two weeks.
Justice Samira Umar Bature on Thursday granted an ex parte application by the APC National Vice Chairman (North-East), Comrade Mustapha Salihu seeking to extend an earlier order of the court on March 16, which made an interim order for Giadom to act pending “a validly convened National Executive Committee or pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice already filed (whichever comes first.”
“Consequently, and in line with Rule No. 5 of the COVID-19 Practice Directions of the FCT High Court, 2020, the order of this court made on the 16th day of March, 2020 is hereby extended for a period of two (2) weeks,” the judge said.
The application, which was brought by Salihu’s counsel Wole Afolabi Esq, joins the Babatunde Ogala, Lanre Issa-Onilu, Waziri Bulama and the APC as defendants in the matter.
However, Salihu has distanced himself from the new court order, saying he was not a party to it.
In a telephone interview, he said there was no way he would have been part of the order when he was at a meeting of the party’s stakeholders from the North East when the decision was reached to nominate and endorse Architect Waziri Bulama as the acting national secretary of the party.
Rescue APC now, Buhari urged
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to rescue the ruling APC from destruction as a result of conflicting interests.
Rep. Chike Okafor (APC, Imo) who made the call in a statement, said if the president failed to intervene, APC might not survive the present crisis, especially with the conflicting decisions taken by some members of the NWC recently.
Okafor described what happened in the party in the last 48 hours as worrisome which needed presidential intervention.
He also called on the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to intervene with a view to tackling the crisis.
Meanwhile, the Director-General (DG) of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Mohammed Lukman, has said the APC was collapsing with no leader in charge.
Lukman, in a statement on Thursday requested that a meeting of the NEC of the party be convened as a precursor before a national convention to replace the current members of the NWC.
The PGF DG, who said his position did not represent the view of any APC governor or the PGF, regretted that NWC members started making claims as to who was the acting national chairman following the appeal court ruling that sustained the suspension of Oshiomhole.