SSS, police tighten hold on APC national secretariat

•Oshiomhole fails to access office •Our party needs acting chairman now —DG, APC govs’ forum

POLICEMEN and operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) deployed to man the entrance of the national secretariat of the All Progressives Party (APC) following its leadership crisis were reinforced on Friday by the authorities.

Also, despite flaunting a judgment of Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Kano, which he claimed set aside an earlier judgment of Justice Danlami Senchi of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Abuja, the suspended national chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, could not gain entry to the party’s national secretariat on Friday.

It was also reliably gathered that his efforts to persuade the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to give him access were rebuffed.

A party source told Saturday Tribune that Oshiomhole met with the IGP at the Louis Edet Force Headquarters in Abuja but the latter turned down his request to be allowed to enter the party’s secretariat.

His personal aides who were waiting anxiously to receive him at the secretariat later proceeded to his private office.

The main entrance to the party’s secretariat located at Blantyre Street, it was learnt, remained barricaded by policemen with additional reinforcement by SSS personnel.

Investigation revealed that the leadership tussle may drag for long as the anti- Oshiomhole forces led by governors may have been encumbered by constitutional provisions in their agenda to push for an emergency meeting of two statutory organs of the party, the national caucus and the National Executive Committee.

By virtue of provisions of the APC 2010 Constitution (as amended), only the national chairman is statutorily empowered to convene meetings of national caucus and NEC.

Article 25 (B) (i, ii) of the party’s constitution reads: “The National Executive Committee shall meet every quarter and/or at any time decided by the national chairman or at the request made in writing by at least two-thirds of the members of the National Executive Committee provided that not less than 14 days notice is given for the meeting to be summoned.

“Without prejudice to Article 25(B(i) of this constitution, the National Working Committee may summon an emergency National Executive Committee meeting at any time, provided that at least seven days notice of the meeting shall be given to all those entitled to attend.”

Article 25 (C) (i, ii) also empowers him to convene meetings of the NWC.

The section reads: “The National Working Committee shall meet at least once every month at the request of the national chairman;

“Without prejudice to the provision of Article 25(C) (i) the meeting of the National Working Committee may be summoned on a request made in writing by two thirds of the members of the National Working Committee at any time, provided that at least seven days notice of the meeting shall be given to all those entitled to attend.”

Meanwhile, the director general of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), the platform of governors on the platform of the APC, Salihu Lukman, has advised stakeholders in the party to initiate a process that will produce an acting chairman.

Lukman, in a statement made available to newsmen, said the recent court injunction and counter injunction have stripped Oshiomhole of legitimacy to lead the party.

He said: “The most important political question, however, has to do with implications of the unfolding events for our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and our leaders, especially regarding the status of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

“With all that is going on, is he (Comrade Oshiomhole) still the national chairman? If he is, will he be able to respond to all these challenges in a way that restores his legitimacy to continue to preside over the affairs of the party? How will all these affect the electoral fortune of the party, especially given the question of his membership credential of the party?

“On the other hand, if it turns out that he is no longer the national chairman, who succeeds him and how can we ensure that such a transition come with increased electoral advantages for our party? What could be the determining requirement for that to be guaranteed?”

Admitting the fact that only the embattled chairman of the party, who was ordered by Justice Danlami Senchi of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court to vacate his seat could convene a meeting of the national caucus and National Executive Committee, Lukman argued that provisions of 17 (vi) of the APC 2010 Constitution (as amended) should be invoked to bring on board an acting chairman ahead of a meeting of the highest organ of the party, the national convention.

“How can we get all these started? First, pending the settlement of all the cases around Comrade Oshiomhole’s membership, we need to invoke provisions of Article 17 (vi) which provides that in the event of a vacancy, “the relevant party organ shall appoint another person to act in his place pending ratification by the national convention or congress.

“The relevant party organ in this case may have to be the National Executive Committee (NEC). Given all the vacancies, about six so far, National Chairman, Deputy National Chairman (South), Deputy National Chairman (North), National Vice Chairman (North West), National Secretary and National Auditor, who convene the NEC? This is where the organising, consultation and negotiating capacity of our leaders will be tested. Combinations of majority of the remaining members of the NWC in consultation with President [Muhammadu] Buhari, governors, other party leaders who are leading members of the national caucus can resolve all these issues and convene the NEC to appoint an acting national chairman.

“With the appointment of an acting national chairman, the next would be to seek to invoke provisions of Article 25 A (i) of the APC constitution, which stipulate that the ‘national convention of the party shall be held once in Two (2) years at a date, venue and time to be recommended by the National Working Committee and approved by the National Executive Committee subject to the giving of statutory notice to the Independent National Electoral Commission and at least fourteen (14) days notice given to members eligible to attend.’ Already, this is the second year since the last convention in 2018 where Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC was elected. What this means is that with or without our current challenges, we are actually due for a national convention.”

The DG of PGF absolved President Buhari of blame over the leadership tussle rocking the party.

He said the president was walking his talk not to interfere in the administration of the party to promote its supremacy.

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