Infighting, Private Interests Tearing APC Apart

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All Progressives Congress, APC, national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, may need more than threats like the one he recently made at Ministers of Labour, Employment and Aviation, Dr Chris Ngige and Sen. Hadi Sirika, respectively, if he hopes to save the ruling party from the internal schism threatening to further destabilize it, Sunday Independent has been told. Aside the ministers’ failure to inaugurate all boards under their ministries which in the main has incapacitated functions of vital government offices and further eroding needed capital for the APC, Oshiomhole has suddenly found himself in the middle of what appears to be a potential career ruining crossfire of entrenched interests within and around the presidency on the one hand, and from juggernauts of the party, on the other.

“Unless the chairman is careful, down to the minutest details, he risks taking a hit from either side of the warring factions in the party,” explained a state party chairman of the APC from one of the South-South states to the newspaper at the weekend.

Explaining further, the state party chairman said that herein lies Oshiomhole’s weakness. “The former Edo State governor is a fighter, not a peace maker,” further informed the source. Reading the riot act to the duo of Ngige and Sirika was like tipping his hand far too early.

“Everybody in the party knows that in APC today, you either belong to (Bola Ahmed) Tinubu’s camp or that of the cabal who have complete access to Mr President. The perception for most party men is that Oshiomole is a Tinubu man and that is the way it is. Whatever Oshiomhole says or does will be interpreted within this context,” explained the state party chieftain.

On the face of it, Oshiomhole’s position in the riot act can hardly be faulted after both men failed to carry out presidential directives in inaugurating the boards under their ministries. Such action hurts governance, and in turn reduces the estimation of his party in the eyes of the public. So, he had cause when he alleged that the delay “contravenes the position of the (party) NEC, National Caucus and the Presidential Directives to all Ministers to inaugurate Boards of Parastatals under their Ministries,” Oshiomhole’s words.

Going further, he said: “We find this attitude as disrespect to the President and disservice to our great party. The party will henceforth no longer tolerate any appointee of government at all levels who continue to willfully disregard lawful instructions from either the government or the party,” the party national chairman concluded in his letters to both ministers, early last week.

While the delay may have slowed governance and perhaps angered some party men whose interests were mortgaged by the delay, the argument among other party chieftains not too enamored by Oshiomhole’s emergence as APC chairman is that the handling of the matter is hardly a party matter. It is a governance directive that should have been better handled by government office, they argue. As such, either Mr President’s Chief of Staff, CoS, or the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, should handle the matter. Grapevine permutations on the infighting within APC situate both offices at the core of the presidency cabal believed to be up in arms against Tinubu, the newspaper gathered. So, could Oshiomhole already be waging Tinubu’s war?

Of the two ministers, Ngige is most likely to be the orphan, and easily get chopped by party disciplinary axe, according to political punditry. Though initially of the legacy party, Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN that fused into APC, there has been growing concerns in the party over Ngige’s shrinking political clout in the southeast. Many attribute this to the former Anambra State governor’s tightfistedness in dispensing political patronage. “His political clout is either shrinking or at best pocket-sized,” explained a party member.

Sirika, on the other hand, is well known to be Buhari’s acolyte from their days in the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC. In fact, Sirika was a leading light as early as 2011 in the merger talks between CPC and ACN. Moving against such a man in the party structure may prove herculean for Oshiomhole.

In fact, it is believed in some circles that his reluctance to inaugurate the boards was because he was not favourably disposed to some nominees and as such, being close to the president, he has decided to stay action on it.

Besides, there is this believe that the minister is angry that some of his nominees were not included in some of the boards under his ministry, and such has stayed action on the inauguration of the boards.

The minister, who is reported to have the backing of another serving minister from Northwest, based his action on the fact that some of the appointees were not professionals in the aviation industry and as such should not be entrusted with the duties of running their boards.

He insisted that only professionals in the aviation industry should be nominated into the boards under the supervision of his ministry.

The post Infighting, Private Interests Tearing APC Apart appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.

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