Former National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, on Wednesday asked some persons he described as distractions to leave him out of the leadership debate in the party.
Recently, there have been debates to bring back Oshiomhole who was ousted from the party through a ruling by the Court of Appeal as chairman of the party.
Some are of the opinion that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party led by the former governor of Edo State should be restored excluding Oshiomhole.
But in a statement issued in Benin City through his Media Aide, Victor Oshioke, Oshiomhole said he was not interested.
According to the statement, Oshiomhole stated: “My attention has been drawn to a statement credited to Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, a former National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) who is now a member of the APC and self-styled aide of Minister of Transportation, Chief Rotimi Amaechi.
“In the said statement widely reported in the media, Chief Eze was quoted as saying that Mr. Festus Keyamo, Minister of State of Labour and Employment and others were plotting to bring back Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as national chairman of the APC.”
He said ordinarily he would have ignored what he described as nonsensical suggestion, but decided to respond on the ridiculous falsehood being marketed by Eze.
According to the statement, Festus Keyamo was in the forefront and indeed provided legal support through his personal legal assistants who went to court and argued on behalf of those that filed cases for the removal of Oshiomhole as national chairman of the APC.
Not only that, the statement averred that Keyamo also offered legal advice on the legality of the NEC that was convened for the dissolution of the Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee of the APC and emergence of the Governor Mai-Mala Buni-led Caretaker Committee.
“It is therefore frivolous for any right thinking person to assume that Keyamo who actively supported the removal of the APC National chairman elected by over 6,500 party delegates from across the 36 states and the FCT, because eight out of 27 Ward executive members purportedly suspended a national party chairman, would now plot to bring the same Oshiomhole back to office.
“It is strange that a serving Minister would share on social media platforms, what he captioned as a “Private and Confidential” legal opinion for Mr. President who appointed him, especially considering that he was in the political kitchen when the pot of crisis he is now offering advice on was being cooked.
“If Keyamo has no ulterior motives behind his sudden change of legal interpretations of relevant aspects of the APC constitution and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the right channel would have been to sit down with his Co-Minister and the Attorney General of the Federation behind closed doors and put forth his arguments.
“Alternatively, he could have sought a private audience with Mr. President or write a confidential memo to Mr. President and explain why his earlier opinion supporting the dissolution of the NWC and setting up of a Caretaker Committee has changed or no longer tenable.
“Instead he went to the market with his bogus arguments. His action is reminiscent of the indiscipline from some senior leaders of the party which Oshiomhole sought to deal with decisively as national chairman.”
The statement went further to read: “A minister certainly should know better how to communicate his concerns to Mr. President and party leadership in a truly constructive conversation behind closed doors.
“The truth of the matter is that Mr. Keyamo seems to have lost out in the power play and failed to secure the benefits he anticipated in Oshiomhole’s removal from office with the consequent dissolution of the NWC and other structures of the party.
“This is the main reason for his self-serving new legal opinion which contradicts his earlier stance. For the avoidance of doubt, Adams Oshiomhole will not be part of any plot to destabilise or ridicule the party in any way or for any reason. He takes serious exemptions to his name being dragged into an issue that he has no hand in.”
It reaffirmed Oshiomhole’s loyalty to the APC under the able leadership of Buni, saying all hands should be on the deck to support the Caretaker Committee complete its assignment rather than creating distractions that are counterproductive to the mandate of the committee.
Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City