The All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders from South-South geo-political zone have declared war on party members who are calling for the resignation of the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
According to the leaders who gathered in Abuja on Thursday, it is an insult on the zone for outsiders to decide who becomes what in the zone.
The leaders, who made the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, leader of South-south APC, argued that the best thing that had happened to APC was bringing Oshiomhole on board as its National Chairman.
Leaders that spoke at the meeting held in Abuja and presided over by the National Vice Chairman, South-South, Hilliard Eta, said they would support Oshiomhole to the last.
In a statement issued after the meeting, the group said the leaders of the APC in the zone had reasons for standing solidly with the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, warning that the zone would resist any attempt to force him out of office.
They also passed a vote of confidence on Oshiomholeled National Working Committee (NWC) and resolved to set up committees in Edo, Rivers and Cross Rivers State with a view to finding lasting solution to the political crisis in those states.
Some of the leaders at the meeting include Oshiomhole, Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege; former Minister of Petroleum, Chief Don Etiebet; senators Ndoma Egba and Ita Enang; Chiefs Umanah Umanah and Great Ogboru; NDDC chairman designate, Dr Pius Odubu; Senator Francis Alimekhena and other National Assembly members from the zone.Speaking at the meeting, Etiebet who vowed that the people of the zone would not tolerate any attempt to remove the National Chairman, queried: “what has he done if not for the fact that he is bringing discipline into the party?
“Oshiomhole has brought stability, success so far in the APC and why will anyone want him out if not for their personal gains or looking for a stooge they can control. I want to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for the support he has been giving to our son Oshiomhole and the South-South.
“The position of the National Chairman is zoned to the South-South and no outsider will come and dictate for us who will be our chairman. With the dogged effort of Oshiomhole we are able to win Bayelsa State, which has not happened before. “That is why we believe that there is nobody today that can do better than what Oshiomhole is doing and that is why we are urging outsiders to stay off and leave Oshiomhole alone. “We cannot go back to the days where the party lost its winning mentality and it is controlled by a cabal of governors. Oshiomhole has brought party supremacy and discipline and that is the only way APC can survive”
Speaking at the meeting, Senator Omo-Agege who commended the National chairman for the party’s victory in Bayelsa State, said it was not a “tea party to remove the candidate of a sitting governor”. He added: “It was a difficult contest but we all came together to make history and we won Bayelsa state. I want to also speak on the recent moves by some persons to remove the national chairman, let me state that the position of the National Chairman is a very key position zoned to the South South. It is our position and I have always maintained that it is we who will decide who we don’t want as our chairman and not outsiders.
“Without prejudice to the decision taken at NEC setting up a National Reconciliation Committee to be headed by leaders nominated by the President, I want to make it clear that we have our national chairman and we must stand by him. We are pushing for reconciliation but his seat is not negotiable. “It will be very absurd for us to go to the South-West and say we don’t want the Vice President or go to the North-West and say we don’t want the President or go to the North-East and say we don’t want the senate President. So we must dwell on those things that unite us rather than those things that divide us”. On his part, apparently reacting to the crisis in some states including Edo, Oshiomhole noted that there was nothing really strange about a party having conflict. “I am basically an association person and I don’t know any association that does not have issues.
But it is usually worst when election has been lost and people start blame game. So, I can tell you from our records in the office that we have problems in some of the states after the election. “The lesson to learn is that we must make extra effort to ensure that wherever there is disagreement we work hard to resolve it. “In resolving one disagreement, it is not going to be a permanent solution because the environment is dynamic therefore as you settle one issue another one resurrects but what is important is that we must have an attitude that is open to talking through the differences with a view to making peace.
“I want to assure you of one thing, once I assume any responsibility, by my own nature I put everything to it. I believe leadership is about the will to make decisions. I do not know any leader whose decision is always right. But it is better to make imperfect decision than to make no decision at all. We have done our best in the NWC, we try to manage the huge challenges of running a governing party in Nigeria and I thank God we have been able to go this far and by the grace of God we will go further”.