The chieftains represent two key camps of the party who are out to grab the leadership position. The upholding of the suspension of Oshiomhole by the Court of Appeal had created a vacuum in the leadership of the party.
To fill the vacuum, the National Working Committee (NWC) had named a former governor Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi as the acting national chairman of the party. However, at the party’s secretariat around 10:00 am yesterday, the Deputy National Secretary of the party, Chief Victor Giadom declared himself as the acting chairman of the party, puncturing the announcement by the NWC of the party.
While Ajimobi’s camp has the backing of the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Giadom, party sources said is of the camp of some serving and former governors. The camp is tagged ‘Amaechi/ El-Rufai camp.’
However, some sources in Progressives Governor’s Forum indicated that there were moves to bring back Obaseki to the party in view of the new developments.
One of the sources said, “Oshiomhole had been the stumbling block and he is out of the equation for now. “We strongly feel that we have to work for our colleague, Governor Obaseki who did nothing wrong.
“Now that he is gone, even those who claim to be national leaders or whatever have been checkmated. “Governors would have their way because they are with the people at the grassroots.
“They would not allow the interest of few individuals to hold Nigeria to ransom,” he said. Giadom’s claim Citing a court order, Giadom said he is the acting national chairman of the party and announced that a fresh screening would be conducted for all aspirants who intend to seek for governorship tickets of the party in Edo and Ondo states.
Describing Ajimobi’s appointment as illegal and unconstitutional, he cited a subsisting court order issued on March 16, 2020, by Justice S.U. Bature, in suit no FCT /HC/M/6447/2020 as basis for his ascension to office.
“That order could not immediately come to effect at that time because of the temporary reprieve Oshiomhole got from the Court of Appeal,” Giadom said.
“However, having removed the temporary reprieve yesterday (Tuesday) by the Court of Appeal and considering the fact that we cannot allow for a vacuum, I most humbly inform you that I have assumed office as acting national chairman of our great party in compliance with the order of the court,” he said.
Uneasy calm in Tinubu’s camp
Daily Trust gathered from reliable sources that the unfolding drama in the national secretariat of the APC is causing uneasy calm in the camp of the Tinubu.
Tuesday’s sack of Oshiomhole reportedly jolted the supporters of Asiwaju who is believed to have the ears and the eyes of Oshiomhole. But the confirmation of Ajimobi by the NWC of the party was seen as a relief to the camp of Asiwaju.
The APC leader who is rumoured to be nursing 2023 presidential ambition and Ajimobi are close political associates. In fact, the emergence of Ajimobi as the deputy national chairman (South) of the party was said to have the strong backing of Tinubu.
“We are relieved that at the end of the day, it is a win-win for the Asiwaju’s camp with the confirmation of Ajimobi,” a source said. Contacted, spokesman of Lagos APC, Seye Oladejo said the state chapter of the party stands by the position of the NWC.
He said people would always want to drag Asiwaju to the crisis in the party, adding, “This is because Asiwaju has become a recurring decimal in Nigeria politics.” Irrespective of that, Oladejo reiterated that the Lagos APC stands by the NWC.
“We are for law and order and there is nothing to worry about. Going by the statement of the NWC affirming Ajimobi as the acting national chairman, we believe there is no issue again. That is our position in Lagos APC because that is in tandem with the constitution,” he said.