“All Progressives Congress APC – My Reflections

*this are the major reasons why i always say that APC is as lost as PDP they are platforms for personal ambitions

All Progressives Congress APC – My Reflections
Following my widely publicized statement made in the
aftermath of the 13th June 2014 All Progressives Congress
APC National Convention I took time off to reflect on the
state of the party, the emerging re-configuration of the
general political Structure in the country, and the
visionary effects on the state of our Nation.
I have spent almost 13 of the past 15 years faithfully dug
in, in the trenches of the evolving democratic
dispensations in our country, steadfastly pursuing my
conviction that for true democracy to take firm root in
Nigeria we should fall in line with the model practiced in
successful democracies in the world, of a party in office
and a scrutinizing alternative party holding the
Government to account. We all have watched with
admiration how in those other countries through a process
of hitch-free General Elections, the baton of leadership
changes hands from time to time from one Party to the
other to provide alternative policies for their people.
Therefore I have never considered my location outside the
ruling party, as being in an “opposition”, rather as
supporting an alternative platform. All that was necessary
for me was the association with individuals committed to
build and uphold that platform. In this regard, my
experiences during the era of the NRC and SDP in 1990
-1993 are invaluable reference data bank in my quest to
work to reincarnate the reality of two dominant political
platforms in our country.
That is why in 2005, I was fully involved in the creation of
the Movement for the Restoration and Defense of
Democracy (MRDD), which transformed into the Action
Congress (AC) in 2006. I worked with a few dedicated
colleagues here in my Abuja residence to successfully
achieve the project. Two groups, comprising those of us who
broke away from the PDP and a breakaway faction from
the AD (notably the former South West AD Governors)
made up the foundation membership. For the benefit of
political science students, I should now reveal that the
original documents we prepared for registration bore the
name All Peoples Congress (APC) We eventually settled for
AC in order to locate the new party higher up in the ballot
paper. In 2010, in pursuit of a bigger party ahead of the
2011 General Election, we changed the name from AC to
ACN, in a very poorly constructed merger arrangement
that failed. It was therefore an experience of great joy
and satisfaction for me to host and lead the process that
gave birth in February 2013, at my Abuja residence, to
the All Progressives Congress (APC) with the successful
unification of the major opposition parties – ACN, ANPP,
CPC and a part of APGA. I am aware of the well known
saying that success breeds many uncles, therefore the
subsequent and recent claims of some persons as to the
arrow heads of the creation of the APC does not surprise
me nor will it surprise my devoted 89 colleagues who worked
earnestly with me on the project.
The refreshing news of the entry of the All Progressives
Congress (APC) into the Nation’s political firmament was
received across the nation and beyond with great joy and
happiness. Our proclamation of a new party that would
pursue democratic principles by example with particularly a
culture of internal Party Democracy endeared us to the
expectant public of teeming supporters who were all
eagerly waiting to take up membership in the new party.
For me, I thought we had finally broken the parochial
boundaries of tribal and regional politics, which in my
recent experience had stunted the growth of the now
defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Our clarion call
for CHANGE reverberated across the country where all
and sundry awaited with high expectation to enroll in the
new party. I myself looked forward eagerly to a wider
frontier of comradeship and to once again recreate
happiness color and pageantry in our National Politics
which in times gone by was so eloquently displayed in the
legendary brotherly hand shake across the river Niger
and river Benue by the founding fathers of our Nation’s
politics.
It was my fervent hope that the emergence of the APC
would bring to an end the sad and bitter experiences that
I and some others endured in the ACN where one of the
leaders from the South West exploiting the narrow
National success of the party in that region virtually
hijacked the party, proclaiming himself Overall Leader.
Five of the six Governors in the Party at that time were
all from that Region. Prominent leaders particularly from
the North and South East notably, personalities such as
former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, late Alhaji
Abubakar Rimi, Alhaji Gali Naaba, Alhaji Lawal Kaita,
Alhaji Mohammed Shata, Amb. Yahaya Kwande, Senator
Iyorchia Ayu, Otumba Fashawe, Senator Ben Obi, Chief
Dubem Onyia etc who could not come to terms with the
man’s behavior departed from the party back to the PDP.
This mass departure of prominent members, from
particular sections of the country, did not only seriously
weaken the party but blemished it with an image of
Regional and Tribal status. At that time I refused to quit
the party despite the fact that my frequent solo protests
against his behavior were dismissively ignored as I was
always told that the man was the overwhelming financier
of the Party. While I disagree stoutly with this bluff it is
true that the particular individual constantly boasted of
his wealth and of his funding of the party. I on the other
hand could recall that this was a man I knew who was an
easily forgettable character in the 1990s when I was
National Party Chairman and when my candidate Sir
Michael Otedola of blessed memory, won the Governorship
of Lagos State. It would come as no great surprise if
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s boasted great wealth did not derive
from any stupendous inheritance ancient or modern. Or
that his sudden bragging as though Nigeria’s Bill Gates is
an accumulation of extraordinary hard work or financial
wizardry. I would rather trust the informed whispers in
the inner circles of the party which have it that having
positioned himself as perceived leader in the most
lucrative income sources of the party, he is recipient and
dispenser of bags and bags of party funds. I have also
become aware that he is, too, a beneficiary of most of the
lucrative contracts in all the ACN states without exception.
To further bolster his image it was also frequently said
that Tinubu has control of all the votes from South
Western Nigeria which, as has been currently touted, when
added to the votes of North Western Nigeria would
guarantee victory for the APC in the upcoming
Presidential election.
This reckless and arrogant self-aggrandizement paved the
way for the imposition of a strange leadership on the APC
in July 2013 when the party obtained registration from
INEC. Those of us who had worked so hard towards the
successful merger and creation of the APC were
manipulated out of the scheme of things. In the bizarre
struggle to seize control of the party we were even openly
accused by the self-proclaimed owners of the party, of
wanting to steal “their” party. Many of us in the party as
well as keen observers outside frowned at the skewed
leadership image of the party that was being paraded. An
image that blatantly ignored National sensitivities. The
draft constitution prepared by the Merger Committee
included an exit clause, which provided a time limit of six
months for the Interim Management of the Party. That
clause mysteriously disappeared from the version of the
constitution that was smuggled into INEC records. Chief
Bisi Akande’s National Chairmanship was therefore primed
to stay on in power ad infinitum! Asiwaju Bola Tinubu
frantically constituted a group of friends and cronies
which he proclaimed to be the APC Leadership. The press,
led by the Nation Newspaper, was made to propagate the
aberration. And so rather than allow the construction of a
sound base for the party conducive to the free admission
of members Nationwide these self proclaimed leaders
embarked on a National travel spree all in a blaze of
publicity, criss-crossing the country in private aircraft,
visiting PDP State Governors to offer them the State
branches of the APC if they would join the party. While
they obviously but ridiculously assumed that the crisis
then in the PDP would last for ever the details of the
agreements they reached with PDP break away Governors,
were never revealed to the authentic Party Leadership
but they were such that they ignited the explosion of
irreconcilable crisis in some states, particularly Kano,
Sokoto and Adamawa, resulting in the instant loss of some
valuable key members.
Major decisions said to be party decisions now started
emerging from this select group whose ad hoc membership
varied from time to time. They usually congregated at
Tinubu’s private parlor in his Asokoro – Abuja residence.
Those who wanted to belong had to find or force their way
into that parlor. Once initiated, your independence or
capacity to challenge the plots that emerged from that
cult venue became seriously curtailed. Rather than freely
open up critical issues to free debate at the Interim
Executive Council for democratic decisions to emerge,
positions plotted at the notorious Asokoro parlor were
being desperately foisted on the party for execution. A
handful of us constantly challenged this trend with little
success. Gradually, the direction of the Party assumed a
focus on the contest for the Presidency. Then the images
of presumed Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates
as well as a privately cooked up Permanent Chairman for
the party started emerging signaling a Muslim/Muslim
Presidential and Vice Presidential ticket. The details of
this issue I have sufficiently dealt with in my previous
statement. However let me state again that their
calculation that the Presidency in the 2015 General
elections will be won by the APC through votes from the
North West and South West Nigeria became an obsession.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who passionately believed in this
theory and who arrogantly claimed custody of all South
West votes already picked an aspirant from North Western
Nigeria who will run as Presidential candidate with him as
Vice Presidential candidate. The National image of the
party immediately plummeted.
This disastrous trend was worsened by the arrogant
departure from observing the provisions of the Party’s
constitution particularly as it pertains to internal Party
democracy. Crisis broke out at uncontrollable levels in the
prosecution of the most undemocratic Ward, LGA, and
State Congresses Nationwide. Machinery for managing
this self-inflicted crisis was virtually non-existent and it
was inside this mess that the controversial National
Convention of 13th June was staged. The Constitution of
the Party clearly defines the Party Organs and the Party
Leadership. There is no provision for anyone to be named
as the Party Leader. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu having paraded
himself both at home and abroad as The Leader of
Opposition and of the APC had great difficulty in
descending from the fictitious throne. In order to
continue manipulating the party from his parlors in Abuja
and Lagos he struggled to retain Chief Bisi Akande as
Chairman. He was further troubled by the growing
influence of the Governors and panicked at the
realization that he and his South West select caucus were
loosing their grip on “their” party to the Governors. His
last minute efforts to rally a South West Leadership
support for his absolute power over the party failed and
chances of retaining Chief Bisi Akande as National
Chairman also evaporated. In the circumstance as the only
option was to find a successor National Chairman as well as
other National Officers, an illegal process of horse trading
between the Governors and Tinubu was initiated. The
Interim Executive Council had no knowledge of all these
processes. Chief John Oyegun a Tinubu plan B project said
to be favored for his NADECO and SDP credentials and
also as one who could be controlled now featured, came
into the picture.
Until recently the APC had 16 Governors who describe
themselves as The Progressive Governors. They are made
up of the original Merging Parties Governors and the
break away PDP Governors who as a group are determined
to take control of the Party. This composition of Merging
Party Governors and PDP breakaway Governors cannot in
any realistic sense be described as PROGRESSIVE. They
have come together with different personal agendas built
around the central purpose of acquiring National Power.
Some of them nurse Vice Presidential ambition and some
others are warming up for the Presidential contest. In the
circumstance the project of taking control of the Party’s
National machinery became crucial and it was out of the
Governor’s caucus that the plan of zoning the National
offices was initiated and concluded. The Interim Executive
Committee had no input. Although it is claimed that the
National Chairmanship slot was zoned to the South South,
the horse-trading to produce the beneficiary took place
outside the zone. In order to secure the agreement of
most of the Governors I understand that an agreement
was extracted from Chief Oyegun that he would agree to
step down as Chairman should a Governor from the region
emerge as either Presidential or Vice Presidential
candidate. And although the Governors may not have
envisaged the present set back they now suffer in their
numerical strength the battle to take custody of the APC
platform that they waged against the Tinubu structure
signaled yet another twist in the tale.
Apart from the Tinubu Group and The Governors Group
there is a third Group, of known Presidential Aspirants
comprising in the main General Muhamadu Buhari and
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who are both Northerners. The
inclination of the party had always been to zone the
Presidency to the North. Some Governors are now thinking
otherwise and given the decisive role that they seek to
play in the affairs of the Party as well as the tendency to
ignore the principle of internal party democracy, a
monumental disaster looms large in the selection of the
Party’s Presidential and Vice Presidential flag bearers
later in the year. The construction of the new National
Executive Committee through horse-trading by the
Governors and Tinubu has established a tool structure
that is not in the interest of transparency or democracy.
To whom will the newly installed National Chairman be
finally loyal? Will it remain the Nadeco/SDP comradeship
that will drive his loyalty to Tinubu or the current
Governors ongoing tactics of dressing up the National
Chairman that may become the game clincher? Time will
surely tell! How these known Presidential aspirants will
make their way in the contest that may feature some
Governors is better imagined. Can Tinubu dare to ditch
Buhari? I dey laf!
Chief John Oyegun has made various statements since the
13th of June convention. He finally claimed that he
emerged as National Chairman as a consensus candidate,
which puts to rest his previous hasty announcement that I
had stepped down for him. Needless to say the process
adopted at the APC convention for deciding on a new
National Chairman was a sham in which I did not
participate. The Chief knows very well that an even
playing field, a fundamental requirement for sound intra
party contest did not exist. He also knows what I know
that the conspiracy, with all the plotting and scheming to
install him as National Chairman had been cooking long
before the Convention process was revealed. The
delegation that visited Benin City unceremoniously, last
year, to admit him into the ACN party made no contact
with the State Party Leadership. He was drafted into our
State Party by outsiders who had ulterior motives. I was
away in Dacca Senegal on a private visit two weeks or so
before the convention. It was in the Senegalese capital I
read on the Internet Chief Oyegun’s press declaration of
his candidature. When I returned home I was reliably
informed that he had been instructed by his patrons to
proceed and print campaign posters. All these maneuvers
taking place even before the emergence of convention
guidelines were manifestations of a festering conspiracy.
Having been secretly assured of the outcome, the chief
not only ignored the position of the Edo State Party on
the issue, he never bothered to campaign. On my part I did
not approach any of the 16 Governors or any Party leader
to solicit for support to contest the National Chairmanship
except for Governor Adams Aliu Oshiomhole of Edo State
whom I saw in Benin City a few days to the convention
when I became aware that the National Chairmanship had
been zoned to the South South zone. My State Party- Edo
State APC naturally supported me unanimously but I
printed no posters, did not campaign, did not return the
nomination forms as there was to be no election.
I have read statements in the press credited to one of
the Governors who claims knowledge of what transpired, to
the effect that the allocation of National Chairman and
other National offices of the Party was negotiated
between the Governors and Tinubu. The late night event
that took place at Eagle Square on the 13th of June was
just a stage-managed ritual to satisfy INEC
requirements and deceive the nation. I was never part of
any talks that resulted in the allocation decisions and
certainly could never have been in support of a strange
process that replaced the democratic procedures
enshrined in the party’s constitution.
In the course of his maiden visit to Edo State Chief
Oyegun, in his statement in the Governor’s office
referred to me as those “disgruntled” at his emergence as
National Chairman. In a subsequent interview in the
Vanguard and Punch News Papers widely advertised on the
Internet under the caption “Ikimi made mistake
threatening to leave APC” he said among other things ” It
is unfortunate that when you feel hurt, you threaten your
party. That alone creates suspicion about you in the party
that you still belong to. Let me say it was a mistake for
him to threaten to leave the party” Certainly the euphoria
and relish of his new office may have taken possession of
him, blurring his vision such that he does not see the deep
wound inflicted on the party, which is now disintegrating
rapidly across the country. For the record let me state
that it was I who admitted Chief Oyegun into the APP in
1999. He joined the ACN a year ago in Benin City after he
departed from the ANPP where in the 2011 General
Elections he was that party’s vice Presidential candidate.
He certainly did not depart from the ANPP with great
pleasure. Therefore moving from one party to another
should not be so strange to him as his strange statement
portrays. Let me state that notwithstanding my well
known disagreement over the years with the conduct of
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, his actions within the AC, ACN and
APC and notwithstanding the amazing retention of Chief
Bisi Akande as National Chairman of all these parties since
2006, there was absolute mutual respect between me and
Chief Bisi Akande. I have no difficulty in accepting any
qualified member of the Party from any part of Nigeria
emerging legitimately as National chairman. Chief John
Oyegun visits me regularly in Benin City and Abuja where I
treat him graciously but I demand of him to clarify what
he meant by “the suspicion” he claimed the Party he
joined through ACN (a party he became a member of last
year) would have about me, a founding foundation member
of AC, ACN and APC. Is he speaking for himself or singing
his master’s tune?
Senator Ali Modu Sherriff, former two terms Governor of
Bornu State enthusiastically supported the merger. In
fact his influence as Chairman Board of Trustees of the
defunct ANPP was crucial to bringing the party on board.
Senator Sherriff achieved his first tenure as a Nigerian
Senator in 1991 under the NRC party when I was the
National Chairman. He always recalls the support i gave
him in what was his maiden political outing. I appreciate
the co-operation he gave to the merger committee, which
substantially helped us to overcome impediments put on our
way during the merger talks, by some leaders of the ACN
and CPC, who did not want the ANPP on board. To get the
APC off the ground Senator Sherriff made substantial
contributions, which included huge finance.
On the 7th of March 2014 the APC staged a National
Summit at the Hilton Hotel in Abuja which was an
elaborate event choreographed to officially unveil the new
party. An extensive presentation was displayed to
showcase how the party was formed. Most fair-minded
persons who attended the event were shocked to observe
that not even a word was mentioned of me as one of those
who contributed to the creation of the APC. Film clips were
shown of Bola Tinubu, Muhamadu Buhari, Bisi Akande,
Ogbonnaya Onu and a few selected others who in most
cases gave distorted accounts of the merger process.
Surprisingly it was Senator Ali Modu Sherriff who became
so disgusted by the deliberate distortion of the facts that
he had the courage to take the microphone and openly
berated the injustice.
Some were obviously embarrassed but it turned out that
those who prepared the presentation, many of them high
ranking members of the party, were working on the
instructions of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. For his noteworthy
and courageous public intervention on this matter, Senator
Sherriff was now marked down by Bola Tinubu as having
opposed him so much so that shortly after the event both
men almost engaged in physical combat at an expanded
National Exco meeting in Abuja.
Senator Ali Modu Sherriff may be a friend and long time
political ally but he is certainly not my sponsor. I read
several newspaper fictional stories that said Senator
Sherriff was sponsoring me for National Chairman. That is
not true.
The merger talks of 89 members hosted by me, was
managed by a leadership of four which included HE
Ibrahim Shekarau of ANPP, Alhaji Garba Gadi of CPC,
Senator Ani Okonkwo of the APGA faction and myself of
ACN. I was unanimously nominated by the group to preside
as coordinating chairman. We worked harmoniously
together and on the 6th February 2013 the four of us
signed the agreement for the merger of the three parties
and a part of APGA. I announced the merger and
presented the agreement to the world. We continued to
the next and difficult stages of agreeing a name, flag,
motto and symbol for the party. These were very intricate
negotiations! Our Sub-Committees worked on the
Constitution and Manifesto. After all these were
accomplished Asiwaju Bola Tinubu prevented a smooth
establishment of the party in accordance with our
agreements. HE Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau former Governor
of Kano State was sidelined in his State by a curious
arrangement that ceded the party leadership in the state
to the present Governor of Kano State with no defined
role for the former Governor to play. He was compelled to
withdraw his membership from the Party. He joined the
PDP where he was recently appointed Minister of
Education. Alhaji Shekarau possesses a very sound and
critical mind. I found his contributions to our work most
invaluable. Senator Ani Okonkwo has also announced his
departure from the APC. The popular will, prevailing at
the time among a cross section of members was that the
Merger Leadership should continue to mold the party for
at least six months and bring it to fruition by diligently
establishing all its structures. Regrettably this was foiled
by hijackers who have now crashed the project.
Governor of Sokoto State Alhaji Atahiru Bafarawa could
not accept the shabby treatment meted out to him by
those who seized the new party. Governor Bafarawa is
very loyal and dependable. He is an astute politician with
whom I have been associated for about thirty years now.
He was NRC State Party Chairman of Sokoto State in
1991 when I was National Chairman. He has always been
very keen on the unification of the opposition parties and
consequently hosted several merger meetings prior to the
2011 General Elections. On this occasion he hosted the
sittings of the Constitution committee.. Alhaji Bafarawa
suffered unprecedented humiliation in the ACN in 2011 in
a kangaroo convention staged in Lagos to select the ACN
Presidential candidate. He therefore withdrew from the
ACN party to return to the ANPP. This time as an ANPP
delegate he enthusiastically participated in the merger
talks. He has now withdrawn from the APC to join the PDP
as he could not accept the sudden hand over of the APC
Sokoto Party to the present Governor who during his
tenure was his deputy.
Senator Ali Modu Sherriff has not hidden his very strong
disapproval of the precarious direction that the Party is
heading. The conduct of 13th June Convention was totally
unacceptable to him. Following his open challenge of Tinubu
it did not surprise me that Tinubu negotiated away all
Sherriff’s nominees from the newly constituted National
Executive committee. I understand that Sen. Ali Modu
Sherriff is on his way out of the party, along with a very
large slice of the party membership particularly from the
North East.
It is not a coincidence to me that the prominent members
of APC targeted by Bola Tinubu such as Alhaji Atahiru
Bafarawa, Sen Ali Modu Sherriff and myself are former
NRC members or those perceived as Conservatives.
Since after the 13th of June APC Convention and after
my post convention statement, a few leaders of the APC
have come to see me on their individual personal basis to
plead with me not to abandon the party. I have received
quite a number of telephone calls as well, conveying similar
views to me. None of these persons could disagree with my
very strong views against the turn of events regarding
the mismanagement of the party nor of the grave
injustice that has been perpetrated against me through an
unprecedented level of conspiracy and bad faith. All they
are saying to me is that I should not abandon what I had
helped so much to build. It is truly amazing that all who
have spoken to me privately without exception agree with
me that the image of the APC as is a Tinubu Party has
severely damaged the party but each time I openly raise
issues that challenge the consequences everyone keeps
quiet. It is common knowledge that the vote against the
very popular candidate Sen Chris Ngige in the Anambra
Governorship election and recently against one of the
most successful Governors Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State
was indeed a vote against Tinubu. Tinubu’s obsessive
calculation of South West/North West votes is unproven
and untested. It is in pursuit of a very selfish ambition
that has seriously alienated block zones, such as South
East, South South, North East and most of North Central
from the party. The Party has collapsed in very many
states such as Adamawa, it is in distress in Edo, Ogun, Oyo.
Lagos, Nasarawa.
In consideration of all the above I have come to the
following conclusions:
I have lived to see one of my major political yearnings in
place. Now there are two major Political Parties in my
Country – The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and The
All Progressives Congress (APC). I am satisfied that I have
played an important and historic role in ensuring the
emergence of an alternative platform to the party in
office. There are many now claiming leadership of the APC
who were very skeptical when we embarked on the merger
project who openly dismissed the idea that it would never
work. Yes, some of them tried several times in the past to
unify some parties in order to achieve bigger platforms
but in an atmosphere of prevailing dishonesty, greed,
unbridled ambition, uncompromising and undiplomatic
approaches to such delicate negotiations, their efforts
yielded resounding failure. For my part I enjoyed the
respect of all the 89 delegates who met with me for about
six months because they were very confident I had no
personal agenda not even taking sides to protect positions
of the ACN my own party then. But immediately we
established what they had considered impossible to do, I
became a prime target, as they believed that they could
only control and manipulate the affairs of the party if I
was not there. By my credentials in Political Party
Leadership my claim to the top table in any party to which
I belong is well earned! In the present atmosphere of envy,
plots and gossip the long-term satisfaction of a political
comradeship and brotherhood anchored on shared
principles and ideology, of honor, trust and confidence in
pursuit of a common goal remain elusive.
I understand they claim that I possess a strong and
independent personality as well as a mind of my own which
cannot be bent and so I am said to be one that could not
be controlled. On a rather mischievous note, my foremost
assailant in that party, peddles in one breadth a smear
campaign that if I were to be in charge, I would sell the
party while in another fowl breadth that I am an enemy as
I had served in the Abacha Government. My so called
strong and independent personality sometimes
misconstrued as an arrogant mien is merely the creation
of nature and I have never ever been harmful at all to
anyone around me but as for an independent and firm
mind I believe it is an asset and an attribute which indeed
is so direly needed for good and fair leadership in our
society today and I apologize to no one for being so
created. It is really ironic that I was not accused of going
to sell the party over the past 13 years or so that I
struggled in different recorded ways to make notable
contributions in creating and building it up in its various
forms but that i was now to sell the party after working
successfully to achieve its present mega format. Who by
the way is the buyer? Is it the PDP Government that
opened its doors once more recently to one of the APC
foremost boastful and noisy leader to consummate a mega
oil deal on the eve of that controversial APC convention?
Who then is really selling and who is indeed buying? Who
sold Mallam Nuhu Ribadu’s ACN Presidential candidature
in 2011? Was it Chief Tom Ikimi? My tenure as Foreign
Affairs Minister during the Abacha Regime has turned out
to be a befitting reference in patriotic diplomatic Service
in our country for which I am extremely proud! Why am I
targeted for being that Foreign Minister that brought
peace to Liberia, restored democratic Government in
Sierra Leone, maintained the leadership of Nigeria in the
OAU, ECOWAS and the UN, the first to turn to China with
a trade delegation that opened up massive opportunities
for our country but they fail to point even a feeble finger
at others in their midst who benefitted immensely from
the Abacha Government, some who ran the most lucrative
agencies during that tenure, some others who made away
with giant oil fields or are we blind not to see the giant,
fancy lucrative projects currently being executed in
partnership with well known Abacha foreign friends!
In consideration of all these I now have grave difficulty in
operating side-by-side petty minded people who are so
scared of my personality and are not willing to submit to
firm impartial authority. I will not accept any imaginary
bar to be installed over me, deliberately constructed by
political enemies to prevent my ascension to any height of
my choice in any party that I belong to, such as has been
so blatantly done in the APC.
The recent mass exodus from the Party has effectively
put the movement of the APC firmly in reverse gear.
Those who have left include notables such as Alhaji Ibrahim
Shekarau of Kano State, Alhaji Atahiru Bafarawa of
Sokoto State, Alhaji Ali Modu Sherriff of Bornu State,
Brg Gen Buba Marwa of Adamawa State, Mallam Nuhu
Ribadu of Adamawa State, Senator Ani Okonkwo of
Anambra State , Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu of Edo State. I
understand Chief Olusegun Osoba of Ogun State is on his
way out too. The very weak National Leadership appointed
for the Party in the last Convention is definitely
incapable of restoring any positive movement to the party.
The prevailing hostile atmosphere in the party does not
present the opportunity for any intervention from me at
this time at National, Zonal or State Level as I have done
in the past.
I led the process of change in Edo State politics in 2006
when as National Leader of the Action Congress (AC) I
brought the new party to the state. I worked with
dedicated and courageous colleagues to establish the
party in Edo State and we recorded a resounding success
in the 2007 General Elections – our very first outing in
the State. AC and eventually ACN has therefore been the
Government in power in Edo State from 2008 to date and
I am proud of the quality of peaceful, respectable and
dignified leadership that I was able to provide to the
party through these years. Comrade Adams Aliu
Oshiomhole who joined us in the middle of our preparation
for the 2007 General Elections met me in firm control of
the Party and its Leadership in the State at the time. We
welcomed him warmly and with our support he was lucky to
emerge victorious in the State Governorship election and I
have over the years enjoyed an excellent working
relationship with the Comrade. Now as he is the APC
Governor of Edo State, I wish him good luck, good health
and God’s guidance as he proceeds to conclude his second
term in office. But during the past seven years of
performing my role as leader of the party in Edo State,
my personal experiences of the relationship between the
political party, the legislature and the Executive at State
level has instilled in me very useful lessons that would be
immensely helpful in any future roles.
I have no current or perceivable ambition to contest for
executive power. My quest for an alternative political
platform in the country is basically in pursuit of a
credible political structure that would guarantee the vital
checks and balances in the system so that our people may
enjoy the benefits of alternative choices of National
Government from time to time. It is certainly not for the
creation of a vengeful ravaging army of flatterers and
favor-seekers at the command of a desperate upstart
with the hideous mission of stampeding an illusory enemy.
While I have always regarded the entire country as my
constituency, I am not oblivious of the reality of my
circumstance as a South Southerner, a Christian from a so
called minority stock who will continue to align with the
forces of change that would guarantee justice, prosperity,
peace and happiness for all our peoples. The forces that
have now seized the APC in a stranglehold are on a mission
very much against my conscience and indeed my very
being.
I have always viewed a political party as a congregation of
like-minded persons who become welded together in a
close-knit brotherhood in a manner beyond mere
friendship. In a Nation of two dominant political parties or
even diverse political parties the members, across party
lines, who are all in politics need not be sworn enemies.
After all they are citizens of the same Nation with I
suppose a mission of service to their people. Therefore
their hold to power has to be at the discretion of the
people.
I am at the stage of currently critically re-examining the
two dominant political parties in our country, which are
the APC and the PDP, in both of which I have had close
working knowledge. I have not ignored the other political
parties but in the light of the foregoing I must now
search to really ascertain where indeed my true political
friends exist. I need to be, at this time of my life where I
have friends who share a common vision with me and
where my freedom, respect, honour and dignity would be
guaranteed. Notwithstanding my enormous contributions
over the past 12 years or so to building the alternative
platform, after very deep thought and the widest
consultations I have made the decision to withdraw my
membership from the All Progressives Congress (APC)
from today, Wednesday 27th August 2014.

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