Absence of internal democracy responsible for our loss in Zamfara, Bayelsa, others, governors tell Akande
• Says party crisis predates Oshiomhole
The forum of governors on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, the Progressives Governors Forum has identified the cause of internal dissension within the party.
As the National Reconciliation team led by former Osun State governor, Bisi Akande, contends with the assignment it has been saddled with, the Director General of the PGF, Salihu Lukman, in a paper urged the troubleshooting committee to look at how it can restore internal democracy in the course of party primaries to present standard-bearers for elective positions.
He said: “Part of the components of the contributions of the APC to Nigeria’s democracy include that the problem of the imposition of candidates in elections were minimised considerably within the APC, at least in the 2015 elections. Unfortunately, that is where our problems started. Contestants in party primary election failed to develop the needed sportsmanship to accept results. The old habits of aspiring candidates taking over leadership structures of the party and through that, therefore, predetermining results of the primary elections remained the case.
“Consequently, since 2015, conducts of primary elections within the party has been rancourous in virtually all our states. Our National Working Committee (NWC), which is saddled with the leadership responsibility of managing all our internal processes and where there are problems, facilitate the resolution of the problems, is unable to do so. Inability to resolve problems associated with management of 2015 elections have been compounded with more problems from 2019 elections. In fact, the multiplicity of these problems has made us lose elections in Adamawa, Bauchi, Oyo, Sokoto and Zamfara.”
While he admitted that the flight of internal democracy predated the leadership of the party national working committee under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the DG of the PGF argued that it has been compounded as he argued the latter of taking candid advice as a betrayal.
“Part of the problem now is that he is surrounded by sycophants mainly from Edo State. Any attempt to help him through objective advice is condemned as betrayal especially when such advice comes from people who were close to him. Many of those who claimed now to be his supporters and loyalists are people who only relate with him based on his position of power and capacity therefore to influence access to political positions. His success as a leader who is able to direct the party towards electoral victory is never their consideration except if they are the candidates.
“One cannot blame these sycophantic crowd around our National Chairman. But I will definitely express my disbelief at the way Comrade Oshiomhole has become all of a sudden, a leader who is intolerant to criticisms. His level of intolerance is so high that any disagreement or criticism expressed against any of his decisions or actions is classified as betrayal and therefore requiring disciplinary actions.
“The procedure for disciplinary actions has become so cheapened such that all the relevant provisions in the party’s constitution are violated. As a result, Comrade Oshiomhole is today the leading accuser, prosecutor and judge in almost all cases where disciplinary actions have been administered in the party. The only probable exception may be the case in his ward in Edo State where he is also being alleged to have been disciplined.
“With this kind of background, it is almost impossible to start any process of engagement to resolve our problems in the party without addressing the issue of intolerance that is today the main characteristic of the Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC. “