SOME governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Friday, met with the national chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, behind closed doors.
The meeting was held at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
Kebbi State governor and chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, led the team that met with Oshiomhole and members of his National Working Committee.
Governors of Kano and Kwara states, Abdullahi Ganduje and Abdul Razaq Abdulrahman and deputy governor of Yobe State, Idi Barde Gubana, accompanied Bagudu to the meeting.
The governors had individually expressed concern about what they perceived as the highhandedness of Comrade Oshiomhole which had led to a cold relationship between him and the suspended Deputy National Chairman, Senator Lawan Shuaibu.
The immediate past governors of Ogun and Imo states, Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha, had since been suspended by Oshiomhole without recourse to the National Executive Committee.
Director General of the Progressives Governors Forum, Salihu Lukman, had, in a recent letter, accused the APC national chairman and other leaders of the party of failing to discharge their responsibilities.
In the letter, entitled “APC: Appeal for Reconciliation,” dated August 6, addressed to the APC chairman, which was leaked to the media, Lukman raised concern over the administrative style of Oshiomhole which he claimed caused the APC to lose certain states in the last general elections.
He said further that the loss of Zamfara and Imo states, the suspension of some key members and the possibility of defeat in the coming elections in Kogi and Edo states were issues to be addressed by the statutory organs of the party, namely, the National Caucus and the National Executive Committee.
Lukman raised concern over alleged inability of the party’s leadership to take advice from party loyalists and the delay in convening meetings of the superior organs of the party, especially the National Executive Committee and National Caucus to curb further crisis within the party.
In his remarks before the meeting dissolved into a closed-door session, the APC chairman alluded to some of the allegations levelled against him by Lukman.
Oshiomhole absolved himself of crises rocking certain state chapters as he noted that some of the states were experiencing challenges of lack of internal democracy which were as a result of controversial congresses before he assumed office.
While he admitted losses in Zamfara, Rivers and Imo states, Oshiomhole said he was consoled by the fact that the party regained lost grounds in Kwara and Gombe states.
He said: “It is quite a challenging experience for me. I try to compare myself as a governor and now as chairman of a party; coming in at the eve of primaries and dealing with fallout of the previous congresses, and then proceeding to conduct elections. I conducted primaries and campaigns across the 36 states and the FCT. And, working hard to ensure that we secured as many votes as we could for our president as well as support our states, particularly where we didn’t have state governors to ensure that we were able to lend a helping hand. And, I am happy to say that at the end of the day, even though we lost some states, we also gained some states.
“We gained Kwara which, for us, is extremely important. We also gained Gombe State which is also very strategic, among others. Of course, we have a clear majority in the National Assembly. We have more senators elected on our platform. We also have more of House of Representatives members elected on our platform. As it stands, there are many cases in court. And until those cases are resolved, we won’t be able to say for sure where we stand. We believe that a lot of our cases in court have merit. We hope that there will be justice and they are resolved in our favor.”
The APC chairman congratulated some of the governors on winning fresh mandates in their respective states, a development which he described as a reflection of people’s confidence in them and the party.
“We also want to congratulate you on having been reelected. Sometimes it is easier to be elected the first time. But to be reelected implies a huge vote of confidence by the people of your respective states,” Oshiomhole said.
Governor Bagudu, who responded before the closed-door session, said the governors were eager for a better working relationship with the APC NWC in order to strengthen the party.
“We appreciate the need to work together within the shortest possible time,” he said.