A report made wide and vast rounds in the newspapers on Friday, 12th June where a group of men, 12 in number, allegedly ”founding members of the APC” were quoted to have “weighed in on the crisis the APC and issued a challenge to the National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to “call Oshiomhole to order.”
The letter authored by these 12 founding members was clear in its purpose, strong in its language, and determined against its goal. At no sentence or punctuation did it pretend to be fair, objective, or balanced. It was clear they have an agenda, and they pursued it finely. However, the insincerity of the letter began with its authorship.
A closer look at the signatories will reveal an attempt to shore up a nationalistic image, struggling to paint their sectional agenda as the expressive will of the people of the APC spread across the nooks and crannies. Those who signed the letter were: Alh. Salihu Mustapha, Chief Polycap Udah, Captain Mohammed Bala Jibrin, Ray Morphy, Alh. Umar Kachalla Zubair and Dr. Sylvanus Amechi. Other signatories were Alh. Shaba Emangi, Chief Emeka Enechi, Hon. Charles Idahosa, Hon. Mohammed Aboki Mahmud, Prince Mackor Shaka Momodu, and Alh. Yesufu Omonemi.
This contrived authorship can have its dubiousness proved if and when journalists hold personal chats or interviews with these aforementioned individuals. Held separately, we will find that not less than 8 are not aware of this letter, and neither can 10 of them identify with the content and character of the letter. In other words, the charges and claims and sensational blackmail the letter expressed and employed is not the true views and ideas of these people and many other people of the party and the country.
The ideas of these people who described themselves as “founding members of APC and many of us were leaders of legacy parties that merged to establish the APC” begins to falter and seen for the falsehood it is by their overt and explicit attempt to assassinate the character of an individual who, if they were honest about their capacity, they would recognize to be a far more superior and bonafide APC party-man.
This group, suspiciously chaired by Charles Idahosa, a renowned stooge of the embattled Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, went hard on Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, lumping him up with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and equally dismissing them both as the ultimate undertakers of APC’s success, democracy in Nigeria, and President Buhari’s ideal. But all that, subjected to the light of deep reason, can be seen to be a simple pursuit of set out agenda.
To begin with, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the man who, when put in proper perspective, is the core reason for the jittery Idahosa-led rebellion disguised as statemen’s intervention, is equally and most importantly, more APC than Charles Idahosa and 11 man team. Osagie Ize-Iyamu was an instrumental member of the ACN and then the APC up until his departure in 2015. He was an immovable force, a zealous soul who was at the forefront of the merger between the defunct parties that combined to form the All Progressives Congress as we know today.
So, when the authors of this letter claim that “Comrade Adams Oshiomhole drafted a PDP loyalist into APC”, they are simply being, for lack of a milder word, mischievous. It is a deliberate and well thought out motive to damage the character of the Pastor, defenestrate Oshiomhole, and put them at loggerheads with the President. The letter and its authors should own up to the truth of their mission: which is to lobby, now in grand and intellectual style, for the benefit of the disillusioned Godwin Obaseki.
The claims of distorting APC laws and running a one-man show is outright dishonest. The activities of a firm, organization, group, is often seen in the man who is its leader, and more than few times, even as the due process takes place, people see the implementations of the organization as that of the leader. It is not so but that is how it is loosely interpreted everywhere. The most pertinent example is the leadership of the World Health Organization (WHO) and our Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) in this precarious moment of global health challenge through the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu are, without holding back, seen and taken as one and the same with WHO and NCDC respectively. Hence, what the letter-writers tend to do is simply a mischievous attempt to blackmail a man legally doing his job, muddling up issues, and looking to criminalize Oshiomhole.
But the blackmail and intimidation that the letter reeks off have a farther mission: to strongarm and compel the APC National Leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, not just into breaking silence speaking as they so claimed, but rather to eloquently speak in favor of their factions ambition which is the truly alien and enemy of process, structure, and institution.
When the letter writers argued for democracy, they made a fatal mistake. In one breath they condemn the rejoining of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to the APC, whereas such expression and movement, is the hallmark of democracy itself. For what wrong is in it for a man to have a political ambition and express it within the ambit of the law, breaking none, harming no one? And is it not our letter writers who are outrageously rousing rabble through conflating narratives, ironing falsehoods, and mentioning Tinubu’s 2023 ambition, using it as a leverage to command the man into loquacity?
In other states, when politicians defect from PDP to APC, it is deemed and taken as APC strengthen its democracy, widening its reach, and consolidating its hold. But when it happens in Edo, it is taken as Oshiomhole drafting PDP man to hijack the party and fight the governor. Yet, even if Adams Oshiomhole has such a dream, he wouldn’t need to go the length of grabbing a politician from an opposing party, there are existing politicians who are more popular than Obaseki, and who can easily fit the role of hijacking the state.
Charles Idahosa and his group of writers went ahead to mention peace resolution and committees seeking reconciliation. Yet they do not want to recall the efforts made by the National Assembly that Obaseki called ’rubber stamp.’ They do not mention the Ganduje-led peace committee that was vehemently resisted by Obaseki, even refusing to meet them. Is it amnesia or mindless and blatant pursuit of predetermined agenda? And yet they speak of democracy but not mention the tyrannical dispositions of Obaseki – the governor that banned his party National Chairman from visiting his hometown, the governor that appeared on national television to threaten Oshiomhole, mentioning his (Obaseki’s) readiness and capability to ’deal’ with Oshiomhole.
They failed to recount how in defiance of his party, he blocked the inauguration of 14 members elected to the Edo Assembly and frustrated all intervention efforts of the leadership of the party; how he lodged suits against the party in numerous courts across the country, violating a party constitutional dictate that unless internal conflict resolution mechanisms are exhausted, members are not to initiate legal proceedings; or more recently, how Governor Obaseki, in bad faith and exercise of clear abuse of office, designed and signed a gazette targeted at his own party to prevent it from conducting primaries despite granting a special waiver to the opposition.
This unsavory memory may be too burdening, too unpleasant, that the letter writers altogether decided to blur it out by entirely forgetting it. The demand that Bola Tinubu must speak up is heartbreaking and the accusations leveled on the National Chairman only revealing of the letter writers’ ambition. Bola Ahmed Tinubu rightly has nothing to say when the party machinery and structure is perfectly working. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the one who has suffered most in this whole long lingering saga, should only focus on ensuring that the APC remains a party that, by its wide-spreading victories and progressive ideologies, will continue to attract politicians and consolidating more victories.
The ground is level, everyone should play.
Mr. John Mayaki
Director of Communication and Media
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation