By Taiye Agbaje/ Emmanuel Mogbede
The National Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, on Thursday dismissed the report that the party has broken up.
Oshiomhole reacted in an interview with newsmen shortly after a maiden meeting with the APC caucus in the House of Representatives that lasted for about three hours in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a faction of the party, the Reformed All Progressives Congress (rAPC), under the leadership of Alhaji Buba Galadima, emerged on Wednesday in Abuja.
Announcing the formation of the faction at a news conference in Abuja, Galadima said the group had activated its parallel structures from the national to the ward levels.
He further stated that the new leaders at the ward levels would soon be made public.
The news conference was attended by many APC leaders, including the former National Chairman of the New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), Alhaji Kawu Baraje.
Responding to questions, Oshiomhole disagreed that the party was in a crisis.
”There is no breakup in APC. If one Galadima of no particular political address says he is not happy, that is fine. He has the right not to be happy.
”And if he chooses to call himself what he wants to call himself, I won’t miss my sleep over that.
“We know those who are in the system. Those who are in politics for bread and butter, that is their problem,” he said.
He assured that the party was engaging the real stakeholders in APC.
”I mean between the executive and the two arms of the National Assembly, we have very important, influential leaders and we are engaging them.
”Now, if you have people who are being sponsored by those who thought that our convention would be a failure and they were expecting implosion.
”If you review the headline before the convention, there were stories like ‘Oh people are going to walk out of the convention,’ ‘Oh people will boycott the convention.’
”In the end, they were shocked to find that the President was seated, the Vice-President was seated and Senate President was seated.
“Speaker of the House was seated, the national leaders were seated, the then national chairman was seated, and all the governors were seated.
”So they were like, what do we do next. They couldn’t stop what God has willed.
“So if thereafter, after two weeks of wriggling in pains that they were disappointed, you find mercenaries who are willing to be hired for a purpose, it is their right to be so hired,” he said.
The APC chair said the development would not cause any distraction within the core party leadership.
”And I met with the Senate leadership, with the Senate president in attendance, I have just met with the House of Reps, with the Speaker in attendance.
”Of course, I have had series of meetings with various party leaders
“ I have had meetings with governors elected on APC platform, everybody that matters in APC is here and our members just expect that with the new leadership, a couple of things will be done differently.
”And we are obviously going to do a couple of things differently because as it is said, you can’t be doing the same thing the same old way and expect different outcome.
“ I am convinced that there are many things that we could do differently,” he said.
According to him, although there are worries, there are also hopes.
He dismissed insinuations that the crisis might jeopardise the party’s chances in the 2019 elections.
”If people choose to be detained by fear, it is their choice. I am inspired by hope of the infinite possibilities for the future.”
On whether he intends to bring the splinter group together, Oshiomhole asked: ”Who are the people? I don’t know about Galadima.”
He said he was at the National Assembly to thank the House caucus of the party for its support at the convention.
Earlier at the meeting, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, had said that it was only by enthroning justice and equity that the APC would be able to silence voices of dissent and opposition.
He said although there is no human endeavour that is perfect, the APC lawmakers only expected justice “which is indivisible and universal.
“In every family, whether it is a nuclear, extended or an organisation, there is bound to be problem and that is because we humans that are running those institutions are not perfect ourselves.
“So we don’t expect perfection from any quarters.
“Our only expectation is the issue of justice and justice is indivisible. What is justice to the executive should be justice to the legislature and it should be justice to the judiciary,” Dogara said.
In a related development, Malam Bolaji Abudullahi, the APC National Publicity Secretary has said that the party would investigate the membership status of the members of the Reformed APC.
Abdullahi, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said those behind the reformed APC were ill-advised.
Alhaji Buba Galadima, National Chairman of the reformed APC announced the break out of some members of the APC , from the party, to form the group on Wednesday in Abuja.
Galadima was the National Secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) and a founding member of APC.
The APC spokesman, however, maintained that the party was not factionalised despite the development.
“On Wednesday July 4, 2018, a group of individuals announced itself as ‘Reformed APC. By their actions, this group has attempted to create the impression that our party is factionalised.
“This is not true; the APC wishes to affirm that there is no faction in our party and declares the action by these individuals as ill-advised.
“Having failed to scuttle the National Convention as was their original plan, they now resort to this subterfuge as a way of achieving the pre-determined end of causing confusion.
“We are currently investigating their true membership status within the party’’, Abdullahi said.
He added that APC would continue to monitor developments, saying that it would not hesitate to take lawful actions to defend the unity, identity and sanctity of the party.
“As a matter of fact, we doubt that these individuals parading as leaders of the so called faction are actual members of our party.”
Abdullahi added that the party was reviewing the action of the so-called faction to determine if any aspect of the party’s constitution had been breached with the connivance of any of its members.
The national publicity secretary assured members of the party with genuine grievances of the commitment of its new leadership, under Mr Adams Oshiomhole, to address them as quickly as possible to ensure justice.
However, the Edo State branch of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has hailed the Alhaji Galadima led- rAPC and called on Oshiomhole to submit to its leadership to save the APC from disintegration.
The Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, in a statement made available to newsmen in Benin, praised Galadima and the other members of the faction for their courage, determination and forthrightness in admitting that APC has run a “rudderless, inept and incompetent government that has failed to deliver good governance to the Nigerian people.”
Orbih remarked that the Edo state PDP was pleased to hear the news of the factional party’s decision to reform, refocus and give direction and leadership to APC.
“We are glad to know that democratic and progressive elements have come together to join forces with concerned Nigerians to rescue the country from the sinking, undemocratic, incompetent, clueless, clannish and unprogressive leadership that the APC federal government has bestowed upon the people.
“Edo PDP looks forward to your positive contributions to the development and nurturing of a healthy political space, overflowing with love and respect for one another.
“As the authentic and recognized chairman of the Reformed APC, we wish you well as you attempt to steer the rudderless APC to safety. To our brother Adams Oshiomole, the factional chairman of APC, it is time to embrace the inevitable change in the leadership of your party and submit fully to the leadership of Alhaji Buba Galadima to save your party from disintegration.”