Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has acknowledged that Adams Oshiomhole, who was recently sacked as national chairman of the party by an appeal court, tried his best but that he found himself in the middle of crisis he could not manage well.
Asiwaju Tinubu said: “I believed and continue to believe that Comrade Oshiomhole tried his best. Mistakes were made and he must own them. Yet, we must remember also that he was an able and enthusiastic campaigner during the 2019 election. He is a man of considerable ability as are the rest of you who constituted the NWC. In hindsight, his fence-mending attempts were perhaps too little too late.”
Tinubu, who reacted to insinuations in some quarters that the development in the party has set him against President Muhammadu Buhari, in a statement today, June 27, indicated that the action taken by the President was the best in the circumstance that led to it.
He recalled that at the height of the crisis the National Working Committee (NWC), “itself, became riven by unnecessary conflict. Those who disagreed with one another stopped trying to find common ground. Attempts were made to use the power of executive authority to bury each other. I must be blunt here. This is the behaviour of a fight club not the culture of a progressive political party.”
He acknowledged that something important really went off track, saying that for some months, the nation had experienced growing disagreement within the leadership of the party.
He said that this unfortunate competition had grown so intense as to impair the performance of the NWC, thus undermining the internal cohesion and discipline vital to success.
“Some people have gone so far as to predict the total disintegration of our party. Most of such dire predictions were from critics whose forecasts said more about their ill will than they revealed about our party’s objective condition. “Predictions of the APC’s imminent demise are premature and mostly mean-spirited. However, an honest person must admit the party had entered a space where it had no good reason to be.
“The trouble is not that we would forfeit our collective existence but whether we were in danger of losing our collective purpose. In some ways, this possibility is of greater concern. A political party that has lost sight of the reason for its existence becomes but the vehicle of blind and clashing ambitions. This is not what drove the APC’s creation.
“Those who believe Nigeria can be forged into a better nation and deserves good governance must harken back to the establishment of our party. Those who were there and contributed the most to the party’s genesis embraced a common vision. Not only did we believe the venal, purblind PDP was leading the nation into a pit, we sincerely held a common vision of progressive good governance. This was the overriding reason for the APC.
“Those most intimately involved in founding the party remain faithful to this benign, timely assignment. Sadly, many members have lost their balance. Their personal ambition apparently came to greatly outweigh the obvious national imperatives.
“Even in the best of times, Nigeria is beset by myriad challenges. Poverty and economic inequality, insecurity, lack of infrastructure are longstanding obstacles that have blocked our access to national greatness for too long.
“Through no fault of our own, we now live in a moment of heightened difficulty. We did not ask for COVID-19 but it has found us. We must deal with it and navigate its rude economic consequences. At the same time we must grapple with the violent insecurity caused by increasingly desperate terrorists and criminals. People need concrete help from us. We must focus on building roads and creating jobs. For the average man, watching politicians wrestle for position is a poor substitute to seeing politicians working for the benefit of all.”
Asiwaju Tinubu said that the hope that the disagreements could be resolved failed to materialise, “as if some unseen but strong forces continued to stoke the embers,” regretting that instead of calling a prudent ceasefire, too many people sought more destructive weapons against one another.
“Order, party discipline and mutual respect went out of the window. Members instituted all manner of court cases, most of them destructive, some of them frivolous, none of them necessary. In the process, a dense fog fell upon our party.