National leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu has decried what he called “the present ploys and plots to undermine the APC National Chairman,” Adams Oshiomhole, against the backdrop of the 2023 general elections that are still far away.
In a long statement today, March 15, Tinubu said that those who are desperate about removing Oshiomhole should rather concentrate their energy in helping President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle several challenges his government is facing.
He admitted that Oshiomhole, being human, has his merits as well as his flaws.
“Yet his humanity cannot be grounds for his dismissal. If so, the position will forever go vacant.
“The Chairman has been a tireless campaigner and mobilizer for the party. He has steered the party through difficult elections. His contributions should not be undervalued now that the bulk of elections are behind us. To do so would be an act of ingratitude. It is no secret that the Chairman and Edo Governor Obaseki are in dispute. This is unfortunate.”
Part of Tinubu’s statement goes thus:
However, the party has moved through proper procedures within the proper organs of the party to hopefully resolve this spat. All party members know this. Such decisions are part and parcel of internal party governance. Yet, motivated by ambitions that have nothing to do with the quality of the Chairman’s performance, people shunned the agreed party reconciliation mechanism and resorted to other means to oust him. These self-help attempts are unwarranted. These attempts reveal more about the mala fides of their perpetrators than they do about the Chairman.
The plotters launched their attack solely because they perceive the chairman as an obstacle to their 2023 ambitions. People went to court knowing full well the party constitution prohibits such action because these people had not yet exhausted all internal disciplinary procedures.
We even had a national deputy secretary improperly call for a NEC meeting on the basis that he believed himself the acting national chairman. Clearly, this man would not have summoned the temerity to make such a move had he not been instigated by powerful individuals who he thought would reward or, at least, protect him for committing the wrongful act.
Those engaged in these manoeuvres see themselves as clever or cunning. They do so because they only understand the mean craft of political intrigue. They have yet to understand the value and long-term utility of democratic governance. Thus, they embark on the strangest of quest. They would rather dismantle and weaken the institutional core of their party just to gain control of that weakened edifice in order to pilfer the party nomination, which they crave. This is more than sad.
Many of us expended sweat, tears, toil and sleepless nights to build this party. Our personal sacrifices were not insignificant. We built this party not simply as a vehicle for personal ambition. We built the party because we saw it as perhaps the only enduring hope to bring progressive governance to this nation. Those who now seek to abuse the party by using it as their personal device do it great harm. They should not be allowed to sacrifice this collective enterprise at the altar of their self-aggrandizement. Somehow, some way they should find in themselves the bearing to adhere to the democratic spirit on which the party was founded. To be an APC member means more than merely carrying a membership card. It means to believe in a set of ideals and principles geared to our highest purpose as a party and a nation.
In a broader context, those afflicted with the 2023 virus do a grave disservice to President Buhari and his administration. They should be trying their best to help the president. Instead of seeing President Buhari as our present leader and commander-in-chief, their sole contemplation is upon his eventual exit. Yet, not even a full year has passed since his second inaugural. How can they be committed to helping him realise his mandate when the fullness of their gaze is affixed to seizing this very mandate for themselves?
The President is faced with many challenges. He is fighting hard on security to keep the population safe. He is pushing for economic reforms that will augur future sustainable growth. His disdain for corruption remains unwavering. Add to it now the Corona crisis and its resultant social as well as economic impact. Politicians express loyalty to him but the words of too many of our politicians are like butter under a burning sun; they melt quickly away. Better to be loyal in deed. Instead of trying to manipulate party and other mechanisms solely to their political gain, it is time to shelve political intrigue for the time being. It is time for all party members to truly see what is at stake and work with Mr. President for the collective good of the nation.
This means we must rally around President Buhari. Instead of everyone saying they are working for the party and nation but going their separate ways based on their selfish designs, we must help him build a stronger national consensus on policies that will ensure safety and bring greater prosperity. If need be and when called upon, we must offer ideas and suggestions that move policy and progress forward. This is the time for governance. It is not the moment to bring the politics of 2023 into 2020. In due course, 2023 shall come. Nothing can prevent it. However, that time is not today. If we are earnest, the present offers sufficient work and challenges for us without trying to add to it by rushing the future. Let us dedicate our energies to helping President Buhari win the present. In this way, you better secure the future for the nation, the party and even for whatever personal ambitions you may nurture.
I have said what is on my mind in hopes that some people may leave the 2023 frenzy and commit themselves to the harder yet more rewarding task of improving progressive governance, whether within the party or at the local, state or federal levels. Yet, I am not so naïve to think all will heed this counsel. The stubborn, those obsessed with the obsession of their ambitions, will ignore all advice. They will constantly pull 2023 into all that occurs in 2020. Their vision is blurred and judgment made faulty by their ailment. We are democrats so we cannot physically quarantine them. However, we can quarantine their ideas and antics by not falling prey to them. This is the best way we help President Buhari fulfil his mandate and inoculate our party and the nation from grave folly.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu
March 15, 2020