11th August, 2021
By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
Immediate past national Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adam’s Oshiomhole, has denied plotting to destabilise or ridicule the party in any way or for any reason.
Oshiomhole made the denial while responding a statement credited to Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, which alleged that the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo and others were plotting to bring him back as national chairman of the party.
The statement signed by his media aide, Victor Oshioke, said the former Governor of Edo State, took serious exemptions to his name being dragged into an issue that he has no hand in.
He said it would be frivolous for any right-thinking person to assume that Keyamo who actively supported his removal as national chairman of the party, would now plot to bring him back to office.
Oshiomhole added that Keyamo seemed to have lost out in the power play and failed to secure the benefits he anticipated in his removal from office, hence, ‘his self-serving new legal opinion which contradicts his earlier stance.’
His statement reads:
“Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, a former National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who is now a member of the APC and self styled aide of Minister of Transportation, Chief Rotimi Amaechi.
“In the said statement widely reported in the media, Chief Eze was quoted as saying that Mr. Festus Keyamo SAN, Hon. Minister of State for Labour and Employment and others were plotting to bring back Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as national chairman of the APC.
“Ordinarily we would have ignored this nonsensical suggestion. However, it is pertinent to set the records straight and put to rest this ridiculous falsehood being marketed by Eze Chukwuemeka Eze.
“Festus Keyamo was in the forefront and indeed provided legal support through his personal legal assistants who went to court and argued on behalf of those that filed cases for the removal of Oshiomhole as national chairman of the APC.
“Keyamo also offered legal advice on the legality of the NEC that was convened for the dissolution of the Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee of APC and emergence of the Governor Mai-Mala Buni-led Caretaker Committee.
“It is therefore frivolous for any right-thinking person to assume that Mr. Keyamo who actively supported the removal of the national chairman elected by over 6, 500 party delegates from across the 36 states and the FCT, because eight out of 27 Ward executive members purportedly suspended a national party chairman, would now plot to bring the same Oshiomhole back to office.
“It is strange that a serving Minister would share on public Social Media platforms, what he captioned as a “Private and Confidential” legal opinion for Mr. President who appointed him, especially considering that he was in the political kitchen when the pot of crisis he is now offering advice on was being cooked.
“If Keyamo has no ulterior motives behind his sudden change of legal interpretations of relevant aspects of the APC constitution and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the right channel would have been to sit down with his co-Minister, the Attorney General of the federation, behind close doors and put forth his arguments.
“Alternatively, he could have sought a private audience with Mr. President or write a confidential memo to Mr. President and explain why his earlier opinion supporting the dissolution of the NWC and setting up of a Caretaker Committee has changed or no longer tenable.
“Instead, he went to the market with his bogus arguments. His action is reminiscent of the indiscipline from some senior leaders of the party which Oshiomhole sought to deal with decisively as national chairman.
“A Minister certainly should know better how to communicate his concerns with Mr. President and party leadership in a truly constructive conversation behind closed doors.
“The truth of the matter is that Mr. Keyamo seems to have lost out in the power play and failed to secure the benefits he anticipated in Oshiomhole’s removal from office with the consequent dissolution of the NWC and other structures of the party. This is the main reason for his self-serving new legal opinion which contradicts his earlier stance.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole will not be part of any plot to destabilise or ridicule the party in any way or for any reason. He takes serious exemptions to his name being dragged into an issue that he has no hand in.”
Oshiomhole, however, reaffirmed his loyalty to the APC under the able leadership of Governor Mai-Mala Buni, adding that his position was that all hands should be on deck to support the Buni led Caretaker Committee to complete its assignment, rather than creating distractions that are counterproductive to the mandate of the committee.
While congratulating Buni and the entire members of the Caretaker Committee for their efforts in winning three governors from the PDP into the APC fold, Oshiomhole called for support for the Committee to proceed with the Local Government Areas, State Congresses and eventually the National Convention of the party.