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The APC Meltdown Deepens

Victor Giadom, acting national chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, performed his second major act in office by dissolving the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party in the on-going national executive committee, NEC meeting. Bashir Ahmad, special assistant to the President on New Media tweeted this while the meeting was in session.

“National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC has been dissolved, the decision has just been taken at the ongoing Party’s NEC Meeting, Following the recommendation of President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been dissolved,” he tweeted.

It is an interesting time in the camp of ruling APC, as Giadom, court ordered acting national chairman, presides over a virtual national executive committee meeting of the party on Thursday from the Presidential Villa. The national secretariat of the party was at about 9. 00am sealed off by the Nigeria Police and workers ordered to leave their offices.

Everything is mired in the widening gyre of 2023 presidential ticket calculus. The seemingly local Edo governorship election has put a knife into what holds the party together and things are falling apart. The party is in turmoil.

The death of Abba Kyari, late chief of staff of President Muhammadu Buhari, who was behind suspended party chairman, Adams Oshiomohle, appears to have swung the balance of the scheming in favour of the Rotimi Amaechi camp, which is behind Victor Giadom, deputy national secretary of the party who a court had ceded the position of acting national chairman with the suspension of Oshiomohle from the party by his ward in Edo State.

Giadom appears to be on top of the game for now as Buhari has confirmed his attendance of the NEC meeting to the chagrin of the Tinubu/Oshiomohle camp. The NEC is expected to take far-reaching decisions on the conflicts roiling the party. Giadom’s acting position was extended by the court last week by two weeks. That may be enough space to effect fundamental changes in the party that may make it impossible for the embattled national chairman to return. It is not also unlikely that the court may further extend his acting period or NEC may ratify it as he comes from the same South-south zone with the suspended national chairman.

Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the party, is surprisingly not invited to the NEC meeting, in a move seen as a major setback for the former Lagos State governor, whose presidential ambition is the common denominator in the party’s present crisis. Ahmad explained in a previous tweet that Tinubu would not attend the NEC because he is not a member.

“There are some people who need to know that the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is not a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Party, hence, he doesn’t attend the NEC Meetings. This is very clear!” he tweeted Wednesday night.

Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC), argued that it was ‘absurd’ for Buhari to attend the Giadom NEC meeting.

“I’m stunned by this turn of events. How can a deputy national secretary have the ambition to be the chairman of a party when you have deputy chairmen and vice-chairmen? That is why it is absurd. It does not make sense. His position makes it impossible for him to be the acting national chairman. The legal advice the President got is mischievous in the extreme because there is no court order to extend since it does not exist. So I would advise the President to step back from this matter and not participate in it,” he said in an interview with The Nation.

National Secretary of the Party, Waziri Bulama had in a statement said Giadom was no longer a member of the party’s NWC. “We are constrained to once again react to a purported invitation to a National Executive Committee meeting of our great party; the All Progressives Congress issued by one Victor Giadom who until the last general elections in 2019 held the position of Deputy National Secretary of the party.

“Our esteemed members are advised to disregard this invitation because the author and sole signatory of the said invitation is not member of the National Working Committee of our party talk more of being an Acting National Chairman as claimed. He had voluntarily resigned in compliance with Article 31(1) (i) of our constitution to contest the position of deputy governor in Rivers State during the last general elections and has not been re-nominated by his zone to return to that office.

“Further, his non-membership of the NWC has been affirmed by the courts and an order restraining him from parading himself as a member of the NWC was granted against him on June 22, 2020 in the case of Dele Moses & Anor V APC (SUIT NO: PHC/360/2020) where the court said inter alia:

“That an order of interim injunction be and is hereby made restraining the 1st, 2nd 4th and 5th defendants, acting by themselves or through any of their officers, agents, or privies from recognizing or regarding the 3rd defendant/respondent as the National Chairman or Acting National Chairman or Deputy National Secretary of the 1st defendant/respondent or member of the National Working Committee of the 1st defendant/respondent pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice”.

After Buhari confirmed he would attend the virtual NEC meeting called by Giadom, Bulama said in a press statement that he may have been misinformed.

Garba Shehu, special assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, confirmed Buhari would attend the NEC meeting:

“The President has received very convincing advice on the position of the law as far as the situation in the party is concerned and has determined that the law is on the side of Victor Giadom as Acting National Chairman. Because he will always act in accordance with the law, the President will be attending the virtual meeting Giadom called for tomorrow afternoon.

“We urge the media to stop promoting manufactured controversies and to not give any further room for mischievous interpretations of the law on this matter. In addition to the President, the Giadom meeting will, hopefully, be attended by our governors and the leaders of the National Assembly,” Shehu stated.

The NEC meting continues…

Victor Giadom Photo
Victor Giadom, acting national chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC
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