Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has been in the news recently but not for good reasons. It was reported by various news platforms earlier this week that the former Edo State Governor was grilled on Sunday by the Department of State Services (DSS) over allegations of financial impropriety. Oshiomhole, whose reign as National Chairman of the ruling party has been stormy, is now in the eye of the storm.
These may be five possible reasons for his present ordeal.
The Manner of His Emergence, Sorry Imposition
Though Oshiomhole emerged through what seemed like a unanimously-decided election, he was chosen through a voice vote after all other candidates who had initially wanted to contest against withdrew from the race. Therefore, Abubakar Badaru, who presided over the APC convention, sought Oshiomhole’s affirmation during what ended up a ‘convention’ rather than an ‘election’. However, it is believed that his three opponents — Professor Osareimen Osunbor, Clement Ebri and Ibrahim Emokpai — were forced to pull out of the race before the convection.
It is believed that though they accepted the decision to impose Oshiomhole, his emergence did not go down with them. And it is believed that some of them have turned into fifth columnists within the party working tirelessly to make his tenure difficult or a fiasco.
Oshiomhole’s ‘Aluta’ Style of Administration
Oshiomhole, former President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), forged his reputation in the furnace of activism and he is used to intransigence and talking tough. It is believed in some quarters of the ruling party that the man, despite having ruled for eight years as Governor of Edo State, is yet to learn the art of diplomacy. They believe he is yet to know that there is a clear-cut difference between activism (colloquially ‘aluta’ in this part of the world) and pure collectivism, which is the nub of being a political leader. This style of leadership is believed to have driven a wedge between the party loyalists who support Oshiomhole and those who don’t. It is even said that Oshiomhole’s emergence contributed to the emergence of N-PDP in APC.
The Contentious APC Primaries
The most conspicuous of all the reasons for Oshiomhole’s predicament is his alleged role in the emergence of certain candidates in the just concluded APC primaries across the country. The assumption that he worked against the anointed candidates of some governors is fuelling anger in some party leaders, who are now bent on removing Oshiomhole as National Chairman. Chief among Oshiomhole’s detractors are Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, whose candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, has been dropped for Dapo Abiodun; Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, whose preferred successor who doubles as his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, was overlooked in the controversial APC primary election in favour of Hope Uzodimma and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo, who has a running battle with Tinubu, major supporter and sponsor of Oshiomhole’s chairmanship candidature. While Amosun has denied having a hand in Oshiomhole’s predicament, it may be that threats by Okorocha and others were not empty, after all.
The ‘Weak’ Presidency is Fighting Back
You may be wondering why the presidency is involved, despite its seeming rosy relationship with Oshiomhole, but it will be recalled that earlier this year, while threatening to expel the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, Oshiomhole had described President Muhammadu Buhari as weak for condoning indiscipline from his cabinet members. This did not go down well with the presidency. According to a source in the presidency, “The President was not happy with the comment of the APC Chairman because it portrayed him as inefficient”. The presidency may be seizing on the opportunity to get back at Oshiomhole. This is buttressed by subsequent reports that the President was aware of Oshiomhole’s grilling by the Department of State Services (DSS) and even gave the body a go-ahead.
Vengeance by Former APC Senators
It is believed that Oshiomhole’s attack-dog style of governance forced some people out of the APC, particularly the gale of defections from APC to PDP that swept across the National Assembly. And they are wasting no time too to have Oshiomhole’s scalp. According to reports, they are asking the DSS to investigate Oshiomhole because he is a Nigerian citizen and not above the law.
Dirty Primaries, Dirty Cash
It is not only that the APC primaries yielded controversial results, but there are also huge questions about the exact reason some candidates were preferred to others. Investigations by SaharaReporters revealed that aspirants paid between N15 million and N50 million to secure the tickets for the various elective positions during or at the end of primaries, that a party member has described as “dirty”. In the end, Oshiomhole, his Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Abbas and National Treasurer, Adamu Panda were the ones behind the last-minute substitution of the candidates’ names, hours before the submission. Says a lot about the destinations of the various sums, and about why Oshiomhole is in serious trouble.