The national leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress(APC), Bola Tinubu has opened up on the crisis rocking the party for the first time on Saturday.
Speaking via a new statement, he said the Party became a ‘fighting club’ under its former national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole because of some many avoidable problems which the latter must own up to.
In the statement, he also spoke about speculations that he ended up a loser in the aftermath of the crisis regarding his reported presidential ambition.
“Some members went against their chairman in a bid to forcefully oust him. In hindsight, his fence-mending attempts were perhaps too little too late,” 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.”
“Most such dire predictions were from critics whose forecasts said more about their ill will than they revealed about our party’s objective condition,” he said.
“I am but a mere mortal who does not enjoy the length of foresight or political wisdom you profess to have. Already, you have assigned colourful epitaphs to the 2023 death of an alleged political ambition that is not yet even born.
“At this extenuating moment with COVID-19 and its economic fallout hounding us, I cannot see as far into the distance as you. I have made no decision regarding 2023 for the concerns of this hour are momentous enough.
“During this period, I have not busied myself with politicking regarding 2023. I find that a bit distasteful and somewhat uncaring particularly when so many of our people have been unbalanced by the twin public health and economic crises we face.”
He said these party leaders had wanted to “use the power of executive authority to bury each other,” thus exhibiting “the behaviour of a fight club (which is) not the culture of a progressive political party”.
“The National Working Committee, itself, became riven by unnecessary conflict. Those who disagreed with one another stopped trying to find common ground,” he said.
“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.”
“With lawsuits so numerous one needed a spreadsheet to keep track, President Buhari has reasonably decided that he has seen enough. I do not lament his intervention or its outcome. I lament that the situation degenerated to the point where he felt compelled to intervene,” he said.
“The President has spoken and his decision has been accepted. It is now beholden on all of us, as members of the APC, to recommit ourselves to the ideals and principles on which our party was founded,” he added.
“Never should our party be defined by one person’s interests or even the amalgam of all members’ individual interests, he said adding that “a successful party must be greater than the sum of its parts”.
“We have governorship elections around the corner in Edo and a primary and elections in Ondo. On these important events we must concentrate our immediate energies,” he said.
“In Edo, we must rally round our candidate Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu. In this, Comrade Oshiomhole has a crucial role to play. I congratulate him for his equanimity and loyalty to the party and our President in accepting the dissolution of the NWC. I encourage him, now, to return to Edo State to energise the campaign for the election of Pastor Ize-Iyamu.”