Real reason there was crisis over APC primaries –Oshiomhole

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Oshiomhole

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole, has declared that the crisis that emanated from the primaries of the party conducted across the states of the federation recently has to do with the increase in number of those vying for different posts on the platform.

That, he said was as opposed to the situation in the last general election when the party was an opposition party.

According to Oshiomhole, the achievements recorded by the party since 2015 when it got to power had increased the value of the party and made the internal democratic process in the party more intense.

He said more people with high electoral value had joined the party, hence the stiff competition for the party’s tickets.

Oshiomhole spoke on Wednesday while inaugurating the committees set up to reconcile aggrieved members the party across the six geopolitical zones of the country.

“The House is bigger than it was four years ago because those who initially had reservations have since realized that the President meant business and the APC was delivering on the promises that we made.

“As they say, success has many fathers and failure is an orphan. The fact of these accomplishment which has enlarged the house and brought in more political activists and political leaders who are people of huge electoral value across the states has meant that the internal democratic process which we were obliged under our constitution to go through was getting more intense and competitive with more people showing interest in the affairs of our party,” he said.

He said it was common knowledge that it was not possible for every contestant to win the party’s ticket as only one person had to emerge in any situation.

He said the reconciliation committees were set up to calm frayed nerves, especially as the party moved towards the 2019 general election.

His statement reads in part:  “We want you to help us find in-house solution with a view to finding peace and ensuring internal unity and harmony within the APC family. We have gone through a very crucial stage in the processes leading to the next presidential election, National Assembly, governorship and state houses of assembly elections.

“From my own records, of the 36 states and the FCT, I believe that we have done extremely well. It is almost impossible for even the most gifted child to score 100 percent in every subject. The more questions you have to answer, the more the chances of missing some of them.

“Four years ago, around this time, we were in opposition and therefore, the value of our ticket was certainly not near where they are today. More and more women and men of conviction now subscribe to contesting election on our platform.

“I believe that to our collective credit, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari who is our candidate in the next Presidential election, assisted by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, we have all worked very hard and we have been very well led by Mr. President. As they say, you can never underestimate the power of example.

“We have not solved the problems of Nigeria, but those with good memories will have no difficulties in comparing the previous 16 years of PDP rules and the past three and half years of APC rule.

“Our people voted for change because they wanted to change the way the country is managed, they wanted to change the way government and governance is approached, they wanted to eliminate corruption in the process of governance, they wanted to reconcile efforts with reward; they wanted to eliminate a situation where people who work so hard earn very little and those who have no business address are the billionaires.

“They wanted to address a situation where every week, a Nigerian was buying a private jet when he had no business address. The challenge of changing the reward system that was on ground was obviously not going to be easy.

“The House is bigger than it was four years ago because those who initially had reservations have since realized that the President meant business and the APC was delivering on the promises that we made.

“As they say, success has many fathers and failure is an orphan. The fact of these accomplishment which has enlarged the house and brought in more political activists and political leaders who are people of huge electoral value across the states has meant that the internal democratic process which we were obliged under our constitution to go through was getting more intense and competitive with more people showing interest in the affairs of our party.

“But we are still learning the full import of multi party democracy and of a free and fair election. If it were possible to have angels in politics, and ten of them decide to contest for the office of a governor of a state, nine angels will lose nomination, not because they are less pure, but because only one person will be chosen.

“Whether that choice is through imposition, consensus, direct or indirect primary, it is obvious from the onset that nine will go without the ticket. This is something we ought to expect and that every democrat should readily appreciate.

“I am not surprised that inspite of the efforts that we have made, we still have some persons and groups in few states where some people feel about uncomfortable with the outcome and they feel that the system was not just to them.

“For me, it is not sufficient to rely on the fact that colleagues and I on the NWC, as much as we tried to ensure that the rules were obeyed and ensure that the process was transparent and that we protected everyone, those who the system did not favour are not only questioning the outcome, but appeared quite disappointed with some very bitter and resorting to statements that might be unhelpful as we approach the elections.

“As Chairman, I have since learnt that once you step out to be the Chairman of even a local Association, you opt to be the dustbin to which everybody empty everything. I have had my own fair share of people, who, out of anger chose to target me as a person.

“Unfortunately it coincide with what the opposition PDP have always wanted because bringing on board my past reputation is a challenge to the PDP that has no reputation. If they had any, it is a reputation of share the money and these are no longer in the realm of speculations because it has been subject of several litigations across the country.

“In moving forward, it is not a question of whether we think that we have done everything perfect, but even if the outcome of a perfect exercise makes one person unhappy, as leaders privileged to have been entrusted with the management of our party and ensure there is peace and tranquility within our party, we must, inspite of our conviction that we have done our very best make every effort to identify those who are unhappy and use our in-house huge human resource to try and find in-house solution.

“From our tradition, I know that seeking peace and finding solution, the quality of people involved also matters. We believe that these committees which include our governors who inspite of their own reservations are at home and at peace with the party and are working hard to ensure that the party win their respective zones, we can call on them to come and help us in this process of peace building and reconciliation.

“The truth is that when somebody is unhappy, we have a responsibility to make them happy. We also realized that sometimes, women have special gift of persuasion and that is why we have enough women of substance in this committee to help carry out this reconciliation.”

Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, who spoke on behalf of other members of the committees set up promised that they would do their best to bring unity to the party.