Setback for Tinubu, Oshiomhole as Buhari declares support for Giadom

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*Buhari, Oshiomhole, Tinubu

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday declared his stance on the crisis rocking the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by recognising Mr. Victor Giadom as acting national chairman of the party.

The president’s endorsement of Giadom is interpreted as a big blow to the camp of the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

It is also seen as the last blow to the hope of the suspended and embattled former chairman of the party, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole hope when Buhari indicated that he would participate in today’s national executive committee meeting in Abuja.

Giadom is of the camp of some governors including Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa) and minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, among others, while Oshiomhole, the governor of Kano State, Mr. Abdullahi Ganduje, other governors and 17 out of the 21 members of the NWC are of Tinubu’s camp.

Endorsing Giadom, the president said in a statement by his spokesman, Mr. Garba Shehu that the law was on the side of the acting national chairman

“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 (today) 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 said.

Reacting to the president’s action, a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Dr. Hassan Muhammad Daiyabu, said if Buhari pitches his tent with Giadom’s faction, the party may end up in disarray.

He said in the present dispensation, party politics is not guided by any ideology than struggle to grasp or retain power at all cost.

“There is no loyalty to any ideology in the Nigerian politics of today.

“When you go back to history, you would find out that ruling parties often have problems in Nigeria, especially during transition from one administration to another.

“You remember in 2015, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had similar problem, as the party broke into two because some people felt that they have been cheated,” he said.

Similarly, an associate professor of political sociology at the University of Abuja, Dr. Abubakar Umar Kari described Buhari’s decision as a huge setback for Tinubu and Oshiomhole.

He told Daily Trust in an interview that the decision was shocking stressing that it altered any permutation or Buhari’s rumoured support for Tinubu.

“First and foremost, let me observe that the statement from the villa was quite shocking and unexpected.

“In terms of effect, I believe it is heft-shaking and it is a possible game-changer because up till that moment, an impression had been created that Buhari was solidly supporting the rumoured presidential aspiration of Tinubu.

“In fact, some people believed that there are some kinds of deal between the two political leaders and that Tinubu’s tendency in the APC which is being represented by Oshiomhole has been having an easy-ride or has been able to withstand all the pressures, all the plots, all the intrigues, because supposedly, it enjoyed the direct or indirect support of the presidency. This press statement obviously has put an end to this line of thinking.

“Secondly, the statement also represents a huge propaganda boost for the other side – the sides that are against Oshiomhole and Tinubu.

“What has been happening within the APC has been a kind of war of nerves.

“Each has been trying to create and dissimulate a kind of perception that they are the ones in charge, that they are the ones enjoying the support of the presidency.

“So, for the presidency to come out and say he recognised Giadom, it is something that will be taken to town by Giadom’s side which it is believed to comprise some State governors, some ministers, within the Buhari-led Presidency,” he said.

He also said there could be other reasons beyond the legal advice the presidency hinged its decision, pointing out that Buhari might have succumbed to pressure by governors.

“One of them is that the anti-Oshiomhole and anti-Tinubu must have persuaded the president to back them and that is quite possible because not long ago, some four governors met the president at the villa and the story coming out was that their major mission was to prevail on him to intervene,” he said.

Meanwhile, the APC’s national working committee said it would not attend the virtual national executive council meeting convened by Giadom.

In a statement signed by the embattled acting national chairman, Mr. Hilliard Eta, and acting national secretary, Mr. Waziri Bulama, the NWC said Buhari was misled.

“We wish to unequivocally state that members of the National Working Committee (NWC) believe that the President was offered wrong advice or blackmailed into lending his weighty office to the illegality of the National Executive Committee meeting purportedly convened by one Victor Giadom on 25th June, 2020.

“We hereby respectfully implore Mr. President to kindly avail himself with facts of the matter regarding the impasse presently experienced by the Party so as to guide him in his assessment of the matter because we are sure that the President if properly advised, would come to the conclusion that the meeting convened by Chief Victor Giadom bothers on illegality and criminality.

“The National Working Committee (NWC) regrets to turn down the invitation to the illegal and unconstitutional National Executive Committee (NEC) convened by Chief Victor Giadom.

“We believe that attending such a meeting will amount to embracing illegalities and turning a blind eye to the infractions on the Constitution of our great Party,” the statement read.

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