Multiple party sources told Vanguard that permutations ahead of the 2023 presidential election which led to the ouster of the erstwhile National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, was part of what played out last Saturday in Edo.
One of them who had predicted that the ruling party was going to lose the election based on happenings in the party, said: “the Edo election was essentially a contest between the North and the South.”
He said: “What happened in Edo was a result of multiple factors but let me tell you about the ones that concern the party.
One, there is the local Edo politics. There were people who had issues with Oshiomhole, even right from when he was governor, and felt it was payback time. That is in Edo.
“Now, within the party, it was you (the media) who reported that some of our governors were not happy that Obaseki was denied the governorship ticket and frustrated out of the party like an ordinary person.
“Well, I do not want to confirm or dismiss that, but maybe we have to ask them (governors) why only two of them were visible in Edo during the campaigns. What happened that the APC could not do a grand finale of its campaigns? In other words, we did not close our campaigns properly. It has never been like that. Even if the President was not going to be there, at least the vice-president would be there.
“We had a 49-member National Campaign Council with about five serving governors, former governors, senators, ministers, and others but the campaigns were reduced to Oshiomhole and Ize-Iyamu.
“I saw only two governors, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano who was chairman of the council and his vice, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo. So what happened? Where were the others?”
Another party source who was a member of the dissolved National Working Committee, NWC, of the party said the governors cannot be exonerated.
He said: “You would recall how some of us had expressed misgivings about the letters or statements that were being written by the D-G of Progressive Governors’ Forum, Salihu Mohammed Lukman. He constantly assailed Comrade Oshiomhole and condemned our campaigns in Edo. Nobody called him to order. What he did was anti-party.
“He claimed to have been speaking in his personal capacity but how could that have been true? He was speaking for his paymasters who have their sights on 2023. These are people who do not want to hear anything Tinubu. Their aim is to deflate Tinubu. They see Oshiomhole as a Tinubu’s man.
“My only fear is that if you deny Tinubu the ticket and give another person, are we sure APC would still remain intact by that 2023 when President Muhammadu Buhari would not be contesting again? Personally, I am not happy that we lost in Edo, having suffered in Rivers and then in Bayelsa. We used to have 23 governors or so, but now I think we have about 19. Are we progressing or retrogressing?
“How can some people revolt against the party just because of one man? What happened in Edo is going to haunt us for a long time. I am happy Governor Ganduje has said that the party needs some soul-searching because what happened is an insight into 2023. I hope they will take him very seriously because he was on ground in Edo as chairman of the APC National Campaign Council.”