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Oshiomhole-led NWC dissolved to derail Tinubu’s presidential ambition – Eta breaks silence – Punch Newspapers

Bola Tinubu

Members of the dissolved National Working Committee under the leadership of former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, on Friday broke their silence, saying the committee was abruptly sacrificed to scuttle the presidential ambition of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

The bombshell was dropped during a countdown rally for the May 29 inauguration ceremony of Tinubu and his Vice President-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima at Unity Fountain in Abuja.

In attendance were former Acting National Chairman of the party, Ntufam Hilliard Eta; ex-National Secretary, Waziri Bulama; former National Organising Secretary, Emma Ibediro; former National Youth Leader, Sadiq Abubakar among others.

The revelation is coming three years after the party leaders were kicked out from the secretariat of the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Although Eta claimed they hold no grudge against anybody for dismissal of the 21-member committee, he however felt the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) owe them an apology for being misguided into taking such ‘unwarranted action.’

A pensive-looking looking Eta, who stated that the sudden dissolution was premised on the wrong perception that the Oshiomhole-led NWC was an appendage of Tinubu campaign train and could be used to actualise his ambition after Buhari’s second term.

He just couldn’t understand how the NWC members who were elected into office for four years (2018 – 2022) at the National Convention in Abuja, could suddenly be dissolved two years into their tenure.

According to him, Tinubu was then a national leader of APC who had never hidden his intention to contest for the office of the President, just like some serving members in Buhari’s administration, who secretly covet the same seat.

He said, “The result of this was that alliances and counter alliances began to set in, quite early in the life of the newly elected NWC. From the day Comrade Adams Oshiomhole assumed office as the National Chairman of APC in June 2018, those who didn’t want him in the first place to become the National Chairman for fear that he might work for the Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu presidential bid, started unholy unions within and outside the NWC.

 “From privileged information, we gathered that the attempt to remove that NWC started immediately from the 2018 Convention. Therefore, it would seem like Asiwaju was going to be favoured more than other aspirants contesting for the presidency. None of us was individually interviewed to find out whether Asiwaju was our preference or not. It was just a perception. Whether that perception was right or wrong, it has now become history that the reason they removed us from office has become a reality. The constitution of APC is unambiguous on how to elect and or remove any NWC member from office, but did these coup plotters bother to read the constitution of the Party? I doubt!

“They thought we were working for the ascension of Tinubu as president of Nigeria. Has he not become the president of the country now? In that regard, we were sacrificed to stop Asiwaju. That is why I earlier described our role in the then NWC as ‘pivotal and sacrificial.”

“What followed shocked Nigerians! The anti-Tinubu forces had infiltrated and succeeded in misleading the Presidency. And so, with full presidential backing, the NWC was illegally dissolved and a Caretaker Committee was set up. We went to court to challenge the illegality. The post-legal struggle only rekindled another cycle of bravery, cowardice, betrayal, and sycophancy.  The rest as they say is history.”

Consequently, Eta called on the outgoing president to admit that he was ill-advised into taking such an unpopular decision and tender an apology to the 21-man committee.

He said such an apology is enough to appease them for all pains and trauma he caused them in the last three years.

Former NWC National Organising Secretary, Emma Ibediro, also toed the path of Eta, saying their dismissal was unjustified.

Ibediro bemoaned that nobody deserves to be fired based on perception or speculations as was witnessed in the case of Oshiomole-led NWC.

“There is a need to also tell our own story, which presently in the scramble for power, people may have forgotten the role that the Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC played in keeping this party together. For no offence of ours, we are removed from office just two years into our tenure because of certain elements who thought we were working for a particular presidential candidate. But as God will have it, whether it was a wrong perception or not, the same person we were accused of working for has now become the president.

“Even without enquiring from us whether the perception was right or wrong, all of us were placed in the same bucket and thrown away. People advised us to go to court or take certain steps. But we stood for the interests of this party and did not because we believe that this party after eight years of Buhari will succeed itself with another president. Therefore, we’re very happy that we find ourselves in this position today. At the same time, we want Nigerians to know that for whatever it was worth, the same Oshiomhole-led NWC that laid the golden egg was not compensated in any form,” he stated.

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