Oshiomhole: The Mistakes Of A “Tactless” Party Chairman

by Sunday Aborisade 
Aggrieved leaders of the All Progressives Congress across the country had shelved their plans to defect en masse at the national convention of the party in June because they believed that the emergence of Adams Oshiomhole, a former Edo State Governor, as the new chairman of the party would be a soothing balm to the wounds inflicted upon them by either the cabal in the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, or the high-handedness of the erstwhile national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

The choice of Oshiomhole as the new helmsman of the party became inevitable following the collapse of an obviously impossible reconciliation task placed on the shoulders of a former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Tinubu was asked to reconcile all the aggrieved leaders across the country while he was also leading a highly resentful group, who believed that Odigie-Oyegun was undermining their relevance, by conniving with some President Buhari’s appointees, brought to the limelight by the APC national leader.

The only success recorded by the Tinubu ‘peacemaking’ group was the removal of Odigie-Oyegun, who was seen as a stumbling block to the committee’s efforts and his replacement with Oshiomhole.

No sooner than the erstwhile labour leader stepped into the shoes of his fellow Edo brother he dashed the high hopes and confidence reposed in him by the various terribly embittered groups within the party, who were still licking the wounds from their governors. They had alleged that their states’ helmsmen employed bravado styles, in active connivance with the National Working Committee of the party, to manipulate the processes of the congresses held at the ward, local government and state levels across the country in favour of their cronies.

A major pressure group within the APC, made up of former Peoples Democratic Party chieftains who defected to the party in 2014, under the auspices of the New PDP, is currently in the forefront of the defection winds blowing across the country, starting with the formation of the Reformed APC, as a faction, to actually project the APC, as a party in deep crisis.

The poor handling of the matter by Oshiomhole led to the pullout of the group and the gale of defections that followed.

The development revealed the true identity of the former Edo State helmsman as a tactless, impatient, and undiplomatic leader, whose actions further earned him the appellations of an attack-dog and an undertaker, hired to perfect the funeral of the dying party.

Oshiomhole’s alleged arrogance, which manifested in his impromptu reactions to issues, had further exposed his poor leadership style. He had threatened to expel ministers from the party for not inaugurating boards under their supervision and even called to question the ability of Buhari to control his appointees, who according to the ex-NLC president, were flagrantly disobeying presidential orders and directives with impunity while the President appeared helpless.

Observers believe that the latest demand by Oshiomhole asking the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, to vacate his seat since he had left the party, if not properly handled, might degenerate into further acrimony because some senators, knowing full well that it will take at least 73 votes to remove the Senate presiding officers, have started making moves to sack them through the back door, because they have the backing of the party leadership.
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