By Adedayo Akinwale
The immediate past National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, Monday said he was not part of the suit instituted against the party by a former National Vice Chairman (South-South) of the the party and member of the dissolved National Working Committee (NWC), Mr. Hilliard Eta.
Eta, had last week approached a Federal High Court in Abuja, to challenge the dissolution of the Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC four months after.
He also asked for the nullification of the June 25th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting which dissolved the NWC.
But, Oshiomhole in a statement issued Monday described it as height of mischief to insinuate, as it was being done in some quarters, that he would publicly accept the decision and later surreptitiously seek to contest it in court.
He explained that in reporting the legal action taken by a member of the dissolved NWC of APC, some attributions had been made to the effect that the plaintiff was an “ally of Oshiomhole” or an “associate of Oshiomhole.”
Oshiomhole stressed that the court documents were clear on who was the plaintiff.
He said for the avoidance of doubt, the 21 NWC member under his leadership largely worked cohesively and harmoniously.
Oshiomhole noted that the only exceptions were those of the three members used by ‘forces desperate to take control of the party’.
He accused the said members of deliberately creating a crisis and abused the judicial process to undermine the constitution and integrity of the party.
The former chairman maintained that majority of 18 members worked as a team and not as allies or loyalists of anybody.
Oshiomhole recalled that when the NEC in its wisdom dissolved the NWC, he immediately announced publicly that he accepted the decision, regardless of its illegality or otherwise, as it affected his position as National Chairman.
He stated: “I was the only one at the press conference where I made the announcement for personal reasons. The reason, of course, was that some of my colleagues in the dissolved NWC obviously didn’t share my position not to contest the dissolution in court. I can only accept responsibility for my own decision.
“Subsequently, I instructed my lawyers to withdraw the suits challenging my purported suspension from office by the proxies of those bent on removing me as chairman.
“It is, therefore, the height of mischief to insinuate, as it is being done in some quarters, that I would publicly accept the decision and later surreptitiously seek to contest it in court.
“That chapter of my political life is closed. Even if another NEC decision or a court order reverses the dissolution, with utmost humility I will decline to return as APC chairman.”
Oshiomhole further said that he was proud of the accomplishments of the NWC under his leadership, adding that he was grateful to the principled 18 members who worked as a team committed to the cause of the party.
He said he bears no grudges against any one for the manner of his removal, rather he was grateful and loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari who encouraged him to contest the chairmanship of the party.
Oshiomhole said he appreciated the support of Buhari who encouraged him to assert the authority of the party without fear or favour.
“Indeed, I would not have lasted as long as I did as national chairman but for the President’s support for me.
I will continue to support his administration to succeed in serving the common good of the people of Nigeria,” Oshiomhole said.