An attempt to stoke crisis in the All Progressives Congress (APC) following the Appeal Court ordered suspension of National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole was doused Wednesday.
The National Working Committee (NWC) ratified the appointment of Deputy Chairman (South) Senator Abiola Ajimobi as acting national chairman.
Sixteen of the 20 NWC members took the decision at a meeting. National Publicity Secretary Lanre Isa-Onilu said this is in line with Section 14.2 (iii) of the party’s Constitution.
“Due to Senator Ajimobi’s unavoidable absence, the NWC unanimously appointed the Party’s National Vice Chairman (Southsouth), Prince Hilliard Etta to act on Senator Ajimobi’s behalf, an action backed by the Party’s constitution which empowers the NWC to appoint one of its members in acting capacity and stipulates that the acting National chairman must be from the zone of the national chairman.
“Sixteen members of the NWC attended the meeting held at the Party’s National Secretariat (13 members attended physically and three others joined the meeting online).”
Those who joined through zoom are: National Vice Chairman, South-East, Eneukwu; National Financial Secretary, Bello; and National Disabled Leader Mishau Lawal.
According to Isa-Onilu, the NWC approved the committees for the party’s Edo State Governorship Primary Election scheduled for Monday and the Appeal panel scheduled to sit on Wednesday.
Members of the Primary Election Committee are Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma – Chairman; Sen. Ajibola Basiru (Secretary); Alh. Abdullahi Abass; Hon. Ibrahim Sabo; Hon. Ocho Obioma; Hajia Amina Lantana Muhammed and Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye.
Members of the Primary Election Appeal Committee are Prof. Mustapha Bello(Chairman); Dr. Kayode Ajulo (Secretary); Hon. Umar Ahmed; Nasiru Ibrahim Junju; and Hon. Rasaq Mahmud Bamu.
National Secretary, Waziri Bulama said “there is no constitutional lacuna in holding the NWC meeting. And the session was held with 75 per cent of members in attendance.”
The NWC also on Wednesday declared the deputy national secretary seat vacant. The post is held by Victor Giadom.
The NWC took the decision having taken cognisance of the fact that Giadom had ceased to be an officer of the party since 2018.
Giadom resigned in 2018 to contest as the deputy governorship candidate of the APC in Rivers State.
Giadom returned to office at the National Secretariat without a fresh nomination by South-South Zone of the party.
The NWC said by the provision of Article 31(iii), Giadom had ceased to be a national officer of the party since 2018.
The Article reads: “Any party office holder interested in contesting for an elective office(whether party office or office in a general election) shall resign and leave office 30 days prior to the date of nomination or party primary for the office he or she is seeking to contest.”
It was also learnt that the NWC yesterday asked the South-South Zone of APC to either re-present Giadom or nominate a new candidate for the office of the Deputy National Secretary.
The National Secretary of the party, who spoke with our correspondent, said: “Going by Article 31 of the APC’s constitution, Giadom has not been a national officer since 2018 when he resigned to contest the governorship primaries.
“In line with our constitution, the NWC has declared the seat of the Deputy National Secretary vacant until the laid down procedures are followed for a fresh nomination of Giadom into the party’s executive.
“At our meeting, we made it clear that the South-South Zone can re-nominate Giadom or make a fresh nomination. This is the process adopted by the zones which led to the emergence of Ajimobi (Deputy National Chairman), Bulama (National Secretary), and Paul Chukwuma (National Internal Auditor).
The party acknowledged the recent High Court ruling which declared Hon. Igo Aguma as its acting chairman in Rivers State. “In compliance with the court ruling, our party has recognised Aguma as Rivers State acting Chairman pending when new congresses will be held to elect party executive members at the ward, local government and state levels,” Isa-Onilu said