Oshiomhole: I am not plotting to return as APC chair
A FORMER National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on Monday said he was not plotting to return to his former position in the ruling party.
He said he had nothing to do with the court case challenging the suspension of the defunct National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, which he headed.
He maintained that he was not seeking any surreptitious or backdoor court process to return as the APC National Chairman.
The former chairman said if another National Executive Committee (NEC) of APC or a court order reverses the dissolution of the former NWC, he will reject any offer to return to office.
Oshiomhole, who made the clarifications in a statement in Abuja, said that chapter of his life is closed.
He said he bore no grudges against anyone over the manner of his removal.
Oshiomhole said instead, he is grateful and loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari who encouraged him to be the national chairman.
He said he had no hands in the suit before a court against the National Caretaker Committee of APC.
He said the court documents are clear on who the plaintiff really is.
He said: “In reporting the legal action taken by a member of the dissolved National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), some attributions have been made to the effect that the plaintiff is an “ally of Oshiomhole” or an “associate of Oshiomhole.” This is despite the fact that the court documents are clear on who the plaintiff really is.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the 21-member National Working Committee (NWC) under my leadership largely worked cohesively and harmoniously.
“The only exceptions were the three members used by forces desperate to take control of the party. They contrived a crisis and abused the judicial process to undermine the constitution and integrity of the party. The majority of 18 members worked as a team and not as allies or loyalists of anybody.
Oshiomhole maintained that he accepted his fate in good faith.
He added: “When the National Executive Committee (NEC) in its wisdom dissolved the NWC, I immediately announced publicly that I accepted the decision, regardless of its legality or otherwise, as it affected my position as national chairman. I was the only one at the press conference where I made the announcement.
“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.
“Since I could only accept responsibility for my own decision, 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.”
He clarified that he knew nothing about any matter in court against the National Caretaker Committee being led by Governor Mai Mala Buni.
He said if the NEC of APC or a court restores him to office, he will never accept to lead APC as its national chairman because that chapter of his life was closed.
He said: “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, I will, with utmost humility, decline to return as APC National Chairman.
“I am proud of the accomplishments of the NWC under my leadership and I am grateful to the principled 18 members who worked as a team committed to the cause of the party.”
Oshiomhole said he is not bitter about his removal from office.
He said he will continue to support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to succeed in serving the common good of the people of Nigeria.
Oshiomhole stressed: “Above all, I bear no grudge against any one for the manner of my removal. Instead, I am grateful and loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari who in the first place encouraged me to contest the chairmanship of the party.
“I am particularly appreciative of the presidential support and encouragement which enabled me 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.
“I will therefore continue to support his administration to succeed in serving the common good of the people of Nigeria.”