By Francis Ogbuagu
Associates of the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu were on Wednesday afternoon staging a strong fightback to sustain his ascendancy after a move by the deputy national secretary, Victor Giadom to take over as Acting National Chairman.
Tinubu’s ascendancy had been rattled after his proxy, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was sacked by the Court of Appeal as national chairman.
The group aligned to Tinubu had quickly moved to anoint Senator Abiola Ajimobi who had been designated by Oshiomhole as the deputy national chairman, South to act in the place of the sacked deputy national chairman.
However, that move was quickly challenged by Giadom who on Wednesday morning enthroned himself as the acting national chairman on the claim that Ajimobi and others appointed by Oshiomhole were not approved by the National Executive Committee, NEC as required by the party’s constitution.
His lawyer, Chief Wole Afolabi in a statement early on Wednesday morning said:
“Our attention has been drawn to a Statement purportedly issued by the Publicity Secretary of the APC to the effect that Senator Abiola Ajumobi is to act as the National Chairman of APC following the suspension from office of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole by the Court of Appeal.
“We wish to state that the statement must have been issued in complete ignorance of the order of the FCT High Court issued on 16th of March, 2020, by Hon. Justice S.U Bature in Suit No. FCT/HC/M/6447/2020 to the effect that Chief Victor is to act as the National Chairman of the party due to the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman.
“The order was given the same day that the Court of Appeal earlier gave Oshiomhole a temporary respite by staying the execution of the said order suspending Oshiomhole.
“Now that the Court of Appeal has affirmed the order of suspension, it is only proper that the Order recognizing Chief Victor is implemented.
“Consequently, we have written to all law-enforcement agencies to implement the said order and anyone who attempts to parade himself/herself other than Chief Victor as the Acting Chairman of the APC would be facing contempt of court proceedings.”
Giadom also went ahead to annul the Edo State Governorship screening exercise, a move earlier reported by GWG. The move it was gathered, was directed towards restoring the membership of Governor Godwin Obaseki and giving him an opportunity to contest for the party’s governorship ticket in Edo State.
However, within an hour of the move by Giadom, associates of the national leader of the party, Tinubu rallied and muscled about 15 of the 20 members of the National Working Committee, NWC members to endorse the national vice chairman, South-South, Hillard Eta as the acting national chairman.
The Eta group claimed that Giadom had lost his membership of the NWC after contesting as the party’s governorship running mate in Rivers State in 2019. Giadom has, however, insisted that he got a waiver.
The Eta group have also appointed Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State as the chairman of the panel to conduct the governorship primary in Edo State.
Uzodinma is arguably the strongest loyalist of Oshiomhole’s among the governors.