The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole said Wednesday that recent attacks on his person were aimed at undermining his integrity which he said is a major challenge to the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Oshiomhole who spoke while inaugurating six committee to work as National Peace and reconciliation committee to reconcile aggrieved members the party across the six geopolitical zones said the only integrity the PDP were bringing on board was the integrity of sharing the nation’s resources.
Three Governors of the party who are having a running battle with the National Chairman of the party, Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Senator Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara state are the only governors of the party who are not in any of the committees.
The APC Chairman said he had been a victim of people’s anger as a result of the outcome of the party primaries said it was not surprising to see the number of aggrieved persons who felt that the outcome of the primaries should have favored them.
He said “I have had my own fair share of people, who, out of anger chose to target me as a person. Unfortunately it coincide with what the opposition PDP have always wanted because bringing on board my past reputation is a challenge to the PDP that has no reputation. If they had any, it is a reputation of share the money and these are no longer in the realm of speculations because it has been subject of several litigations across the country.”
Comrade Oshiomhole explained that the party has a responsibility to placate members of the party who are aggrieved, stressing that party had so much challenge as a result of the growing confidence of the Nigerian people on the party.
He said: “We want you to help us find in-house solution with a view to finding peace and ensuring internal unity and harmony within the APC family. We have gone through a very crucial stage in the processes leading to the next presidential election, National Assembly, governorship and state houses of assembly elections.
“From my own records, of the 36 states and the FCT, I believe that we have done extremely well. It is almost impossible for even the most gifted child to score 100 percent in every subject. The more questions you have to answer, the more the chances of missing some of them.
“Four years ago, around this time, we were in opposition and therefore, the value of our ticket was certainly not near where they are today. More and more women and men of conviction now subscribes to contesting election on our platform.
“I believe that to our collective credit, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari who is our candidate in the next Presidential election, assisted by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, we have all worked very hard and we have been very well led by Mr. President. As they say, you can never under estimate the power of example.
“We have not solved the problems of Nigeria, but those with good memories will have no difficulties in comparing the previous 16 years of PDP rules and the past three and half years of APC rule.
“Our people voted for change because they wanted to change the way the country is managed, they wanted to change the way government and governance is approached, they wanted to eliminate corruption in the process of governance, they wanted to reconcile efforts with reward; they wanted to eliminate a situation where people who work so hard earn very little and those who have no business address are the billionaires.
“They wanted to address a situation where every week, a Nigerian was buying a private jet when he had no business address. The challenge of changing the reward system that was on ground was obviously not going to be easy.
“The House if bigger that it was four years ago because those who initially had reservations have since realized that the President meant business and the APC was delivering on the promises that we made.
“As they say, success has many fathers and failure is an orphan. The fact of these accomplishment which has enlarged the house and brought in more political activists and political leaders who are people of huge electoral value across the states has meant that the internal democratic process which we were obliged under our constitution to go through was getting more intense and competitive with more people showing interest in the affairs of our party.
“But we are still learning the full import of multi party democracy and of a free and fair election. If it were possible to have angels in politics, and ten of them decide to contest for the office of a governor of a state, nine angels will lose nomination, not because they are less pure, but because only one person will be chosen.
“Whether that choice is through imposition, consensus, direct or indirect primary, it is obvious from the onset that nine will go without the ticket. This is something we ought to expect and that every democrat should readily appreciate.
“I am not surprised that inspite of the efforts that we have made, we still have some persons and groups in few states where some people feel about uncomfortable with the outcome and they feel that the system was not just to them.
“For me, it is not sufficient to rely on the fact that colleagues and I on the NWC, as much as we tried to ensure that the rules were obeyed and ensure that the process was transparent and that we protected everyone, those who the system did not favour are not only questioning the outcome, but appeared quite disappointed with some very bitter and resorting to statements that might be unhelpful as we approach the elections.
“As Chairman, I have since learnt that once you step out to be the Chairman of even a local Association, you opt to be the dustbin to which everybody empty everything. I have had my own fair share of people, who, out of anger chose to target me as a person.
“Unfortunately it coincide with what the opposition PDP have always wanted because bringing on board my past reputation is a challenge to the PDP that has no reputation. If they had any, it is a reputation of share the money and these are no longer in the realm of speculations because it has been subject of several litigations across the country.
“In moving forward, it is not a question of whether we think that we have done everything perfect, but even if the outcome of a perfect exercise makes one person unhappy, as leaders privileged to have been entrusted with the management of our party and ensure there is peace and tranquility within our party, we must, inspite of our conviction that we have done our very best make every effort to identify those who are unhappy and use our in-house huge human resource to try and find in-house solution.
“From our tradition, I know that seeking peace and finding solution, the quality of people involved also matters. We believe that these committees which include our governors who inspite of their own reservations are at home and at peace with the party and are working hard to ensure that the party win their respective zones, we can call on them to come and help us in this process of peace building and reconciliation.
“The truth is that when somebody is unhappy, we have a responsibility to make them happy. We also realized that sometimes, women have special gift of persuasion and that is why we have enough women of substance in this committee to help carry out this reconciliation.”
Responding on behalf of other members of the committee, Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima who Head the south west committee assured the party leadership that the committee will work hard to reconcile All members and work as a united family to ensure victory for the party in the general election.
Shettima said “Contestation for power is not a tea party affair, it is common with human nature but the maturity with which these issues were handled depends on the quality of leadership in our system. We have to commend the leadership of the party.
“We have governors in 23 states and like I said contest is a normal phenomenon in human life. I want assure the leadership and members of the party that we shall try our best to see that we reconciled our aggrieved members. Whatever is our grievances we have a goal and the end is to see that President Muhammadu Buhari wins the forthcoming election.
“We should ensure that our moves from the present 23 states to control 30 states at the next election and also control the National Assembly. To achieve this however, we have to put our house in order.”