There was confusion in Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, on Wednesday as it produced two acting national chairmen within a period of 12 hours.
Amid the confusion in the APC, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, who was disqualified by the party from contesting its June 22 governorship primary met with the governors of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party in Abuja on Wednesday night.
It was learnt that Obaseki met the PDP governors to perfect his defection to the opposition party following his resignation from the APC.
The APC leadership problem began on Tuesday when the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja suspended its National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole.
Following Oshiomhole’s suspension, the APC National Working Committee, during an emergency meeting, appointed a former Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, as the acting national chairman.
But the APC’s Deputy National Secretary, Victor Gaidom, during a press conference at the party’s national secretariat at 11am on Wednesday declared himself as the acting national chairman and went ahead to nullify the screening conducted last week for Edo State governorship aspirants.
He was accompanied to the press conference by other two members of the party’s NWC; the Deputy Organising Secretary, Muhammadu Ibrahim, and the National Vice Chairman, North East, Mustapha Salihu.
A few minutes after Gaidom and the two NWC members left the national secretariat, the National Vice-Chairman (South-South), Hilliard Eta, led 15 other national officers of the party into the building to address a press conference at 11:22am.
Eta, on behalf of others, disowned Giadom and affirmed Ajimobi as acting chairman.
The APC NWC, had in a statement after its meeting on Tuesday evening, justified the appointment of Ajimobi with provisions of Section 14.2 (iii) of its constitution.
According to the provisions, in the absence of a chairman, the deputy national chairman shall be appointed as acting national chairman.
But on Tuesday, there were fears that the former Oyo State governor might not be able to act as national chairman as he was reported to be receiving treatment for COVID-19 in a Lagos hospital.
Surprisingly, Ajimobi issued a statement through his Special Adviser, Communication and Strategy, Bolaji Tunji, on Wednesday morning.
According to the statement, Ajimobi said the National Executive Committee meeting, which is one of the key demands of some aggrieved members of the party, would soon be called to address all outstanding issues.
Ajimobi took over as the deputy national chairman in March 2020 when the NWC wrote a letter to the South-West to nominate a candidate for the vacant position of the deputy national chairman (South). The position became vacant, when the former occupant, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, was made a minister.