Oshiomhole meets Dogara, APC House caucus on party chairmanship bid

Adams Oshiomhole

Former Edo Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, on Tuesday met members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus in the House of Representatives over his plan to become chairman of the party.

Oshiomhole had, last week, declared for the chairmanship of APC, ahead of the party’s National Convention on June 23.

He told the APC caucus, led by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, at the National Assembly, Abuja, that his background had prepared him for the big task.

He said “I have come as a member of the APC family. I had the opportunity to function as district officer in one of the provinces, officially called governor in Edo State.

“I completed my tenure and handed over on November 12, 2016 to a successor from my own party. And so, APC has continued to provide leadership at the level of the state government in Edo State.

“The good news which I considered as my strong point is that my background prepared me for this kind of role.

“As president of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), my deputy was elected on his own merit as well and every other members of the central working committee of the NLC.”

He added that in his eight-year stewardship with NLC, he learnt about the capacity to persuade, convince, negotiate and make concession “because if we don’t offend each other, we are less than humans.

“As senior members of our party, we are all familiar with not only the provisions of the party’s constitution and that of Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, we are also to deal with issues of electing our leadership.

“It is on that basis I decided to offer myself to contest, by the special grace of God and with your support for the office of the national chairman of the APC.”

Oshiomhole said he was contesting not because there was leadership vacuum but that having been an active member of the party, he was convinced that the state of affairs could always be improved upon.

The former Edo governor added that the task of building and sustaining a truly cohesive political party was beyond creating a platform for electioneering campaign and winning and losing elections.

He noted that “I believe it remains an open task or a work-in-progress that we all can contribute to. And I believe working with everyone, we can build a political party that is founded on inclusiveness rather than exclusion.”

He emphasised that President Muhammadu Buhari and the party leadership had an open mind to discuss issues, with a view to resolving problems in the party.

Dogara, who described Oshiomhole as an active comrade, said the former governor had sought to meet with the APC House caucus and felt it was appropriate for him to come and speak to members.

House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, told journalists at the end of the closed-door meeting that “the former governor presented his programmes to us and we are all on the same page. We, as APC caucus, believe in him.”