By our reporter| The National Working Committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday reaffirmed Abiola Ajimobi as the party’s interim national chairman.
Fifteen out of the 21 members took the decision at a meeting which took place at the party headquarters Abuja.
The NWC also announced a seven-member panel for Edo State governorship election primaries and another five-member appeal committee.
Ajimobi announcement as the ruling party’s acting national chairman was first made public on Tuesday night via a statement by its spokesman, Lanre Issa-Onilu, shortly after the Court of Appeal in Abuja upheld the suspension of the national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
But at a press briefing on Wednesday, the Deputy National Secretary of the party, Victor Giadom, declared himself acting national chairman of the party and cancelled the screening excercise that disqualified Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki from the state governorship primaries.
According to Gaidom, his move is in accordance with the judgement of Justice S.U. Bature in suit no FCT/HC/M/6447/2020 dated March 16, 2020, which ordered the suspension.
However, shortly after Giadom’s address, the NWC members said Ajimobi remains the acting national chairman and that Giadom was not even a member of the party.
Hilliard Eta, the APC national vice-chairman (South-south) who spoke for the NWC, said Giadom has not returned to the NWC since he resigned his position to contest as deputy governor in the last Rivers State governorship election.
He said, “You said chief Victor Giadom has annulled the screening of Edo State governorship aspirants. Even a properly elected chairman that is currently on suspension cannot on his own make such decision.
“Chief Victor Giadom has long ceased to be a member of the NWC. He has voluntarily resigned his membership to be able (because that is the constitution of our party) to contest as deputy governorship candidate of our party.
“And, at no time – I (Mr Eta) superintend over the South-South and at no time – did I present Giadom again to come to the NWC. You can check all the records and you will see that this is the fact.”
Meanwhile, Ajimobi, the newly appointed acting chairman, has aske party stakeholders to give peace a chance.
In a statement through his spokesperson, Bolaji Tunji, the former Oyo State governor announced his plan to call the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting to douse the mounting crisis in the party.
Ajimobi said, “We should, therefore, let peace continue to reign until we call the NEC meeting and take a position on the way forward.”