The National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, seems to have had many battles only four months in the saddle.
These are difficult times for the ruling Congress All Progressives and its national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
Enthusiastic observers of political events within the party believe that Oshiomhohe's call for party rule and discipline may have made him his most trusted supporter, including President Muhammadu Buhari.
His flammable personality and his inflexible handling of problems, however, have apparently alienated him from the majority of party friends, especially some APC governors. The seething crises in the various state chapters of the party have further shown that the former governor of Edo State may be riding an unwilling horse.
Oshiomhole rode to power following the departure of his predecessor John Odigie-Oyegun, who was literally knocked out of office. After the approval of the president and former Lagos governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Oshiomhol's appearance as party chairman was a concluded agreement.
At his official statement in Abuja, Oshiomhole promised to make the APC the envy of other African parties, saying that he would always ensure a win-win solution "rather than a loser and a winner". He added: "If I am privileged to become chairman, I would help the executive and legislators to find a common ground to win together. Let me say that I humbly think that I am well prepared for this kind of role. "
He added that as former President of the Nigeria Labor Congress, he had the skills to negotiate, convince and "reach consensus".
The struggle of Oshiomhole to shape his authority in the party began early. After his well-known acquaintance with the Minister of Labor and Employment, Chris Ngige, who threatened to dismiss the party for failing to constitute the board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, sanctioned the Minister of State for Aviation. Hadi Sirika, for a similar offense.
He said, "If the President approves of defiance of his office, I will not respect the party. And if we expel the minister, we will prevail against the president, that he can not keep him in his cabinet. People who neither respect their own decisions nor the party without whom they would not have been ministers. No minister stands above the party and she has unduly exploited the fatherly provisions of the president. "
The rippling effect of what was considered his excessive outbursts did not subside until he launched a verbal offensive against Governor Samuel Ortom of the State of Benue for quitting the Democratic Party of Peoples. The APC chairman described him as failed and said he was relieved that the governor had left. Ironically, Oshiomhole had persuaded Ortom not to leave the party about a week earlier.
"I am relieved as a national chairman, and I believe that the leadership of the party in Benue is also relieved that Ortom has left the party and has returned to the club to which he belongs. An association whose philosophy is to share the money and not build communities. " he said.
Like a warrior without discretionary armor, the APC chief once again entered a new political tango with Senate President Bukola Saraki, who had joined the PDP. He released a flood of threats against Saraki and urged APC Senate deputies to attack the Senate president.
In response, Saraki said "On the day when two-thirds of our members have no confidence in us, we will leave this place."
However, Oshiomhole insisted that Saraki should immediately resign or be charged as Senate President. "Saraki can avoid impeachment only by doing what is honorable, which in turn leads to the question of the character." he explained.
There were reports that the party leader secretly met with the APC legislators, where they perfected plans to impeach Saraki. The US State Department's invasion of the National Assembly on August 7 was attributed to some presidential officials in conjunction with Oshiomhole to pull the rug under Saraki's feet. The plot failed and the then General Director of the DSS, Lawal Dauda, took the hammer for the failed conspiracy.
The loud allegations and protests that followed the congresses that had led to litigation had put the chairman in a strained situation and delivered the oil that would fry him. Disappointed party leaders and members in Bauchi, Zamfara, Rivers, Ogun, Imo and other states have either demanded their removal or have worked with other peers to dismiss the APC chairman.
Critics also cite Lagos State's regional council, which made Jide Sanwo-Olu the winner, after Clement Ebri, chairman of the Electoral Commission of the National Labor Committee, had previously stated that no elections had been held and that the ballot was still with him. Less than 24 hours later, Ebri made a face after being asked by Oshiomhole to accept the results, apparently out of respect for Tinubu, who had opposed the re-election of acting governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
Recent news of his meeting with US Department of State personnel has also increased the stakes. Allegations and counter-allegations of financial inappropriateness regarding the Party's closed primaries led to the alleged intervention of the DSS.
Political analysts say the APC chairman's incident and other actions are responsible for his suffering, which can accelerate the party's demise in the 2019 parliamentary elections.
The Chair, with great expectations, is currently facing tough calls to resign from several of the attacked party members.
A political analyst and author, Charles Onunaiju, said the APC crisis was simply about "security of political investment and reference to a bankrupt party system."
He noted that the PDP was exposed to the same kind of crisis when it seized power, calling it a disease that befell the ruling party in the country.
"It is not about service for Nigerians, but about the security of political investment. Every time it was the governing party, it always happened more poisonous.
"Politicians have conditioned their opinion that only by power can power, influence and prosperity be guaranteed. It's not about ideology or ideas or core value. What happens is a natural fallout of a bankrupt party system, a free-running system without structure. " Said Onunaiju.
One political observer, Dare Atoye, noted that the APC leadership was involved in a struggle of supremacy with about four governors, which might not have convinced the party well in the 2019 polls.
"It is already late in the day to convene a meeting to reassure the press of the primaries. I think it will take even more time to solve the problem that has been compounded by litigation, and I blame the President.
"If he had done the right thing, they would not have been in this mess. As it is, they probably will not have Imo, Zamfara, rivers, Ogun and other states. I think they did not master party politics very well. If they can survive (crisis), they would pay in 2019 for electoral power, "Atoye said.
A social commentator and human rights activist, Mr. Ebunoluwa-Olu Adegboruwa, advised Nigerians not to take a side of the APC's belligerent chieftains, saying that the problem of tearing up had nothing to do with the common good of the masses.
The lawyer described the ruling party as a merger of strange bedfellows, but said the party's collapse was too early.
He said that the sharp differences between Oshiomhole and the APC governors could negatively impact the chances of the president and other candidates of the party in the next parliamentary elections, which are only a few months away.
Adegboruwa has added "I generally believe that the events that are currently taking place in the hierarchy of the APC are only an indication of the events to come as we approach the 2019 election. It is a political party of strange bedfellows. When you talk about (former members of) the CPC, ACN, APGA and ANPP, these are people with different understandings who come together to fool themselves into having a coalition. We know that sooner than later, things will soon be torn apart and we have not seen anything yet.
"However, I think that the crisis in the hierarchy of the APC is the inability of political parties in Nigeria to be driven by ideology. If there are ideologies focused on the common good, even if personal disagreements exist, they will not interfere with the common goal of the party. Therefore, the political parties in Nigeria have nothing to offer in terms of principles and ideologies, and therefore we experience the rule of the godfathers and the rule of the little gods in the political parties. This concerns not only the APC but also the PDP and other political parties.
"I think the Nigerians should be careful not to participate in the apparent division within the APC. They do not deserve our sympathy because the issues between them have nothing to do with the masses except their selfish interest. It is the self-interest of the governor Rochas Okorocha; it is the self-interest of Governor Ibikunle Amosun; It is the self-interest of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and Comrade Adam Oshimhole. The Nigerians should be careful not to be put off by their battles.
An APC member in Ondo State, speaking to one of our correspondents on the condition of anonymity, argued that the party was already breaking up due to the crisis in the party.
He added, "Look at what's happening in the party right now … it dissolved the party. We can be severely punished if nothing is done to reassure those affected. We have to join the 2019 poll as united party. But the way he's leading the party now can make it difficult. "
APC spokesman Lanre Issa-Onilu agreed that any crisis that could spread in a party could undermine the chances of such a party. He rejected allegations that the ruling party could lose the 2019 election.
In an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, Issa-Onilu said: "What differences of opinion that are not resolved before the elections will affect the chances of the party, but that does not necessarily mean that the party loses the elections. They do not underestimate any differences of opinion.
"As I said further, we have a unique and robust way of doing things, and we do. We do that every day. Whatever problems arise, we will continue to solve and address them. The thing is already seething and it will not be long before the end of the matter is over. "
However, Senator Kabiru Marafa, one of the aspirants to the APC Government Ticket in Zamfara State, said: "Those who call for Oshiomholes resignation are people who are not good for our party, people who are not good for President Muhammadu Buhari. "
Whether the demand for a resignation of Oshiomhole in the run-up to a decisive election will find approval, remains to be seen.