All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on Sunday said those plotting the removal of National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole are undermining the ruling party and weakening the Buhari administration.
He described them as “carriers of old Ambition-virus 2023,” adding that the primary symptom of the malady is the tendency to believe that 2023 elections will be decided before the end of 2020.
Tinubu said: “Everything they say and do is geared toward obsessive jockeying for position to control and manipulate a race still three years away.
“In doing so, they recklessly undermine the very party, which they claim to serve, and weaken the administration of President Buhari to which they claim to be loyal.
“They line up to run a race for which the track has not even yet been constructed. Put another way, they seek to pluck the fruit before the seed is even planted. As such, their actions border on the pathological.”
Tinubu said in a statement by his Media Office in Lagos that those nursing 2023 ambition should understand that politics is seasonal.
He urged them to focus on governance, which is perpetual and beneficial to the people.
Noting that their vision is blurred and their judgment faulty, he said what they should do is to cooperate with the president, instead of distracting him.
He said: “As democrats, we cannot physically quarantine them. However, we can quarantine their ideas and antics by not falling prey to them. This is the best way we can help President Buhari fulfil his mandate and inoculate our party and the nation from grave folly.”
Reflecting on the plot against Comrade Oshiomhole, the former Lagos State governor said his detractors have exclusively focused on the chairman’s human flaws and deliberately neglected his merits.
He said if the “humanity” of a chairman is a ground for his dismissal, “the position will forever be vacant.”
In Tinubu’s reckoning, Oshiomhole is a successful chairman who has served with diligence and patriotism.
He added: “The chairman has been a tireless campaigner and mobiliser for the party. He has steered the party through difficult elections. His contributions should not be undervalued now that the bulk of elections are behind us.
“To do so would be an act of ingratitude. It is no secret that the Chairman and Edo Governor Obaseki are in dispute. This is unfortunate. However, the party has moved through proper procedures within the proper organs of the party to hopefully resolve this spat.
“All party members know this. Such decisions are part and parcel of internal party governance. Yet, motivated by ambitions that have nothing to do with the quality of the chairman’s performance, people shunned the agreed party reconciliation mechanism and resorted to other means to oust him.
“These self-help attempts are unwarranted. These attempts reveal more about the mala fides of their perpetrators than they do about the chairman.”
Tinubu chided the plotters, who want Oshiomhole out because they perceive him as an obstacle to their 2023 ambitions.
He frowned at the summoning of the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, saying, “People went to court knowing full well the party constitution prohibits such action because these people had not yet exhausted all internal disciplinary procedures.
“We even had a national deputy secretary improperly calling for a NEC meeting on the basis that he believed himself is the acting national chairman. Clearly, this man would not have summoned the temerity to make such a move had he not been instigated by powerful individuals who he thought would reward or, at least, protect him for committing the wrongful act.”
He added: “Those engaged in these manoeuvring see themselves as clever or cunning. They do so because they only understand the mean craft of political intrigue.
“They have yet to understand the value and long-term utility of democratic governance. Thus, they embark on the strangest of quest. They would rather dismantle and weaken the institutional core of their party just to gain control of that weakened edifice in order to pilfer the party nomination, which they crave. This is more than sad.”
The former governor recalled that APC was built by the “sweat, tears, toil and sleepless nights” of founding fathers, not simply as a vehicle for personal ambition, but as an enduring hope for progressive governance.
He said those seeking to a use the party as a personal device should not be allowed to sacrifice the platform on the altar of self-aggrandisement.
Tinubu stressed that “In a broader context, those afflicted with the 2023 virus do a grave disservice to President Buhari and his administration.
“They should be trying their best to help the President. Instead of seeing President Buhari as our present leader and commander-in-chief, their sole contemplation is upon his eventual exit. “Yet, not even a full year has passed since his second inaugural. How can they be committed to helping him realise his mandate when the fullness of their gaze is affixed to seizing this very mandate for themselves?”
Tinubu said President Buhari should not be distracted by the ambitious party chieftains from finding solutions to the challenges of the economy, insecurity, anti-corruption fight and the Corona crisis.