Lagos – Senate President Ahmad Lawan may step down from his appointment as the leader of the 10-man committee set up by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to resolve crises in the party.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling party at its November 22 meeting had resolved to raise the committee which was set up to resolve lingering crisis especially the feud between Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the party and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.
Aside Lawan, other members of the committee as announced by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party are: first (interim) APC national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande (vice chairman); Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Ahmed Idris Wase; Sen. Umaru Tanko Al-Makura; Sen. Kashim Shettima; Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor; Alh. Nasiru Aliko Koki; Sen. Khairat Gwadabe-Abdulrazak; Sen. Binta Garba and Sen. John Enoh (secretary).
Since the appointment was made, some stakeholders have kicked against it in Edo, saying aside the fact that no serving governor was included in the list, Lawan had shown bias given his position on the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly.
Governor Godwin Obaseki at the weekend rejected the committee, saying it was populated by persons with vested interests in the crisis rocking the ruling party.
In a statement, Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon. Paul Ohonbamu, and Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, said some of the members of the committee such as Senator Ahmad Lawan and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ahmed Wase, meddled in the altercation between Edo State government and the national chairman of APC, Oshiomhole, and could not now be adjudicators in the matter.
According to him, “We believe the committee does not only fall-short of the most basic of integrity tests, but is also a disservice to genuine efforts to bring a lasting solution to the crisis rocking different chapters of the APC across the country.
“To the specifics, Senator Lawan and Ahmed Wase in the Senate and the House of Representatives, respectively, presided over the plenary sessions where the motions to take over Edo State House of Assembly were deliberated. They are also parties in the court case, in which the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt ruled that the National Assembly cannot take over the functions of the Edo State Assembly.”
He continued, “The NWC, which constituted the reconciliatory committee, is presided over by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who is a key actor in the crisis in Edo State. With this move, it amounts to him also being the judge in his own case.”
The state government noted that governors of APC-controlled states were not consulted in the composition of the committee, which was an indication that the national chairman still acts like an “emperor,” a trait that is exacerbating the crisis in the party.
Speaking with our correspondent on Sunday, Chief Charles Idahosa, a former Commissioner for Information in Edo State and chieftain of the party, urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to allow the NWC led by Adams Oshiomhole handpick members of the reconciliation committee as the National Assembly leadership are mostly his loyalists.
He said Lawan is unfit to lead the reconciliation team based on his position on the crisis rocking the Edo state House of Assembly.
“On the issue of the national reconciliation committee, it is very embarrassing because how can you be a judge in your own matter? He came up with Ganduje reconciliation committee but he was made to understand that he cannot be a judge in his matter. Then the president said he will set up a reconciliation committee”.
“While we are waiting for the president’s list, Oshiomhole sent his boy, Lanre Issa- Onilu to go and announce Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President, as head of the reconciliation team. These people are interested parties. This was a national Assembly that came to Edo in private jet procured for them to come and say they will take over the Edo State House of Assembly?”
However, speaking with our correspondent on Sunday, a member of the party’s NWC said, “The complaints of the party members will be looked into and if genuine, the Senate President may be asked to step down in the interest of peace”.
“The president is a listening leader. Just last week, he ordered the re-composition of the NDDC board after complaints of irregularities. If the same was established in this case, he may call for another committee that will be objective and fair to all.
When contacted, Ola Awoniyi, Special Adviser on Media, said the report that the Senate President may step down is news to him.
“I’m just hearing that from you. It is news to me. If there is any information, I will let you know” he said.
He is yet to do so as at going to press.