By Kemi Yesufu
The All Progressives Congress Caucus in the House of Representatives has backed the candidature of former Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for the Chairmanship of its party.
The House Majority Leader, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila gave a hint Oshiomhole had been endorsed by member of the Caucus in response to questions from reporters after a two-hour closed door meeting with the former labour leader on Tuesday.
He said members are confident that the former governor can provide good leadership to the ruling party .
“We came, he discussed with us for over two hours, and when we sit together for over two hours a lot of things must have been accomplished.
“He comes with a rich pedigree in administration and governance and he has laid some of his programmes on the table for us.
“We had a very serious heart-to-heart discussion and we were all on the same page.
“Like he said, he came to solicit our support and the result of that solicitation is, as a caucus of APC in the House of Representatives, we believe in him and according to what we call in political lingo, we more or less have endorsed him for the position of the Chairman of the party”, Gbajabiamila said.
On his part, Oshiomhole explained that he came to speak with members on his intention to contest for the office of the chairman of the party and to solicit for their support.
He said: “As you know, our party is democratic and the chairmanship office is not by appointment but by election and members of the House caucus are automatic delegates of the Congress, where the election will take place.
“I also shared with them my vision and thoughts on variety of issues and how I hope to address those issues as they affect the running of our party and rhe relationship between the party and members of the caucus, as it affects the responsibility of the party to interact with the executive elected on the platform of the party at both the national and state levels,that is the National and state Assemblies.
“Of course it’s not a secret that there are a couple of issues right now affecting our party in various states, we exchanged views as to how these issues can be resolved and I have no doubt that once we have a democratic organisation, there is bound to be contestation, agreements and disagreements.
“I think the challenge of leadership which I believe I am determined to provide is to be able to find courage and good heart to listen and to proactively intervene and to help people who have issues to find common ground to coexist.
“I believe that all the members of APC have good intentions, we have our share of internal contestation and I’m sure together we can work out all of that so that we can have a party that is united, cohesive, one whose membership have a sense of belonging.
“There should be a strong correlation between efforts and rewards as far as activities of the Chairman of the party is concerned.
“We ended the meeting on a happy note, I learnt a lot from then and I’ve given my own assurances the best way I can as to what we will do differently to ensure that our party wax stronger particularly as we march toward 2019 general elections and beyond”.
Speaking on the ultimatum issued the APC by some members of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), he assured, it was a challenge that would be surmounted by the party, “I don’t think it’s a big issue, some people have expressed discontent over one thing or the other.
“I think, from my own background, when people wrote to you to say we have issues, we want you to address these issues, it means the issues are negotiable, they are ready to discuss, they have an open mind.
“If they are not ready to discuss, then there will be no point issuing any so called ultimatum.
“So you only have to say I have grievances, these are the grievances and I’m giving you this amount of time to look at the grievances”, he said.
“For me, that implies commitment to dialogue. The least requirement you need to service the tri-party democracy is the capacity to dialogue rather than monologue.
“I believe that to that extent they have an open mind and the party leadership and the President have open mind as well and those issues will be discussed and resolved”.
Speaker Yakubu Dogara, who was at the question and answer session, only moderated without adding to what was said by the two speakers.