The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday, begged the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki and other aggrieved members of the APC Senate Caucus to stay and help build the crisis-stricken party.
“I ask you, Mr. President of the Senate and distinguished senators, to trust that working together along with our leaders who are not here, we are committed to finding solutions that everyone will be able to smile, remain in the house, work in the house,” the APC national chairman told the senators.
Oshiomhole made the appeal at a meeting between the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and the Senate Caucus of the APC at the National Assembly complex, Abuja.
He assured that the party under his leadership would ensure justice and fairness and also put up political will to stand on the truth always.
He said that was the only way for resolving the teething problems in the ruling party.
Oshiomhole declared that in as much as the ruling party was rated as the biggest party in Nigeria, and by extension in Africa, it was not interested in dysfunctional bigness or size, noting that what the party under his leadership needed was a united body with committed, loyal members.
The chairman assured the lawmakers that the issues promoting the current crisis in the party would be addressed in such a manner to ensure a win-win situation.
According to him, the issues threatening the unity of the party varied from state to state and from constituency to constituency, pointing out that his leadership would painstakingly address them.
Speaking against the drive by some members to increase the size of the party, Oshiomhole warned that such ambition could spell doom for the APC.
“I think we should stop celebrating our size. I am not fascinated when people say we are the largest party in Africa because in economics, you could suffer from dis-economics of scale.
“You can become too big as to become dysfunctional. And in the modern world that is knowledge-driven, small can be beautiful,” he said.
He insisted that the most important issue for the party is to make it more democratic and strong.
“So, I want to speak to democratic party, cohesive party, united party, the most powerful party. And this will be measured not by ourselves, but by the Nigerian people in terms of what we are doing, how we do it and the cohesiveness that they can see,” he said.
Responding, Saraki noted that Oshiomhole’s emphasis on justice and fairness was the issue members had clamoured for before the June 23rd National Convention of the APC.
“Party politics and democracy itself is inherent with conflicts based disagreement requiring the form of rapprochement you have brought,” he said.
The NWC and the Senate caucus thereafter went into closed-door session.
Earlier, one of the aggrieved members of the party, Senator Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara Central) described himself as chairman of the disenfranchised members of APC in Zamfara State and one of the members nationwide.
Meanwhile, Senator Shehu Sani has described yesterday’s peace shuttle to the Senate by Oshiomhole as too late.
In a brief chat with New Telegraph, Sani said though the meeting witnessed frank and positive discussions, it would take only a magic wand to stop many lawmakers from leaving the ruling party.
“Well the outcome was positive. He has good intentions and he has good ideas but he has come when the sickness has reached a cancerous level. Many legislators have made up their minds and they wish he had come earlier than now.
“I can tell you that for now, many of the lawmakers have made up their minds about leaving the party. It was a product of years of persecution, marginalisation and contempt of people who worked hard to build the party,” Sani said.