By Sylvanus Okpe
The protesters who overcrowded the Blantyre street national headquarters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday during peaceful demonstration against the continued stay of the party’s national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in office, clashed with the security agents.
For the quick intervention of the battle-ready security agents who strategically positioned at the headquarters on patrol vans, the situation would have deteriorated and degenerated into the destruction of property.
On Monday, a group, APC Young Stakeholders Forum, had forced the party to forestall all its activities at the secretariat, when the stormed the office, demanding for the immediate removal of Oshiomhole as national chairman of the party.
The group accused Oshiomhole of being responsible for the misfortune that befell the party in Bayelsa State at the Supreme Court last week, insisting that his chairmanship of the party is a curse.
Still smarting from the protest, another group, FCT Residents APC Youth, had staged a bigger protest at the party secretariat, threatening that if Oshiomhole did not resign they would massively abandon the party.
The group accused Oshiomhole of being responsible for President Muhammadu Buhari losing the election in the FCT due to the decisions he made.
Speaking to the media, the leader of the group, Yinusa Ahmadu Yusuf, said: “A year ago, l led a protest to this particular gate that led to the barricade of this gate. The purpose was to tell the whole world the ways and manner Oshiomhole had been conducting the activities in the APC.
“This is just the beginning of it but we are capitalising on what we have said about a year ago. Before the election, Oshiomhole had gone to all states and interfered with state party’s affairs including the FCT.
“Oshiomhole, due to his activities and interference with the FCT party’s affairs, President Muhammadu Buhari lost the election in FCT. Under his leadership, he has disunited and disorganised the party.
“He is responsible for so many irregularities that have been going on in the APC that so many of us are aggrieved and to an extent before election, we even left the party and lost its structure.
“I am a good example of a faithful party member, but before the election, we were forced out due to his (Oshiomhole) impunity. We changed our party and worked for another party because we were politically rendered irrelevant.
“Today, Nigerians, particularly stakeholders are calling that Oshiomhole who was bestowed with the leadership of this party has now presented himself as an agent of destruction and therefore we will no longer tolerate it.
“Oshiomhole, through his body language and behaviour, has showed immaturity and inability to lead, therefore he deserves not to be our leader from now henceforth.
“We are making it very clear to the caucus and stakeholders of our party that failure to sack Oshiomhole, we will leave the party in droves for them. Oshiomhole must go because he has proved to be incompetent and lacks the ability to manage stakeholders.
“He has proved to lack the ability to bring peace and harmony to the party. He has proved to always interfere with state party’s affairs and showed that he has zero tolerance for accountability. Therefore, we are now saying that the president must ask Oshiomhole to either resign or be removed,” the protesters insisted.
Before the arrival of the protesters, security had already been beefed up at the entrance of the party.
A Toyota Hilux pick-up patrol van was fully loaded with combat-ready policemen was stationed at the entrance of the National Secretariat to assist the regular security men at the party to maintain peace.
Also on ground to ensure security were the personnel of the Department of State Service (DSS) that arrived with their Nissan Hilux pick-up van strategically positioned closed to the entrance gate
Also speaking, one of the protesters, who is a member of APC Progressive Youth Movement (PYM) told newsmen that they would continue to protest until the chairman was removed.
“As a party, we have incurred irredeemable losses, with Oshiomhole as national chairman,” he said.