The South-South caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Monday endorsed the immediate past Governor of Edo state, Adams Oshiomhole, for the position of National Chairman of the party.
The decision was reached at a meeting of the caucus held in Benin City, the Edo State, and was attended by the zonal leaders of the party, led by the Vice Chairman (South-South), Ntufam Hilliard Eta. Others present at the meeting include Adams Oshiomhole, Chief Timipreye Silver, Senator Magnus Abbe, Alims Agoda, Hon. Eseme Ehibo, former Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Chief Sam Ewang, Chief Mrs Miriam Alli, Senator Francis Alimekhena, Frank Ajobena, Chief Great Ogboru, Victor Ochei, Cairo Ojougboh, Senator Domingo Obende, Edo State House Speaker, Kabiru Adjoto, Comrade Frank Kokori and members of the APC caucus from the South South in the National Assembly.
The incumbent National Chairman of the party, Chief Oyegun and the former Governor of Rivers State and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, however boycotted the meeting. There was tension at the venue of the meeting when some supporters of Rotimi Amaechi, said they were not at the meeting for the adoption of any candidate, but were shouted down by majority of the leaders from the zone.
One of the delegates however nominated Odigie-Oyegun, but Oshiomhole’s nomination won the day with voice vote.
Addressing newsmen after the meeting, the Zonal Vice Chairman of the party, Eta, expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the meeting, noting that the voice of the majority prevailed. According to him: “You are all aware of the happenings in the party and luckily, one of the decisions taken by NEC was that the positions of the party should be retained in the various jurisdictions that are occupying those positions as at now. And you are aware that the South-South is occupying the number one position of the party in Nigeria.
“It is important that we proceede from the premise of that meeting and begin to discuss and interact on the best ways that we can use those resolutions reached at NEC to impact positively on the South-South zone of the party, given that the zone is unarguably the fastest growing zone of the party. We also took into consideration the need to put our best forward.
“It was on the basis of these reasons that we decided to meet today as the South South zone of the party. And in considering the retention of positions as regards the status quo, Edo state chapter of the party, led by its Chairman, availed us with the information that the party in Edo has come to the conclusion that a candidate in the person of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole be presented to carry on the flag of the party.
“That decision was unanimous, which means every member of the state caucus accepted that this must be the position of Edo state. “Having considered the position of Edo State, it was put to vote and majority of the members of the zonal executive committee decided that Edo state position must be affirmed by the zonal executive committee. We had some dissenting views which is normal in democracy. Majority will always have its way and minority its say.
“In the course of the deliberation, somebody had also presented the candidature of Chief Odigie-Oyegun, but through voice vote of the zonal executive committee, that vote was defeated. The position of Oshiomhole prevailed and that stands as the position of the zonal executive ommittee of the party.
“Odigie-Oyegun was invited for the meeting but maybe he took excuse, which is normal.
This is not the first time we are doing it in the zone. In 2014, a few days to the national convention, we also had a meeting of the zone where the position of Edo was canvassed, they came to that meeting to tell us that they wanted Chief Odigie-Oyegun against Chief Tom Ikimi and we followed them.
“That time, some people kicked against Odigie-Oyegun, but the majority prevailed and today, the majority have said that Oshiomhole is our choice for the national chairmanship position,” he stated.