By Ovie Okpare
As the crisis rocking the national leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) continues, South-South APC leaders including Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State have endorsed Chief Victor Giadom as Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s replacement for national chairman of the party.
Chief Giadom, who hails from Rivers State, is the current Acting Deputy National Secretary of the APC.
The meeting held at Edo State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja on Friday, was also attended by Minister of (State) for Labour, Festus Keyamo (SAN), Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of State for Power, Mr, Goddy Jedy-Agba and 2015 governorship candidate of the party in Delta State, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor.
The leaders also supported the ouster of the suspended APC national chairman, Oshiomhole, and his replacement with Giadom who was a commissioner for works during the administration of Ameachi as Rivers State governor.
A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting was read by Governor Obaseki who was reported to have convened the meeting in the early hours of Friday.
The APC leaders also lend their support for next Tuesday’s emergency NEC meeting.
They declared confidence in the ability of the party’s NEC to resolve all outstanding disputes and contestations with a view to repositioning the party.
The communiqué read, “At the meeting, the leaders of the zone deliberated extensively on the situation in the party and at the end of the meeting, they adopted the following resolutions:
“That as a party, we commend our brother, the Acting Chairman of the APC, Victor Giadom, for rising to the occasion by providing leadership for the party in these trying times.
“That we fully support the convening of the National Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday, March 17, as the NEC is the only recognised organ under the constitution of our party to resolve the APC crisis.
“That we insist that the party should respect the current zoning arrangement by retaining the chairmanship of our great party in the South-South zone even in an acting capacity.
“We resolved that the most senior officer of the party from the zone, being the National Acting Secretary, Chief Victor Giadom, should be confirmed Acting National Chairman for the time being.
“We urged all our brothers and sisters from the zone to fully embrace the NEC meeting and not boycott the emergency NEC meeting, which has been slated for Tuesday, March 17, because a boycott in a democratic environment is always counterproductive.”
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Although three ministers including a former Bayelsa State governor now Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Timipre Sylva were absent at the meeting, Obaseki said seven ministers, serving and former senators, members of the House of Representatives, former ministers, former governors, former zonal and state executive members of the party attended and supported the positions reached at the meeting.
Others who attended the meeting Those at the meeting also included former Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba; former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Nguru Usani; ex-Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr Dakuku Peterside; Senator Domingo Obende, factional chairman of the party in Edo State, Anslem Ojezua; party chieftain, Dr Ray Murphy; and Chief Osaro Idah.
Also in attendance are 0lorogun O’tega Emerhor, Chief Sam Sam Jaja, Prof Nelson Brambiafa, Chief Honourable Asita, (former Deputy govornorship candidate to Dakuku Peterside), Mrs Rachel Akpabio, (South-South APC Zonal Woman Leader), Mr David Okumgba (South-South Zonal Secretary), Ehigie Uzamere and John James.
A former acting governor of Cross River State, Mr Larry Odey; former President of the Trade Union Congress, Mr Peter Esele; former Minister of State in the Federal Capital Territory, Senator John Akpanudoedehe; and former Edo State governor, Senator Osariemhen Osunbor also attended the meeting.