Thursday’s withdrawal of Mr. Clement Ebri, the last challenger to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s bid for the office of national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC has set today’s convention as a coronation ceremony for the former labour organiser turned politician.
The 66 year old Oshiomhole is taking over the office that was remarkably occupied by a man who also preceded him as governor of Edo State, that is, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun. Odigie-Oyegun, 78, served as governor of Edo State between 1992 and 1993 and became chairman of the APC at its first convention in Abuja in June 2014.
The Odigie-Oyegun led National Working Committee, NWC has attracted flaks for not standing the test at the very difficult moments that confronted the party in the last few years.
But whether the failures were traceable to the leadership of the party or caused by the unique complexities that faced the party is an issue that remains unsettled.
Going into the convention, the party is faced with so several crises that even on the eve of the convention, many party chieftains were still unsure of the delegates that had been cleared to enter the convention ground.
How Oshiomhole manages the party presently reeling from the bruises that occurred during the recent congresses will inevitably determine the prospects of the party in the years ahead.
Ahead of today’s convention, the former Edo State governor has been building bridges, rallying forces and giving assurances that his advent would set the party on the path towards greater heights.
How will Oshiomhole manage the Governors?
Undoubtedly, the governors have turned out to become the most powerful bloc within the party with an influence that goes to the grassroots.
The influence of the governors is not necessarily because of their suave, but rather from their ability to dish out the money that builds the structures.
Though Odigie-Oyegun was also a former governor, it is telling that many of the present set of governors had not entered politics at the time he was governor more than 25 years ago and so they felt really detached from him.
The office of national chairman under Oshiomhole will become more assertive, a fact underlined by the way that even before his emergence, he had been working towards building bridges and resolving the many disputes being left behind by the outgoing NWC.