Deputy National Chairman, North, of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC Sen. Lawal Shuaibu returned to the party after the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee NWC extended an olive branch to all officials who were hitherto suspended from the NWC.
Addressing journalists at the national secretariat, Shuaibu who arrived at about 3:20 pm said for the party to make headway in the forthcoming governorship elections in Edo State, the incumbent governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki remained its best bet.
Asked whether the altercation between the governor and Comrade Oshiomhole was a time bomb waiting to explode during the elections, Shuaibu said; “It is not a time bomb. We all heard President Buhari during the last NEC meeting announce that any governor who has performed deserves a second term.
There is no time bomb because why should you prefer any other person than the sitting governor? It is like that all over the world even in America that started this democracy. Donald Trump has no opposition and nobody is contesting against him. It does not make sense to bring another person to contest against the governor. Governor Obaseki is the strongest candidate of the APC we have in Edo state”.
Shuaibu also explained his reason for staying away from APC activities, claiming that nobody suspended him from the NWC.
Shuaibu said; “Nobody suspended me, it was just a fight that I wanted to avoid. I don’t want to continue the fight and that was why I kept quiet. All I wanted to do was to raise my hand before the market burns because by the time the market goes aflame everybody may be consumed.
“All I have said in that letter have all come to pass. It is wrong to say that the war is over because, to me, there was no war in the first place. My letter to Oshiomhole was very personal to either save the APC or allow it to collapse.
“The structures of the party as a result of the inability of the leadership to reposition the party has become very weak. From wards to the national centres, the structures have become weak and that was what I was trying to avoid.
“I told him to come back to the track and if he cannot do it, let him leave because some of us have suffered to build this party. However, as he said, in the spirit of reconciliation, all these are now bygone because there is nothing anybody can do when he said he has extended the Olive branch.
“Oshiomhole is my very good friend and we have been very close friends but when something went wrong, I cannot sit down when the house is collapsing on our heads without telling the world what was happening”.
Asked to recommend the way forward for the party, he said: “There are ways of doing it. We are not newcomers in this game, we know how to revamp the party but it only depends on whether they can listen to us. I am not the chairman, he is, if we advise and he does not take our advice and if he refuses to take, what do we do?”
He also spoke on the ability of Chief Bisi Akande led National Reconciliation Committee to settle the disputes in the party, saying; “Let me tell you something. The pertinent question is who do you reconcile?
You told me to come and buy expression of interest form for N2.5 million or so I bought the form, but when it comes to the contest, you will say no that only this person will get the ticket, but you didn’t refund my money, how do you reconcile that?
There are things you don’t return to, you better forget it. We have to create an avenue for a new beginning and move forward because human beings easily forget. Because of the love they have for this party, they will want to open a new beginning”.