Discordant tunes over calls for Oyegun’s resignation
There are discordant tunes over the allegations of corruption leveled against the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and the call for his resignation by the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
While some described the call for resignation as “laughable” and should be ignored, others want the toe the line of due process and respect for the party’s constitution by ensuring that the allegations were investigated and culprits punished.
Still a third group has called on President Muhammed Buhari to intervene and save the party form the course of self-destruct.
A group, APC United Front threw its weight behind the National Chairman because under Oyegun, the party has seen a more progressive and dynamic leadership.
The group chaired by Alhaji Ibrahim Musa said that APC belong to the people and that the chairman was answerable to the people and not to any powerful individual or government.
In a statement issued by Alhaji Taiwo Ganiyu, Media Assistant to the chairman of the group, they said: “Chief Odigie Oyegun is not under the influence of any powerful or sinister arm of government. He will never thwart the will of the people.”
APC United Front argued as a man with impeccable record in governance and party politics, Oyegun, a former governor of Edo State will never derail from the path of honour, insisting: “Oyegun is honest, dedicated, committed, and God fearing. He is a consummate politician, proven administrator and a bridge builder. He is a man of honour, integrity and dignity.”
Similarly, an APC chieftain and Director General of Voice of Nigeria, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, appealed to all sides to exercise restraint, stressing that the party needs unity to square up to challenges facing it.
Okechukwu, who spoke to The Guardian in a telephone conversation, noted, “the pressing challenge for APC is to resolve the excruciating poverty in the land.” He, therefore, called on those threatening protests against the national chairman to sheathe their swords, pointing out that the best way was to “leave things the way the chairman has said.”
He canvassed that since Oyegun hinted that he would consult party chieftains after the Edo governorship election it was proper and the best position to adopt because there was a major election in Edo State.
Besides, he said that it was possible that some of those threatening mass protests are among those the chairman might be consulting.
Okechukwu disclosed, “At the end of the day, in the fullness of time the facts of what happened during the governorship primary in Ondo would be made known. The issue of whether credible process was exercised in Ondo will be open; we know there was no boycott. Those who angered Asiwaju, in the fullness of time we will know.”
“I think the greatest problem we have is that there is so much poverty in the land. As a party, APC should unite to face the challenge, which is excruciating poverty,” he added.
On his part, the acting Publicity Secretary of APC, Timi Frank, urged President Buhari to call a meeting of stakeholders to avert internal crisis in the party.
Frank who made the plea in Abuja argued that a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting would halt the crisis brewing within the party.
He claimed that there had been many crises in the party and that it has gotten to a stage where the President must speak out, being the leader of the party.
“Every party member is loyal to the President. Let him call a NEC meeting to look into the allegations against Oyegun by Ahmed Tinubu.
“If we don’t take emergency steps to resolve these issues, even APC leaders in Ondo will sabotage the process for us,” he cautioned.
The APC National Chairman had declined to comment on the allegations leveled against him by Tinubu over Ondo State primaries.
Odigie-Oyegun said that he has so much respect for Tinubu and should not be seen speaking against him, citing the Edo state election and the need to consult properly with other leaders of the party, as justification.
“We don’t want to lose focus and I know Asiwaju also wants us to win because we all have worked hard for this. So, may be after the election if there is need, I will speak. If there is no need, I will relax. But all I can say now is that most of the things said in the papers about me are not true. I have always believed in internal democracy, that the credibility of primaries must be taken seriously.
Like I said, Asiwaju is our leader and we all hold him in high esteem. So, I will never join issues with him,” he stated on Monday.