- 8 Govs seek soft landing for him
The unending crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress, APC, seems to be snowballing into what may see the implosion of the party as there are strong indications that its National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, is likely to be the first casualty.
In fact, pressure is being mounted on him to resign honourably or be forced out over alleged corruption.
A top party official who was privy to what transpired at the meeting Odigie-Oyegun held with the governors elected on the APC platform yesterday at the party’s national headquarters in Abuja, said eight governors were sent to communicate to Odigie-Oyegun the resolution of the governors.
The eight governors, who delivered the alleged resignation message to the party chairman, included Comrade Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger), Senator Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi) and Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa).
Although the APC National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, when contacted said: “I am not privy to what the governors came to discussed with the national chairman in his office, but I can assure you that they did not come to ask him to resign.”
Party sources however insisted that the governors came to deliver the resignation message because, “the role played by the national chairman leading to the National Assembly leadership crisis was unexpected of a leader of a ruling party. There are myriads of allegations raised against him and the people making these allegations are cock sure, with incontrovertible evidences.”
“Above all, he did not show leadership and he allowed himself to be tossed about. This did not go down well with many members of the party.”
There are strong indications that the embattled Odigie-Oyegun has nowhere to lean to as those he would have run to for cover have deserted him. The source said that even President Muhammadu Buhari is not happy with the national chairman as those that want him out who have the ears of the President convinced him that he (Oyegun) soiled his hands during the tussle for the leadership of the National Assembly.
“They accused the chairman before the President that he (chairman) was induced by one of the camps during the fight for the NASS leadership. Though nobody knows whether they have been able to substantiate this allegation, but as you know, the President does not want anybody who is associated with corruption to come close to him. It is because of the aloof stance of the President towards the plight of the national chairman that those hounding him are leveraging to push him out.
“So far, many signatures of party stalwarts have been collected to push for his removal. The governors came to give him soft-landing. If he refuses to take advantage of this, a National Executive Council, NEC meeting may be called next week to pass a vote of no confidence on him. That will mark his end as the national chairman of the party,” one of the sources said.
Chief Oyegun is said to have fallen out with his benefactor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, when he, against the hard-line stance of Tinubu, said the party would embrace the reality on ground and work with the ‘rebellious’ leaders of the National Assembly: Senator Bukola Saraki and Hon Yakubu Dogara.
“The chairman is already in the bad books of most of these governors, especially those who are loyal to one of the national leaders of APC. So, they want him to resign to pacify all the interests,” the source said.
From all indications, the chairman has unwittingly fallen out with both the Tinubu camp and even the group loyal to the President. This according to the source makes his removal almost a fait accompli.
His traducers claimed that the party chairman received a bulletproof car from Saraki.
Meanwhile, the party is said to have concluded plans to install former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva as APC chairman, though in an acting capacity. The recent striking out of the corruption case hitherto hanging on Sylva’s neck by a Federal High Court is said to have boosted his chances.
Odigie-Oyegun also met with Senators Ahmed Lawan and George Akume after the parley with the governors.
Senators Lawan and Akume were consensus candidates of APC for Senate President and Deputy Senate President, respectively.