Fears as cracks in ruling Party widen further
Oyegun must resign now, spokesman writes Buhari

FORMER vice president and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu met behind closed doors last Wednesday in Lagos ostensibly to discuss the crisis ravaging their party. The meeting which held at the prestigious Aqua Marine Boat Club on Victoria Island had all the trappings of a top secret meeting. The high-profile Boat Club has the likes of Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote and oil czar, Femi Otedola as members. Nigerian Pilot learnt that both politicians breezed into the meeting around 7pm. “Both men arrived from different directions from the car park and first went straight to sit in the lounge. But that was for a brief moment. They then relocated to the upper side of the Boat club which is more secure to hold their meeting,” Nigerian Pilot was told. Though they rose from the meeting moments later, there were no words from either of them as each proceeded to his waiting car and drove off. However, it could be recalled that only last Sunday, Tinubu came down heavily of APC national chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun for his role that in the party’s primary that has allegedly caused unending crisis in the Ondo state chapter of the party ahead the forthcoming governorship poll. In a statement, Tinubu accused the party chairman of betrayal and fraud. He also rejected the unofficial “national leader” title conferred on him by the party members. He said, “evidently, some errant members believe promises and vows are mere words to be easily spoken and more easily broken. “Chairman John Oyegun has breached these good pledges in a most overt and brazen display,” Mr. Tinubu said. “In doing so, Oyegun has dealt a heavy blow to the very party he professes to lead. It is an awful parent who suffocates his own child for the sake of a few Naira.” Though Odigie-Oyegun chose not to react to Tinubu’s statement arguing that he was busy preparing for the just concluded Edo state governorship election, Atiku followed up from where Tinubu stopped 48 hours later. Atiku, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday by his Media Office ahead the Lagos meeting with Tinubu later same day, urged the NWC of the party, led by Chief
John Odigie-Oyegun, to promote the rule of law and due process in the conduct of its affairs. This, he said, was germane to the unity and stability of the party, adding that the leaders should stop breaking their own rules. The National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had, in a statement, criticised Odigie-Oyegun for rejecting the recommendation of the appeal panel on the Ondo primary of the party. ‘Oyegun must resign now’ Against the foregoing backdrop, Deputy National Publicity Secretary Timi Frank, of the APC has called on President Muhammadu to ensure that Oyegun resigns. In an open letter yesterday, Frank told Buhari that Oyegun lacked the capacity to resolve the crisis rocking the party across the country adding that many members and party leaders are already contemplating leaving because “injustice had become the order of the day” under Oyegun. Excerpts from the letter read: “Mr. President sir, I wish to reiterate my earlier stand on this matter and I’m also elated that I’ve been vindicated in my struggle to save our party all the while, when so many thought of me as a rebel or paid apologist. “It is therefore no secret that I was one of the very first persons in the party who took the bull by the horn and openly raised the alarm of urgent issues which had to be addressed in other to steer the APC ship in its right course. “Suffice to say that all my efforts to plead with the party leadership to redirect its affairs fell on deaf ears as no one took me seriously at the time. You may recall Mr President, that the origin of this crisis began when the issue of the National Assembly leadership arose and the decision of the party at the time against party members, especially against the senate president and speaker of the house of representative. I foresaw the impending cracks at the time when the party leaders ignored the injustice against these two persons and I subsequently raised viable concerns which still fell on deaf ears. “Again, when I raised concerns against the manner in which Chief Oyegun handled the conduct of the Bayelsa state governorship primaries that produced the APC candidate, no one listened to me, and alas the outcome of that election became a clear testament to my alleged fears. “Subsequently, when my immediate boss, Alhaji Lai Mohammed became the minister of information, I was supposed to immediately fill in the gap and act in his stead as enshrined in our party constitution as the acting national publicity secretary of the party, but this was not to be as I was out rightly being persecuted for reasons unknown and perhaps for selfish interest. “I was deprived from performing my duties and my duties assigned to themselves. It is worthy to note that today, we are witnessing the same concerns and fears being expressed by one of the founding fathers of our great party, who also doubles as a national leader agreeing with my earlier call that Chief Oyegun should resign as the national chairman. “This allegation of bribery raised by Asiwaju Tinubu as regards the recent Ondo governorship primaries should be of concern to all well-meaning party leaders and elders and should not be swept under carpet or taken of levity. “This weighty allegation should and must be properly investigated because of course ‘there is no smoke without fire.’ Mr. President sir, you recall the launch of the ‘Change Begins With Me Campaign’ a fortnight ago, where we were admonished to lead by example, and I dare say that this change must start from within the party so that Nigerians can follow suit. “Mr. President sir, the episode of the recent Ondo primaries is just one case too many befalling the APC under the leadership of Chief Oyegun and I’m therefore challenging Chief Oyegun to tell Nigerians if he has been able to mediate over any crisis that has been successful. As far as I am aware, APC under Oyegun has not been able to resolve any crisis in the party since we became the ruling party. “Chief Oyegun has shown that he lacks the capacity to resolve all the crisis currently rocking our party in nearly all the states of the federation. Mr. President sir, I’m aware you may not have forgotten hurriedly your experience under Chief Oyegun’s chairmanship in the defunct All Nigerians People’s Party (ANPP) that eventually led to the series of events which saw your exit from the party, and this same man is at it again. It is said that ‘a stitch in time saves nine.”

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