The crisis within the ranks of the All
Progressives Congress, APC, seems to be too
much for its National Chairman to handle.
OKECHUKWU JOMBO writes that the
chairman may soon be consumed by one
unless he rises to the occasion


Since the victory of the All
Progressives Congress, APC,
it has been one trouble or the
other to the extent that many
people are beginning to wonder
if the party is ready and capable
to deliver the ‘change’, they so
much desire.
The leadership crisis
currently bedeviling the
National Assembly is still
lingering with solution not yet
in sight especially now that
it has resulted fisticuff in the
House of Representatives.
Even the APC leadership
is not helping matters with
the way it is handling it. The
National Chairman, Chief John
Odigie Oyegun, has shown that
he is either incompetent or not
his own man. He gives orders
that nobody follows.
Maybe that is why some of
the APC governors want him
removed. It is said that he is
Bola Tinubus lackey, rightly or
wrongly. Some even say that the
problems the party is having
stems from the fact that most
of the legislators are against
Tinubu’s over bearing influence
and see Oyegun as his man
Friday whom they most stop if
they want to stop Tinubu.
Barely a week after Comrade
Timi Frank, APC Deputy
National Publicity Secretary,
claimed that he was speaking
on behalf of other disenchanted
members of the party leadership
by calling on Odigie-Oyegun
to resign, eight APC governors
on Tuesday also brought the
request closer after a meeting
with the National Chairman.
Chief among Odigie-
Oyegun’s sins, according to
APC sources, was his taking
sides during the Senate
leadership squabbles, the ‘mock
election’ as well as his inability
to consult widely before
taking decision that has now
negatively affected the party.
Other sins of Odigie-Oyegun
include the alienation of
the nPDP structure and the
pandering to the pro- Bola
Ahmed Tinubu or the defunct
Action Congress of Nigeria,
ACN camp, even when the
camp’s contribution is less in
measure than the nPDP.
Comrade Frank said,
“When they were taking their
decision, they didn’t consult
anybody. When they were
taking their decision, there
was no unity. Despite that, we
have the National Chairman
who should have been able to
consult the larger picture of the
party. You can see the way the
party, including the National
Chairman was speaking even
before the elections; it shows
clearly that he had totally taken
sides, which wasn’t meant to be.
“I understand that when he
took some of those decisions
that clearly the National
Chairman even told Hon.
Dogara and others that they
did what they did based on
pressure. I beg to say that in this
century, APC as a party does
not need a chairman that will
succumb under pressure.”
“I can say from the position
of the chairman, it seems some
certain leaders of the party have
cornered him. From his actions,
from what he demonstrated
before Nigerians, you should
know that there is some handful
of people influencing him from
“We need a chairman that
can be firm on his own position
and we as party members will
support once that decision
is going to be favourable
to Nigerians and not any
individual. After the election,
when I saw my chairman
coming to accept defeat by
accepting Senator Saraki and
Hon. Dogara, I felt that after
doing that, he should have
resigned because it came too
All these crisis within the
party some believe will implode
the party soonest which points
to what former Senior Special
Assistant, Public Affairs to
former President Goodluck
Jonathan, Dr Doyin Okupe,
predicted recently that the
APC would not last one year.
Maybe Okupe saw something
that most of us did not pause to
Experienced politician that
he is, having been in the top
echelons of a national party as
far as 24 years back, Okupe must
have seen the congregation
of politicians from every
shade of opinion and interest
coming together in a hurry and
concluded that at some point,
there would, without fail, be a
conflict of interests, which could
precipitate a conflagration that
the APC may be unable to
weather through.
Those who were in a
hurry to condemn Okupe
must be having a rethink
now. Reports following the
elections of leaders of the
National Assembly indicate
that combatants in the APC are
determined to snuff life out of
the in-house opponent without
regard to what that may do to
the party and a country that is
Now, how that surprises
anyone still baffles a lot of
Nigerians. If one understands
that no idea, principle or
person is permanent in the
contemplation of the average
politician, one will not be
miffed to see men, who smiled
at each other last night, draw
the daggers in the morning.
And this is not just about
Nigeria. The flip-flop of
politicians in more advanced
democracies seems a little else
obvious because while Nigeria
adorns mortals in messianic
garb, institutions are stronger in
those countries. Which is why,
whether it is a Barack Obama,
a George Bush or a Bill Clinton,
there are institutions which deal
with malfeasance and beat a
leader into line.
Here, we rely on human
beings to save us from human
beings. As a result, only a
Muhammadu Buhari is believed
to be able to fight corruption,
only an Attahiru Jega is able to
organise free and fair elections.
Now that his tenure is over, we
are at a loss about sustaining
the credibility that attended the
2015 elections.
Rather than build the
Independent National
Electoral Commission into a
reputable body where anyone
can function with limited
opportunity for manipulations,
we prefer to seek another Jega
or his clone. We would rather
depend on strong individuals
than on strong institutions.
The attempt to impose leaders
on the National Assembly and
the move that blindsided those
who were bent on imposition is
all politics and we must come
to terms with the fact that the
political field does not have
the sanctity of a religious place.
In any case, every Nigerian
politician of clout is guilty of
some measure of imperialism
or treachery in their areas of
influence, so it would be hard
for anyone to cast a first stone.
This is why the current
travails of the APC, which
resulted from the emergence
of Senator Bukola Saraki and
Yakubu Dogara as the Senate
President, and Speaker, House
of Representatives, respectively,
against the wishes of their party
could be fatal to the birthing
of the change that Nigerians
envisaged when they voted for
the APC at the last elections.
And when that happens, there
would be no one to blame other
than the party itself.
A subtle battle for the soul
of the party is silently raging
between Alhaji Abubakar Atiku
and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed
Tinubu. Now, each of these men
has considerable following with
which they can pull the plug
at any time and so, a prompt
cessation of this silent war,
which has not been refuted by
any of the parties, would be
important to saving the party
and helping it deliver on its
promises to Nigeria.
Before Atiku, Tinubu and
their supporters push the
people off the bridge incurring
democratic fatalities, they need
to imbibe lessons on the role
of kingmakers from American
politician and Catholic
influencer, James Farley, who
orchestrated the electoral
success of politicians including
Franklin D Roosevelt without
causing dislocations in the
American political system.
What Nigerians ask of these
gladiators is that if only for
this one time in their career,
they should put the interest of
Nigeria first. Nigerians worry
that unless President Buhari
gets the full cooperation of
his party, such that some farreaching
reforms can happen
in Nigeria within the next
four years, the trouble that we
thought were over as a result of
the peace that followed the 2015
elections will revisit us.
They must consider the
interest of millions of Nigerians
who have no food to eat, who
die from common ailments
that most of the world does
not talk about again, of
hundreds of thousands of
entrepreneurs sweating under
the harsh business conditions
in the country, of the power and
energy crises and a myriad of
other problems that make life
feel like hell for Nigerians.
Chief among
sins, according
to APC sources,
was his taking
sides during the
Senate leadership
squabbles, the
‘mock election’
as well as his
inability to
consult widely
before taking
decision that has
now negatively
affected the party
… APC crisis and John Oyegun

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