More troubles for Oyegun as Buhari is dragged into APC conflict


Bolaji Yusuf Ayinla, the member representing Mushin 11 Federal Constituency of Lagos state on the platform of ‎the All Progressives Congress (APC),  has backed the recent call by the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu that the national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun should tender his resignation.

Tinubu had accused the APC chairman of betraying the trust on him. In reaction to Tinubu’s statement, Ayinla said Oyegun was not qualified to lead the ruling party.
“What has happened has shown clearly that Oyegun cannot do the job. A few days ago, Mr. President launched Change begins with me campaign. But for us, the change has to start from within the party so that Nigerians can follow. “Based on this weighty allegation from our national leader and founding father of the party, I want to restate my earlier position that we must call an emergency NEC meeting. “If Oyegun knows that he has nothing to hide and that whatever Tinubu has said about him is not true, I am challenging him to immediately call an emergency NEC meeting to enable us come together and look ourselves in the face and tell ourselves the truth and see how we can resolve this internal crisis. “If we cannot resolve this crisis now, we may never be able to resolve it. Since the last meeting we held six months ago, none of the decisions reached at the NEC meeting has been implemented. That has shown incompetence on Oyegun’s leadership. “We agreed at that meeting that there should be a mini convention to fill vacant positions among others such as downsizing the BOT and having an Elders Council. Today, if I have issues, where will I go to?” The youth leaders from 18 local government areas of Ondo state queried  why Odigie-Oyegun overruled the verdict of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) that a fresh governorship primary should be conducted. At a news conference attended by the APC leaders, their deputy chairman, Saheed Lateef, urged the party’s national leadership to as a matter of principle and ethos of the APC uphold the recommendations of the appeal panel. The panel had affirmed that the election was compromised with fake names in the delegates’ list. It consequently called for fresh election. Six of the 11-member committee of the NWC had recommended nullification of the primary election and conduct of a fresh  one. But Odigie-Oyegun reportedly suppressed the majority decision and upheld the “disputed” poll in favour of Mr. Olurotimi Akeredolu (SAN).
“Since we believe in the anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari, this must reflect and should be extended to the internal arrangement of the progressives party. “Our position is not against any individual, but the process that characterised the primaries,” Lateef said. The youth leader said the position was reinforced by their commitment to the principle of democracy that emphasised that “minority cannot overrule the majority decision”. Lateef noted that the struggle to ensure the formation of progressive government in the Sunshine State should not be defeated because of selfish interest of some individuals. Meanwhile, the embattled National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, is to consult President Muhammadu Buhari over the attack launched against him by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Vanguard has learned from party sources in Abuja. Odigie-Oyegun, the man at the centre of the controversy, on his part, vowed, yesterday, not to lose his cool on the matter, saying he would not respond to Tinubu, who he called a respected party leader until after the crucial governorship election taking place in his home state, Edo, tomorrow, September 28. Tinubu had in a communiqué from his office on Sunday night, rebuked Odigie-Oyegun for allegedly sabotaging the wheels of democracy in Ondo state, following the decision to forward Chief Rotimi Akeredolu’s name as the party’s governorship candidate, despite claims by the party’s Ondo Governorship Appeal Panel that the delegates’ list used for the primaries was compromised. Oyegun is reported to have said that “Tinubu is a well-respected leader of our party, so I cannot be seen speaking evil against him. I have to consult properly with other leaders of the party before we make any definite statement. Again, you know we have a crucial election here in Edo, which is my priority right now.” Though the national chairman did not name President Buhari, party sources in Abuja, however, told Vanguard that the President was on top of the list of those to be consulted. He continued: “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, maybe after the election, if there is need, I will speak, if 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. “I believe that if primaries of parties are not credible, it may derail any democracy, so I don’t play with these things at all. Everybody knows me, and I don’t joke with my credibility, and I have tried to maintain it.
“Like I said, Asiwaju is our leader, and we all hold him in high esteem, so I will never join issues with him. “But may be after Edo elections, after we must have emerged victorious, we may speak on some of the issues raised. So there is no problem at all. Edo is the focus for now, and as you know, this is my state, so it is a very serious election for us. “I want to be allowed to remain focussed, then after the election, we can speak,” Oyegun stated. The issue is, however, raising mixed responses in the party hierarchy. A member of the National Working Committee (NWC), of the party, who sought to exonerate the national chairman of the allegations raised against him, revealed that a brief on the issues that led to Tinubu’s attack was being prepared for onward transmission by the national chairman to the President once he returned from Benin after the governorship election.

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