Tinubu Blast Oyegun
…labels APC chairman Oyegun as a fraud
The suppressed war in the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) came into the open yesterday as National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, accused the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, of being a fraud.
Tinubu, a former Governor of Lagos State and one of the arrowheads of the party, described Odigie- Oyegun as a regressive element, who cares nothing for the progressive ideas upon which the party was founded and is hell-bent on guiding it into the ditch.
The APC leader, in a statement by his media office, entitled: “Oyegun’s Ondo fraud: The violation of democracy in the APC,” also accused the national chairman of breaching democratic promises and vows made between APC members and the public in a most overt and brazen display.
“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. The party was supposed to buttress APC members elected to government at all levels.
Because of Oyegun’s conduct of our affairs, the party is rapidly becoming an albatross to those it was meant to help,” Tinubu said. He described the outcome of the party’s governorship primaries in Ondo State as a textbook definition of political treachery and malfeasance of the basest order, adding that the national chairman decided to safeguard the fraud done by perpetrating a greater fraud.
His words: “The NWC (National Working Committee) voted six against five to cancel the fraudulent results and hold an honest primary.
For a moment, it seemed the party would restore its integrity by giving democracy a chance.
However, those who sought to scam an entire state would not let the vote of 11 people spoil their enterprise. “After the NWC vote, a noticeably agitated Chairman Oyegun proposed that the NWC engage in prayer before concluding the meeting.
Adhering to this chairman’s request, NWC members began to pray.
Seeing that the others had taken his bait, Oyegun used the prayerful interlude to secretly excuse himself from the meeting. “Contravening the NWC decision and in violation of all rules of fundamental decency, Oyegun decided to safeguard the fraud done in Ondo by perpetrating a greater fraud.
Oyegun arrogated to himself the right to submit the name of Rotimi Akeredolu to INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) as the candidate of the party.” He accused the party chairman of engaging in the strange math where five is greater than six.
“This smacks of how the PDP conducted its affairs and orchestrated its own downfall,” he noted. Insisting that Odigie- Oyegun and those who conspired with him to sabotage justice and democracy in Ondo are working to wreck APC, Tinubu said: “Our party was to stand for change. Oyegun and his fellows seem to be on a different wavelength. They are the cohorts of ‘Unchange’.
“The APC wants to guide Nigeria into a better tomorrow. Oyegun and the cohort of ‘Unchange’ want to pull Nigeria back into the past where rigging and vote stealing were the old and new testaments of politics.
They want the people to think that there is no alternative to their reationary system of skewed politics and imperious government. “Thus, they seek to turn the APC into a factory of the very political malpractices the people soundly rejected in the past election.
To choke the APC in this manner is to kill the chance for progressive reform for the foreseeable future. Much more than the Ondo primary is at stake. Oyegun has revealed his team’s game plan: It is the destruction of progressive politics and governance on behalf of the people.
“As party chairman, Oyegun was supposed to protect our internal processes and be an impartial arbiter, a person in whom all had confidence. Instead, he donned the garment of a confident man, duping the NWC, the party, and INEC in one fell blow.
He has robbed APC members in Ondo State of the chance to pick in a fair manner who they believe is the best candidate. As such, he has broken faith with the party and probably has broken a few laws.
The consequences of what he has done are more expansive than a man of his scope can fathom.” According to him, “Oyegun was forced to undertake his desperate fraud in broad daylight in order to salvage the wrong initiated under the lamp of darkness.
Those who so actively attributed imaginary wrong to Tinubu now stand dumb and mute in the face of confirmed impropriety. They remain silent for reasons they cannot divulge. Oyegun and his ilk turn out to be gangsters adorned in the tunic of party authority.”
While acknowledging that the APC national chairman is free to return to the politics of the past if he chooses to do so, Tinubu, however, insisted that Odigie-Oyegun has no right to drag the party or any of its members with him.
He also said that he would rather drop the title of National Leader and remain a member of the party than hold such in a party of injustice. “I would rather not have any title, yet reside in a party that honours democracy than hold a title in a party that says it honours me, but treats justice with indecency. I find greater honour and comfort where democracy and fairness are found and respected. “Oyegun has done the irredeemable. His coup is an insult to party and to patriot, to reason and to the reform agenda of this government.
To remain silent would be to admit the defeat of the reform and progressive change many have laboured to bring forth. “Oyegun’s transgressions are a warning. He is but the mercenary of forces that seek to return the nation to the old ways.
If they get away with this infraction, no one would tell what or whom they will undermine tomorrow. Much is at stake. On the chopping block, lies the future of the political party in which the majority of voters had placed their confidence.
To rescue the party, Oyegun must go. He has shown that he and democratic fair play cannot exist in the same party at the same time. “If Tinubu is to choose between John Oyegun and progress toward a better Nigeria, the choice has already been made.
For those who care about the party, who care about Nigeria and its chance for a better tomorrow, now is the time to stand against this brewing evil before it grows to encompass all we have built and all we hold dear,” Tinubu said.
Several efforts made to get Oyegun’s response last night proved abortive. He neither picked calls to his telephone lines nor responded to text message sent to him.