Oshiomhole, Oyegun trade blame for defeat in 5 states

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Oshiomhole, Oyegun trade blame for defeat in 5 states
Oshiomhole, Oyegun trade blame for defeat in 5 states

The Adams Oshiomhole-led All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday said the party lost some states to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) due to the indiscipline and inaction of the National Working Committee (NWC) under Chief John Odigie-Oyegun. But Odigie-Oyegun, in a swift reaction through his public affairs adviser, Chief Ray Morphy, said Oshiomhole was only looking for scapegoats.

 The APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, in an interview with journalists, said if Oyo, Imo, Bauchi, Adamawa, and Zamfara states were taken one by one, it will be discovered that there were peculiar issues in the respective states that accounted for how the APC lost them rather than the voters preferring the PDP.

 The APC spokesperson said the former NWC led by Chief Odigie-Oyegun lacked the courage to confront the political despots who could not operate by the party’s rules. The resultant effect, he said, was widespread indiscipline across party ranks, lack of respect for party supremacy as witnessed in the 8th National Assembly leadership and its overall inability to align the interests of the legacy parties that formed the APC in 2014. “Let me agree that the NWC that led the party into the 2015 elections and continued till June 2018 did nothing different from what you would find in PDP. It was a period the party was seen as a mere vehicle to attain political office. The system accommodated impunity as certain members appeared to be superior to the party.

Their interests were far more important than the collective interests of the APC, even when most times such interests are at variance with the ideals the party stand for. “You would recall that it was under that leadership that some impudent members of APC called the bluff of the party by imposing themselves on the National Assembly as leaders contrary to the position of the party. Where was the party? Where was the discipline when this happened? It would be difficult to calculate what lack of courage to assert the party supremacy cost APC over that period. The consequences of the inaction of the party were unimaginable. We all saw the consequences on governance as the National assembly practically held our government to ransom. The impunity, which President Muhammadu Buhari has rightly described as lack of patriotism, constituted an unfortunate hindrance to the smooth running of government.

“It is not surprising that the current National Working Committee inherited such a huge mess, where the party was struggling to differentiate itself from the delinquent PDP.  We all know that PDP was practically dead following the devastating defeat of 2015. The PDP bounced back not because the party has changed its insidious way or did anything different, but because APC did not live up to expectations,” he also said. He said the next three years are very important as the APC under the leadership of Oshiomhole will continue to strengthen compliance with the rules, build support structures for democracy, ensure discipline, and deliver good governance for the benefits of all Nigerians. “We expect members who have different agenda to join their kind in PDP.

We will welcome with open arms, those who share our progressive ideals, so that by 2022, we will have a party whose members are truly progressives,” the APC spokesman said. Issa-Onilu said Senator Lawal Shuaibu’s assertions in the letter to the National Chairman portrayed the NWC as a bunch of cowards looking for a scapegoat to pass on the blame following undesired results in his home Zamfara State. “When he (Shuaib) alleged that the National Chairman is running the party like a sole administrator, does that mean the rest of us are incompetent? I doubt if he would have many members of the NWC supporting him in this. The ability to face up to the challenges and to take responsibility for mistakes are important qualities of a leader. If the NWC had taken any action that did not produce the desired result, it would be plain cowardice to look for a scapegoat or pass on the blame to another person,” Issa-Onilu said.

The APC spokesman, who said the APC had improved significantly on the result of 2015 under the leadership of Oshiomhole despite some 2019 election losses recorded in some states, added that the National Chairman cannot be blamed for the avoidable losses recorded as some stakeholders failed to follow the party’s directives and ensure internal democracy.

But in his reaction, Chief Odigie-Oyegun wondered why Oshiomhole found it hard to function without looking for excuses and scape goats. The former APC national chairman, who said Oshiomhole ran the most fraudulent primaries in the history of politics in Nigeria, stated INEC said so when it adjudged his primaries as the worst so far and the courts’ decisions to upturn many APC primaries for being undemocratic and less than fair. He expressed readiness to tutor Oshiomhole the rudiments of running a political party as no man would like to see his son scattered what he had laboured to build. Part of the statement read, “Oyegun, an accomplished technocrat, a super permanent secretary, a former Governor, a man without blemish working with others cobbled together creditably the legacy parties, and held them together with tact, diplomacy and finesse until Oshiomole came along. To his credit, Oyegun did not lose one member of the party. “As an elder, as a leader, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun will not join issues with those who apparently are casting about looking for excuses for their inability to manage a ruling party successfully.

“Indeed, it is absurd to lose states with all the capacity at the disposal of the current chairman. Party members know that APC witnessed its golden years under the chairmanship of Oyegun and no one can change that bit of political history. “By the way, the vote increase to Mr President is a reflection of the confidence the people repose in the President despite the fumbles of the Oshiomole sole administratorship of the party! “It will be recalled that Chief John Odigie-Oyegun just received The Zik award for Political Leadership alongside John Mahama, the former President of Ghana. In the award citation, he was extolled for exemplary political leadership of APC. “Posterity has already given its verdict, Oyegun led the party to resounding victory. Oshiomole should not destroy what others had laboured to build. If he needs tutorial on how to run a party, he should ask for it civilly. John Oyegun will be more than happy to help, after all, no man would like to see his son scatter what he had laboured to build.”

Mingonline reports that the APC Deputy National Chairman (North) threw up the current controversy when he advised Oshiomhole to resign for lacking “the necessary composure, capabilities and the requisite experience to run a political Party.” But the South-South State chairmen of the APC disagreed with Senator Shuaib, saying that the landmines created by Odigie-Oyegun before departing fueled the unfortunate situation. The chairmen vowed to resist any attempt to blackmail Oshiomhole out of office for standing against injustice that had hitherto been the hallmark of his predecessor (Odigie-Oyegun) which was the only legacy he left behind. Odigie-Oyegun exonerated himself from the allegation that he created landmines that led to the various court cases bedeviling the state chapters of the party.

Reacting earlier through Chief Ray Morphy, Oyegun-Oyegun said the statement of booby traps was not only ludicrous and infantile but an attempt to dream up justification for the failings of the party under Oshiomhole’s chairmanship.


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