Resign now Tinubu tells APC Chairman



ABUJA, NIGERIA – All Progressives Congress, APC, national leader,
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has demanded the resignation of the national
chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun. In a statement from his
media office, Tinubu accused Oyegun of sabotaging the will of democracy
in Ondo State by overriding the decision of the appeal panel that asked
for a fresh governorship primary following investigations that showed
that the delegates’ list used had been tampered with.

He said:
“The
APC, a party born of the quest for democratic good governance, is under
critical threat by those who managed to be in the party but never of
it. From the party’s inception, the principles of democratic fairness
and justice were to guide APC internal deliberations. Party founders
realized that only by intramural fair dealing could the party remain
faithful to the progressive ideals that we presented to the Nigerian
electorate as our governing creed. If the party could not justly govern
itself, it would find it difficult to establish and maintain just
government throughout the nation.

“In essence, the
party was the embodiment of a democratic promise made between its
members as well as a democratic vow made to the public. 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. 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.
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.

“Oyegun’s
comportment regarding the Ondo State primary will become the textbook
definition of political treachery and malfeasance of the basest order.
In early September, the state primary was held. A purported winner was
named. Having faith in the ways of the party, Tinubu publicly accepted
what he assumed to be a verdict honestly derived. As a democrat, one
must face the possibility of defeat and accept such as outcome with as
much grace as one would embrace victory. One of the few bright spots
during the conduct of the primaries was Jigawa Governor, Alhaji Mohammed
Badaru Abubakar. He chaired the primary convention with decorum and
impartiality. He was unaware that a tampered list had been slipped into
the process.

“Indeed within hours of the announcement,
news began to filter in that gravely disturbed me. Credible allegations
of fraud troubled the waters. The delegate list had been materially
altered by someone in a strategic position to so do. The names of over
150 valid delegates were excised to make room for an equal number of
impostors. This was not a clerical error. The alteration was wilfully
executed that the primary would be directed toward a chosen end that
bore nothing in common with the will of most state party members. A
cunning few had tried to deceive the many into believing they were
outnumbered. “A conspiracy to steal the Ondo primary had been uncovered.

“Fortunately,
the grand deception afoot had been unable to cover its tracks fast
enough. Truth began to cry for justice. Several candidates filed
petitions contesting the result. The party established an investigative
board to review the evidence. In a two to one decision, the panel found
the delegate roster had suffered tampering. The panel recommended that a
new primary should be held using the valid delegate list. This
recommendation was tabled before the National Working Committee (NWC).

“After
many hours of deliberations spanning several days, a final vote was
held by the NWC. Before hand, NWC members agreed that the decision of
the majority would become the stance of the party. Such is the way of
democracy. The NWC 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 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 as the candidate of the
party.

“Truth has finally come to light. There exists a
regressive element in the party that cares nothing for the progressive
ideas upon which this party was founded. They joined the APC because it
was the best ride available at the time. Now they want to guide the
party into the ditch. They want to turn the party into a soulless entity
incapable of doing good, just like they are. When such a person tastes
power, they shed all good restraint. They come to abuse the trust given
them as if they are the owners of that trust and not its mere
custodians. These people did little to build the party but now will do
much to wreck it.

“Our party was to stand for change.
Oyegun and his fellows seem to be on a different wave length. They are
the cohort 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 reactionary 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,” Tinubu said as he said that Oyegun must have
been under some major sinister influence as to allow what happened.
“With strong expectation, we await a response to Oyegun’s wrongdoing
from those who clamored so long and loudly about Tinubu’s alleged role
in the Ondo primary.

“Leading into the primary, a
prominent lawyer from Ondo published lengthy missives alleging that
Tinubu was a malicious hand intent on rigging the primary. His letters
spoke of his great love for democracy and justice. Though Oyegun has
assaulted democracy in a most public and vulgar way, this lawyer’s
prolific pen will remain stilled. He dare not publish a word about this
travesty. His silence will be sign for all who care to decipher its
meaning.

“The plan was to point the accusing finger at
Tinubu. With everyone focused on Tinubu, they would have distracted all
attention from the heist they had set in motion. As fate would have it,
the trickery they hoped to conduct in the shadows has come to light.

“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.

“Oyegun has
engaged in the strange math where five is greater than six. This smacks
of how the PDP conducted its affairs and orchestrated its own downfall.
Tinubu disparaged such malpractice when it was not in his party. Tinubu
surely disowns it now that it has invaded the party he helped bring to
fruition.

“Tinubu has consciously refused to hold any
official position with the party to avoid the perception that he was
trying to control all and sundry. Tinubu has even kept his peace for
some time despite many things that happened within the party that were
not quite right. He exercised this forbearance because the party is
young. A collective endeavor cannot avoid the mistakes and errors of
organizational newness and evolution.

“Yet, the wrongs
Oyegun committed had nothing to do with newness or the mistakes
occasioned by the path of reform. His actions are in the nature of the
old wrongs that have afflicted our national politics much too long. If
Oyegun wants to walk backward into the past, he has every right to it.
However, he has no right to drag the party or any of us with him.
Against our choosing.

“The informal title of national
leader of the party was given to Tinubu at the onset which he accepted
it as a sign from those who wished to recognize my contributions to the
party’s formation. It is an honorific title which he has been proud to
wear until today. I would rather not have any title yet reside in a
party that honors democracy than hold a title in a party that says it
honors me but that 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 labored to bring forth. While the forces resistant to
change and reform are strong, Tinubu dare not submit to them. Tinubu
encourages all party members not to submit to them. If we acquiesce in
this wrong, the one greater than this shall cascade upon us.

“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 telling 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.”

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