Coming out of the Aso Rock Villa yesterday, a visibly emboldened National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, broke his silence over call for his resignation by a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
According to him, there are procedures and processes involved for an occupant of such a higher office to resign, saying it is not done on pages of the newspapers.
His position received a boost from some party youths who asked Tinubu to ‘stop playing God.’
Oyegun spoke barely 24 hours after the duo met and exchange banters at the book launch in honour of President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja.
Tinubu, had in a statement by his media office, suggested that Oyegun did not act as his own man in allegedly subverting the decision of the National Working Committee of the party, regarding the outcome of the governorship primaries in Ondo state, and therefore called for his resignation.
He said: “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. There is a powerful and sinister arm at work to compel a man of Oyegun’s age to steal the decision of the party in a manner so crude that it would embarrass even the commonest thief.”
“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,” alleged the former state governor.
Although Oyegun had promised not to join issues with the party leader, he, however, broke his silence yesterday, describing Tinubu’s call for his resignation as improper.
Speaking to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Buhari yesterday, Oyegun said, it was improper for any member of the party to call for his resignation on the pages of newspapers.
Responding to questions on the feud between him and Tinubu, he said, “the method of getting rid of a national chairman, if that is what I will call it, is spelt out in the constitution; they don’t take place on the pages of newspapers.”
Oyegun said Tinubu’s letter accusing him of being a mole in the party and of carrying out a coup that undermined the principles the party stood for, was a bit harsh.
According to him, what happened between him and Tinubu was mere “differences of opinion,” and not rift as was reported by some sections of the media.
“There is no rift with Asiwaju. We have differences of opinion, differences of perception and I think that is normal. Yes, I agree that the nature of the statement was a bit harsh.”
On why members of the National Executive Council of the party were yet to meet, Oyegun said “it is proper for them to meet and they will all meet at the appropriate time.”
When asked if he was willing to make u-turn on the Ondo primaries since it was causing crisis in the party, he said, “It is only INEC that can make u-turn on Ondo.”
Oyegun also denied sponsoring yesterday’s protest by some APC youths against alleged highhandedness of Tinubu at the party’s headquarters in Abuja, saying that was not part of his politics.
“God forbid, anybody who knows me knows that is not my style. I am equally shocked and I’m going to look into it and find out why and who is behind it. Do they know how far back our association goes?
“Do they know that we were in the trenches together in the NADECO days? Why can’t people who have mutual respect for each other have different opinions? All we had was difference of opinions, yes it was expressed a bit harshly but that doesn’t remove the basic fact that we have worked together for a very long time,” he said.