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‘Buhari must intervene in Tinubu, Odigie-Oyegun feud to save APC’

By Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna) and Adamu Abuh (Abuja)   |   03 October 2016   |   3:30 am

President Muhammadu Buhari Photo credit: ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)

President Muhammadu Buhari Photo credit: ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)

Makarfi cautions against sale of assets

To save the All Progressives Congress (APC) from collapse, President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised to wade into the crisis rocking the party.In an open letter to the President, the Acting National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr. Timi Frank said the recent position of a founding father and National Leader of the party, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, about the National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, showed that all was not well with the APC.

According to Frank, the president should intervene and save the party from collapse, considering the weighty allegation of misdeeds levelled against Odigie-Oyegun by Tinubu over the Ondo State APC governorship primaries.“If nothing is done urgently, then I’m afraid ‘the pot left on the fire will definitely burn, ” he said.

The publicity secretary traced the origin of the crisis to the buildup to the election of the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives when the Odigie-Oyegun-led leadership allegedly treated the issue shabbily, in addition to the tardy manner in which the chairman also allegedly handled the conduct of the Bayelsa State governorship primaries that produced the defeated APC candidate, Mr. Timipreye Sylva.

“Subsequently, when my immediate boss, Alhaji Lai Mohammed became the Minister of Information, I was supposed to immediately fill in the gap and act in his stead as enshrined in our party’s constitution as the Acting National Publicity Secretary of the party, but this was not to be as I was persecuted for reasons unknown and perhaps for selfish interest. I was deprived of performing my duties, and my duties assigned to themselves.

“It is worthy of note that today, we are witnessing the same concerns and fear being expressed by one of the founding fathers of our great party, agreeing with my earlier call that Odigie-Oyegun should resign as the national chairman.

“This allegation of bribery raised by Tinubu as regards the recent Ondo governorship primaries should be of concern to all well-meaning party leaders and elders and should not be swept under the carpet. This weighty allegation should and must be properly investigated because there is no smoke without fire. Mr. President sir, you recall the launch of the ‘Change Begins With Me Campaign’ a fortnight ago, where we were admonished to lead by example, and I dare say that this change must start from within the party so that Nigerians can follow suit,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has said that Nigerians must tread with caution over the calls for the sale of national assets because the advice is unpatriotic and laden with the intention of grabbing them, which would further depress the economy.

Makarfi who lamented the outcome of past sale of national assets, queried: “What have we achieved with it?”The PDP chief who spoke with The Guardian in an interview said: “Assets were sold in the past, what impact did it make? If you sell the assets, how much are you going to get? Is that going to be adequate to resuscitate the Nigerian economy? It is a different thing when things are normal for government to privatise.”

According to him, “when we have a bigger problem and people begin to think that doing away with the assets will be the solution, this is unfortunate indeed. It is a call by people who want to grab the assets.Without selling the assets we can restore normalcy and buoyancy; even if you are going to privatise you get better value for the assets.”

  • Ukaegbu, Friday C.

    Timi Frank has shown that he wrote against Oyegun out of malice. In the event of Oyegun going Timi should also. He is not worthy of the position he holds in the party. I see Timi as one of the problems in APC.

  • daodu makanjuola

    It is quite unfortunate that most people never knew the truth of what happened in Ondo gubernatorial primary. please read this piece

  • daodu makanjuola

    Ondo APC primaries – why Oyegun snubbed the Lion of Bourdillon
    By Festus Aladesanmi on October 5, 2016@dailypostngr

    It all started so well and things were going on fine with 24 serious
    contenders working hazardously to be the chosen bride and become the
    candidate of the All Progressive Congress in Ondo State. Nobody expected
    a perfect primary election because you can not get that in this part of
    the world, at least not yet. However, going by the words of the
    National leader and the party hierarchy at both national and state
    levels, they were all expecting some decency and resemblance of a level
    playing field for all the gladiators.

    The bubble busted when the
    news broke out that the national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has
    endorsed one of the aspirants, Dr. Segun Abraham. This news jolted
    everyone and created confusion across the entire state. Prior to this,
    about four of these aspirants have claimed at one time to be the
    anointed aspirant of the revered national leader. Crisis engulfed Ondo
    State APC after this endorsement and the presidency intervened at some

    While the anointed aspirant moved around with pride, the
    other endorsed claimants ganged up against him. They formed what was
    then called Movement Against Imposition and even attempted to remove the
    party chairman Hon. D. I. Kekemeke, who was suspected of having a hand
    in the endorsement drama. Things moved from bad to worse and the center
    could no longer hold.

    The heat of the gang up got to Asiwaju and
    it became crystal clear that his anointed aspirant Dr Abraham will not
    make it. This created confusion in his camp. While notable Nigerians
    begged him to hands off and allow level playing ground for all the
    aspirants, he defiantly insisted that his chosen aspirant must win the
    primary at all cost.

    Prior to this, Bola Ilori was the main
    pillar behind Chief Olusola Oke, with his promise to deliver imaginary
    1,003 delegates to him. All efforts to get Bola Ilori to dump Olusola
    Oke for Dr. Abraham failed. Out of desperation, Bola Ilori’s benefactor
    (who actually introduced him to Asiwaju when Ilori was nobody) was
    imported from abroad to speak sense into his head. Unfortunately all the
    tricks failed and Ilori refused to budge.

    Mainwhile, the crisis
    caught the attention of both the presidency and the National working
    Committee of the party. All the aspirants were invited to Abuja and
    meetings were held with the Secretary to the Government of the
    Federation and the party hierarchy. The aspirants ventilated their
    grievances and they were assured of a level playing field.

    home plans were in top gear to sway things in favor of Dr. Abraham to
    ensure that he wins the primary election at all cost. All these were
    happening under the watchful eye of the platoon commander, Hon. D.I
    Kekemeke, the party Chairman who naturally should be neutral. Out of
    many desperate options, the best and most practicable was to neutralize
    Bola Ilori since he refused to oblige to Asiwaju’s request.

    Ademodi, Bola Ilori’s arch-rival in Ondo was co-opted into the script.
    These two leaders controlled the delegates of both Ondo East and West
    local government areas. Bola Ilori controlled 60% of the entire
    delegates from these two local government, according to the delegates
    list given to the aspirants during their meeting with the national
    organizing committee in Abuja. The list was allegedly manipulated by
    Bola Ilori to favor his own aspirant, in person of Olusola Oke.

    The party chairman, Hon. D. I. Kekemeke, adjusted the delegates list and
    gave Dr. Ademodi almost 70% delegates from Ondo East and West. He
    effected few insignificant changes in other local government areas to
    erode suspicion. This was done after Dr. Ademodi promised to deliver his
    bulk vote to Dr. Abraham. The contract was signed and sealed. He was
    adequately rewarded. The new list was sent as the authentic delegates
    list with a cover letter signed by the party chairman, Hon. D. I.
    Kekemeke, to the national organizing committee and requested that the
    new list must be used for the primary election, in the interest of peace
    in Ondo state. The national organizing committee and some members of
    the national working committee were not happy about the development but
    because they knew that Kekemeke was doing Asiwaju’s bidding, they
    allowed him and adopted the new list as requested.

    The new list
    was sent through Governor Badaru, the Ondo APC Primary Election
    chairman. The innocent man knew nothing about the underground dirty
    games and did all he could humanly to conduct a free, fair and
    transparent primary election. The list was delivered just 8-hours to the
    primary election. Barr. Rotimi Akeredolu was the first aspirant to
    protest against the new list. He even submitted his protest letter that
    same night.

    Fate did a deadly blow on Dr. Abraham, Barr. Kekemeke
    and Asiwaju himself when greed took the better side of Dr. Ademodi.
    Instead of delivering his delegates in bulk to Dr. Abraham as agreed, he
    turned himself to overnight merchant. The Zion Gate Hotel where he
    camped his delegates was like a stock market on the eve of the election.
    Delegates were traded like commodities and the merchant allocated to
    the highest bidder. Luckily Akeredolu was one of the lucky buyers. For
    every delegate sold, the chance of Dr. Abraham slipped away.

    Abraham and Barr. Kekemeke were so sure of their calculation and were
    just waiting for the result. Unknown to them that their merchant has
    sold out. Just imagine, the Personal Assistant to Kekemeke, the party
    chairman was the polling agent to Dr. Abraham at the primary election.
    That further explains how much impunity was on display. As the Chairman
    saw nothing wrong in openly using the engines and machineries of the
    party to promote Dr. Abraham and violate the party’s constitution which
    prescribes that the Chairman should be neutral and act as umpire. But as
    God will have it, all their plans failed and Akeredolu won the primary

    When Akeredolu was declared winner of the party all
    other aspirants were happy and jubilating not because they love
    Akeredolu but simply because they were disappointed by the roles the duo
    of Kekemeke and Asiwaju Tinubu played. As expected, most Nigerian
    politicians are bad losers. It wasn’t surprising thereafter when people
    started making frivolous claims within 24-hours after the election. The
    loudest noise came from Dr. Abraham, calling for the cancellation of the
    election. According to him, the delegates list was doctored and
    adulterated. In all his protests, he has failed so far to name the
    culprits behind the adulterated delegates list.

    The claim and
    counter claims led to 3 applications to the Ondo APC election appeal
    committee. The 3 complainants called for the cancellation of the
    election and prayed for rerun election. There were allegations of food
    sellers and vulcanizers possing as delegates and voted for a particular
    aspirant. The truth about this is that more than 60% of the delegates
    across Ondo state were either artisan or jobless. Of all the claims upon
    which they want the election to be cancelled, the only one that was
    substantiated and proved was the change of delegates list.

    the list was changed and the committee recommended for the cancellation
    of the election without ascertaining and explaining why the list was
    changed and who changed it. The National Chairman and some objective
    members of the NWC strongly believe that Akeredolu should not pay for
    the crime engineered by Asiwaju and committed by Kekemeke. The
    committee’s report was queried for not investigating to ascertain the
    brain behind the doctored delegates list and name the expected
    beneficiary. Against what was shown on national television and recorded
    by the Governor Badaru committee, the Tribunal mutilated the results and
    claimed that total votes was more than the number of accredited
    delegates. The NWC discovered this falsehood and therefore refused to
    approve the cancellation of the election.

    While this was going
    on, Asiwaju and his foot soldiers mounted undue pressure on the National
    Chairman and NWC to approve the cancellation of the election. The
    chairman believed that enough injustice has been vested on the innocent
    people of Ondo State, through all the shenanigans that played out before
    the election because Asiwaju wanted to have his way at all cost. He and
    some NWC members therefore opposed the cancellation of the election and
    the conduct of a rerun. These set of leaders strongly believed that if
    the election must be cancelled some people must be punished for
    adulterating the delegates list.

    For instance, the party chairman
    in Ondo state may have to be removed for misleading the NWC with the
    adulterated list and Dr. Abraham may be disqualified from contesting the
    rerun, since the entire process was rubbished in an attempt to
    desperately sway things in his favor? We can not single out Akeredolu
    for punishment for a sin he didn’t commit while the sinners are allowed
    to gain full benefits of their crime. That was the parting point between
    Asiwaju and Oyegun because Asiwaju insisted on cancellation (and rerun)
    while his men (Abraham and Kekemeke) must not be touched.

    was then faced with the problem of daring Asiwaju and allowing the wish
    of God to prevail or please Asiwaju and incur the wrath of God by
    punishing Akeredolu for doing nothing and reward Abraham for the sins he
    committed; because things has been put in place to ensure that Abraham
    has a landslides victory in the expected rerun. Akeredolu won the
    election because God allowed it. Oyegun chose God above Asiwaju, is that
    the reason why he must go? There’s God ooo!!!

    To them, the
    election was not perfect and therefore should be cancelled. However,
    what punishment should be melted to those who manipulated the process
    and created the noticeable flaws does not arise. Between Asiwaju who did
    all within his power to sabotage the process to achieve his desired
    objective and Oyegun who insisted that sinners should not be rewarded,
    who is at fault? Between Abraham who was openly supported and promoted
    with all State party machineries and Akeredolu who simply benefitted
    from the residuals, who is guiltier? Should we truncate the whole
    process and destroy the party because one man could not achieve his sole
    desire? The current debacle has nothing to do with Olusola Oke. He’s
    just a willing pawn in the game because of his own selfish and desperate
    desire. It’s all about Asiwaju and his desire to have his way, no
    matter what.

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