Odigie-Oyegun must go, says Tinubu
Odigie-Oyegun must go, says Tinubu
The controversy over the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the forthcoming election in Ondo State is further tearing the party leaders apart.
Aggrieved National Leader of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday called on the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun to resign.
Tinubu, who broke his silence on the controversy surrounding the party’s governorship primary held on September 3 in Ondo, said in a statement yesterday that the APC, “a party born of the quest for democratic good governance”, was under critical threat by those who managed to be in it but are never of it.
He accused Odigie-Oyegun of breaching the principles of democratic fairness and justice meant to guide the party’s internal deliberations.
“To rescue the party, Odigie-Oyegun must go,” Tinubu said.
Efforts to get the APC chairman’s reaction to the matter yesterday failed as all calls to his phone were not picked.
Tinubu’s statement reads in part: “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 State Governor 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 willfully executed that the primary would be directed towards 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 then, 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, Odigie-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, Odigie-Oyegun used the prayerful interlude to secretly excuse himself from the meeting. Odigie-Oyegun arrogated to himself the right to submit the name of Rotimi Akeredolu to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the candidate of the party.”