The All Progressives Congress, APC, Acting National Publicity Secretary, Timi Frank has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that his social re-orientation campaign, #ChangeBeginsWithMe, starts within the party.
Frank made the call against the back drop of the face-off between the party’s National Leader, Ahmed Tinubu and John Oyegun, the party’s National Chairman.
Recall that Tinubu had demanded the resignation of Oyegun, following the party’s decision to submit the name of Rotimi Akeredolu to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as its governorship candidate in Ondo State, despite the party’s Appeal Panel calling for a cancellation of the election.
Tinubu’s rumoured anointed candidate for the election, Olusegun Abraham, had opposed the emergence of Akeredolu as candidate, expressing disappointment in Oyegun for allegedly overruling the initial decision of the NWC which ordered the conduct of a fresh primary.
In a letter to the President, Frank said, “It is worthy to note that today, we are witnessing the same concerns and fears being expressed by one of the founding fathers of our great party, who also doubles as a national leader agreeing with my earlier call that Chief Oyegun should resign as the National Chairman.
“This allegation of bribery raised by Asiwaju 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 or taken with levity. This weighty allegations should and must be properly investigated because of course “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.
“Chief Oyegun has shown that he lacks the capacity to resolve all the crisis currently rocking our party in nearly all the states of the federation. Not even personal grudges and rifts between party members, eg Senator Shehu Sani vs. Gov. El rufai in Kaduna, or Senator Kwankwaso vs. Gov Ganduje in Kano, Senator Goje vs. Senator Nafada in Gombe, and lastly the rift between late Chief Audu’s family against Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi state. The crisis rocking the Bayelsa state APC which is also divided against itself as well as Delta, Ondo and Ogun states are visible examples to mention a few.
“In the words of Ola Rotimi in The Gods are not to Blame, ‘When a chameleon brings forth a child, it is not the child that is expected to dance. Yes, the king should act as a king.’ The recent outburst by one of our founding fathers and a National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu against the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun seems to be threatening the smooth sail and peaceful coexistence of our great party the All Progressives Congress (APC) and if nothing is done urgently, them I’m afraid “the pot left on the fire will definitely burn.
“Mr. President sir, the episode of the recent Ondo primaries is just one case too many befalling the APC under the leadership of Chief Oyegun and I’m therefore challenging Chief Oyegun to tell Nigerians if he has been able to mediate over any crisis that has been successful. As far as I am aware, APC under Oyegun has not been able to resolve any crisis in the party since we became the ruling party.
“Mr. President sir, I’m aware you may not have forgotten hurriedly your experience under Chief Oyegun’s chairmanship in the defunct All Nigerians People’s Party (ANPP) that eventually led to the series of events which saw your exit from the party, and this same man is at it again. “It is said that “A stitch in time saves nine”. I recall how we raised similar concerns when the PDP was still PDP under Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. This warnings were of no effect even as things got worse daily; suffice to say that the appeal from party leaders to former President Jonathan to act, yielded no result as he acted rather late and the result is the very obvious which is still bedevilling the PDP up until this day.
“It is no longer news today that so many leaders of the APC are aggrieved as a result of the handling of party affairs by Chief John Oyegun. Injustice has become the order of the day, whilst so many leaders and party faithful might be contemplating an exit from the party if nothing is done urgently to salvage the already sour taste. I’m aware that in a swift reaction to Sen Bola Tinubu’s outburst, former Vice President and chieftain of the APC Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, pointed out vividly that the party leadership is expected to be guided always by respect for the rules, fairness, equity, neutrality and respect for democratic consensus. We must therefore be bold to say that these principles may not be found in the dictionary of Chief Oyegun.
“Six months down the line after the last NEC meeting, Chief John Oyegun has not deemed it necessary to call for either the caucus meeting, BoT, NEC or any other leadership meeting to discuss issues of national importance and those confronting our great party. This clearly is in sharp contrast with the party’s constitution, which states in article 25 b( i) that ‘the National Executive Committee shall meet every quarter and or at any time decided by the national chairman or at the request made in writing by at least two-third of the members of the National Executive Committee provided that not less than fourteen (14) days notice is given for the meeting to be summoned.’
“In the light of the aforesaid therefore, I am appealing to Mr. President to immediately direct Chief John Oyegun to summon an emergency NEC/ BOT and Caucus meeting which will enable the party leadership to sit face to face to confront and resolve all pending issues before our great party, whilst finding a lasting solution, moving forward.
“Finally Mr. President, I am appealing to you that this open letter be treated with all sincerity of purpose to enable us surmount our challenges as a party. It must be noted that with a strong, vibrant and indivisible party, we will together achieve our dream of queuing behind your able leadership in delivering the much needed change to Nigerians. I am therefore optimistic that this open letter will serve as the yardstick of the beginning of new things to come for our great party”.