Erstwhile National Chairman of ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Mr John Odigie-Oyegun has absolved himself of allegations of being behind current travails of his successor, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, describing the former labour leader as a master of the art of deception and author of confusion.
He described the allegations as “ludicrous and infantile” as well as “an attempt to dream up justifications for the failings of the party under Oshiomhole’s chairmanship”.
Since the build up to the June 2018 National Convention of APC and the consequent emergence of Oshiomhole as APC Chair, Odigie-Oyegun had often taken flaks for the numerous problems afflicting the party. While he maintained studied silence all through the period, his reaction on Sunday would be his first formal response to allegations of laying landmines for his successor.
Last Friday, South – South State Chairmen of the party rose in defence of Oshiomhole, faulting the outburst of the party’s Deputy National Chairman, North, Mr Lawali Shuaibu calling on the national chairman to resign.
The communique issued after their meeting on Friday in Abuja was jointly signed by the six South South APC State Chairmen including Mr Ini T. Okopido (Akwa – Ibom), Mr Amos Lalabunafa (Bayelsa State), Mr. John Ochalla (Cross River) and Mr Jones Ode Erue (Delta State). Others were Mr Anselm U. Ojezua (Edo State) and Mr Ojukaye Flag Amachree (Rivers State).
They asserted that, “it was the landmines created by his predecessor who was bent on destroying the party before departing that fueled the unfortunate situation and wondered why Shuaibu is just realizing the issues he raised barely few days after NWC set up a committee to look into petitions against highly placed party stakeholders who were glaringly involved in anti-party activities which was responsible for the loss of the number of states mentioned in his letter vis a – viz the depletion also in the numbers of elected Senators in the just concluded 2019 elections”.
However, in his statement on Sunday signed by his Public Affairs Adviser, Mr Ray Morphy, the former APC national chairman said Oshiomhole continued to falter because he lacked the temperament required to lead a political party in the 21st Century.
“That statement of booby traps is ludicrous and infantile, an attempt to dream up justification for the failings of the party under Oshiomhole’s Chairmanship.
“Oshiomhole fails because he lacks the temperament required to run a political party. He lacks the capacity to manage the different interests and tendencies that constitute a political party”, said Odigie-Oyegun.
While accusing Oshiomhole of always acting according to his whims rather than resolutions of National Working Committee NWC, the statement equally defined the party chairman as one ruled by his tongue rather than his mind.
“He (Oshiomhole) engages his mouth before engaging his mind, so he offends party members; so, how does that constitute booby traps by Oyegun, the erstwhile chairman?
“Already, the Deputy National Chairman, North, has confirmed that Oshiomhole runs the party without recourse to NWC. He acts in direct opposite of decisions taken by NWC. No minutes of NWC meetings which in any event take place outside the party Secretariat”, Odigie-Oyegun stated.
How APC crisis started
He also spoke of how Oshiomhole led the party into its current wave of crises, faulting the indecision of the Chairman with regards to adopting a uniform template for the conduct of the last primaries of the party before the general elections.
“How would you not have crisis in states with the confusion that Oshiomhole created when he gave the states freedom to choose their methods of choosing candidates for elections. Much of the crisis in states arose out of sheer incapacity on the part of the current chairman. How does Oshiomhole’s incapacity become booby traps by Oyegun?
“Many party men were aghast at the unfairness and injustice meted them during the primaries process.
“Oshiomole and his chairmen should leave his predecessor out and face his duties of running the party which seems to be overwhelming him. He should face the dwindling fortunes of the party which he himself created.
“Only a bad carpenter quarrels with his tools. Indeed, Oshiomhole is degrading and demarketing the party. Rather than seek to bring more people on board, he is rather chasing people out of the party with his agbero style of engagement”, the statement added.
Shuaibu had in a six-page letter last week detailed how the party had lost much of its fortunes and thrown into crisis as a result of the leadership style of Oshiomhole. He asked the national chairman to honourably resign and save the party of a possible implosion.
Since then, several stakeholders had weighed in, with members of National Executive Committee who are national officers of the party seeking an urgent interface with the NWC to find ways of resolving all issues.