National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Oyegun yesterday reacted to the call for his resignation by the party’s national deputy publicity secretary, Comrade Timi Frank on the unimpressive outcome of the National Assembly leadership election, saying Frank acted in ignorance.
It will be recalled that Frank on Monday accused the chairman of complicity in the mock election that produced Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as the party’s official candidates for Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively.
Recall also that both men failed to clinch the position as they were beaten by Senator Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogora who sponsored themselves in the elections.
He said that Oyegun was under pressure to do the biddings of the powerful in the party, stressing that his compromises cost the party the position of the deputy senate president which the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP grabbed at the expense of APC.
But speaking to Vanguard yesterday in Abuja, the chairman said that Frank acted in error.
Oyegun added that he was not under any kind of pressure to conduct the election, saying that as the national chairman of the party, it was incumbent on him to moderate various interests that emerged during the time of the election.
He said: “It is neither here nor there. That’s his opinion and views. And I suppose he’s entitled to them. But I read the statement. He’s not a member of the National Working Committee (NWC). He’s a member of NEC alright. But not of the National Working Committee. So, it is neither here not there.
“When things happen, people look for scapegoats and it is a pity that he told the press instead of coming to say, look, chairman, what happened? How did things go the way they did? He might have just benefited from the education.
“I was not under any pressure in the sense that he’s taking it but a party chairman is constantly under pressure especially when the time comes for dividing the spoils of office, naturally, people of different interest, it is for the national chairman to moderate all these interests. And usually not everybody will be pleased. One way or the other, whatever decision you take, somebody is bound to be unhappy. That’s the way things run.”
Meanwhile, a group under the aegis of Fresh Hope for Nigeria, FHN, has lambasted the deputy national publicity secretary of APC, Timi Frank for calling for the resignation of the party’s national chairman.
The group which said that Frank had no reason to “attack” the chairman also stated that he was not a member of the NWC.
National coordinator of the group, Comrade Tamuno Banigo said in Abuja that Frank erred in attacking the leadership of his party on the pages of newspapers.
Accruing to Banigo, what Oyegun did was to harmonize the interests with a view to presenting particular consensus candidates for the elections instead of going into the elections with legions of candidates.
“He has even gone ahead to call himself a member of the National Working Committee, this is a lie, Timi Frank should not continue to confuse the members of the public. He is not known as a member of NWC. Nobody is allowed to dictate for the party on how that should be done. This is what the party feels it owe its members and we will continue to do that.”
“The chairman of a big party like APC is always under pressure from the all interest groups but his job is to manage such pressure and be able to come up with what is in the best interest of the party. Different people want different things but the job of the chairman is to moderate to get what is the best for the party”, Banigo said.