A stalwart of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Bayelsa State, Perekeme Kpodo, on Thursday, called for the immediate resignation of the party’s National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun.
Mr Kpodo, a former interim chairman of APC in Bayelsa, said Mr Oyegun should leave the party’s exalted office for negligence of his duties and sowing a seed of discord among notable members of the party.
He said Oyegun was the brains behind previous attempts to sideline a known pillar of APC and former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, from the activities of the party and the Federal Government.
He said the national chairman tried to underplay the roles of Mr Tinubu in the birth of APC and his invaluable contributions to the party’s victory at the 2015 general elections.
Mr Kpodo, who spoke with The Nation in Yenagoa, Bayelsa, said that the way Mr Oyegun had carried on with the affairs of the party after the victory of APC in the elections was an indication that he contributed nothing in the electioneering that led to the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He insisted that after the victory, Oyegun could not manage the success of the APC, but instead promoted selfish agenda that threw the party into avoidable crisis.
He said: “Tinubu is one of those, who masterminded the victory of the APC. He is the party’s think-tank. It is public knowledge. He spent money, struggled and did the brainwork with some of his associates and allies.
“President Muhammadu Buhari also joined the train with his political associates. Their hard work led to the formation of this party.
“With that force, they grabbed power coupled with the fact that People were tired of PDP because the party was deep into impunity and embezzlement of funds. They were collecting money without hinderances and the former President aided them.
“Everybody hoped on APC to change the impunity. APC came and won. However, the greatest mistake is the party chairman, Oyegun. He couldn’t manage the success of APC. He failed to handle the party the way it was expected of him. Oyegun went to sleep after the victory.
“He couldn’t engage party stakeholders. He couldn’t wade into crisis and settle disputes quickly. He failed to organise meetings, seminars and other programmes to strengthen the party.
“With what has transpired so far, Oyegun spearheaded the attempts of sidelining Tinubu. Tinubu, who did all these good jobs was sidelined from the government. Nobody heard about him. People became surprised.
“Meanwhile Oyegun was the one trying to set confusion between Tinubu and Mr. President. He created an impression that they were quarreling”.
He advised Mr Oyegun to stay on his political lane and admire the sagacity of Mr Tinubu if he could not work with him, noting that trying to ignore the former Lagos governor would spell doom for APC.
He said: “Tinubu delivered almost all the states in the South-West. When we compare Tinubu and Oyegun, we can see the differences in their political values. Tinubu became a governor of Lagos State and since that time we have seen how he has carried the Yoruba race along and how he redefined Lagos.
“He brought in Fashola, Ambode and there has been a progressive programme of continuity in Lagos. If he had been given a better opportunity at the Federal level, this idea would have been integrated into the programmes of the federal government.
“But Oyegun was a governor who did nothing in Edo State. Edo became shambles until he left. When he left, nobody recognised him and he had no followers. He couldn’t even win his unit during the last election. If not for former Governor Oshiomole, APC would have been disgraced in that election”.
Mr Kpodo, however, commended Buhari for speaking out against the “arbitrary tenure elongation” of Oyegun and bringing Tinubu to reconcile the grievances in APC.
“We thank God that the President realized on time that we have to go back to the old structures. He called Tinubu back realising that without him this party is finished”, he said.
But he said Oyegun should leave the stage for working against the reconciliation efforts of Tinubu and challenging the the President’s position on tenure elongation.