Lagos APC spokesman tackles Odigie-Oyegun on Ondo primaries, says party chair erred by acting unilaterally


Spokesman of the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Joe Igbokwe, has faulted the handling of the Ondo State governorship primary election’s fallout by the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
He said the party chief erred by sidetracking the views of other members of the National Working Committee (NWC) who reviewed the report of the appeal panel raised to review the controversial primary.
The party’s spokesman alleged that Odigie-Oyegun was economical with the truth in his ‘belated’ explanations on why the leadership chose Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu as the party’s flag bearer in the November 26 governorship poll in the Sunshine State.
According to him, contrary to what is expected of a party leader, the party chairman manipulated the nomination process to favour the former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, who he described as Odigie-Oyegun’s preferred man for the job.
His words: “Odigie-Oyegun approved the use of the tampered delegates’ list. Odigie-Oyegun unilaterally submitted the name of Akeredolu as the party’s candidate, although according to his admission, no vote was held.”
Igbokwe said the chairman’s explanations to justify his actions on the Ondo primary election, the appeal panel report and the NWC decision, were not only belated but full of contradictions.
“The four-day meeting (of NWC) was called specifically to discuss the flawed Ondo primary. Yet, Odigie-Oyegun’s claims that for nearly a week, he did not table a vote for the NWC to clearly decide whether the NWC would attach its official stamp to the flawed primary or reject it.
“Based on his own words, either Odigie-Oyegun admits to being grossly incompetent as a chairman of a national party that he could not steer the NWC to a simple vote or that he was engaged in a game of subterfuge that would not permit a straightforward yes-or-no vote on the central issue.
“If you read Oyegun’s statement, he said that an NWC member mentioned some collateral decision taken by NWC. Odigie-Oyegun said the implication of that prior decision meant that the NWC wanted the primary to stand as it is. Thus, he took it upon himself and ‘ruled’ to uphold the primary result”.
Igbokwe alleged that the fact that Odigie-Oyegun relied on the minutes of the NWC to justify his claim that members did not put the appeal panel recommendation to vote left much to be desired.
He said it was unbelievable that Odigie-Oyegun, who chaired the NWC, had to allude to a minute before recalling what transpired at the meeting.
“If the vote did not take place, why didn’t Odigie-Oyegun just say no vote took place? If he has nothing to conceal, there would be no reason to have to resort to the awkward phrase – ‘according to the minutes of the meeting’”.
Igbokwe alleged that the minute was doctored to justify the steps taken by the party chairman, challenging him to respond to the testimonies of two members of the NWC, Chief Pius Akinyelure (National Vice Chairman, South-West) and Timi Frank (Assistant Publicity Secretary).
His words: “Akinyelure has publicly stated that Odigie-Oyegun and his accomplice, the National Organising Secretary, submitted Akeredolu’s name to INEC in open defiance of the NWC.
“Akinyelure has also stated that majority of the NWC members support his account of events. No wonder that Oyegun did not dare respond to what Akinyelure and Frank, as participants and eyewitnesses, have said of him.”


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