The national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC),Chief John Odigie Oyegun, has accused Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Lagos state governor, of making reckless and false statements against him.
Oyegun’s statement comes less than 72 hours after he held a private meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Rock.
The outcome of the Ondo state primary election had sparked rift between Tinubu and Oyegun.
Tinubu demanded his resignation, alleging that he manipulated the primary in favour of Rotimi Akeredolu.
Back then when he was asked to react, Oyegun had described Tinubu as “a well-respected leader”, saying he would not be part of issues with him.
But in a statement on Friday, Oyegun made a turnaround, and said it was an insult on the intelligence of the national working committee (NWC) members to be accused of rigging.
“Recently, the media office of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu recklessly and falsely accused me of being corrupt, rigging the result of the 2016 Ondo State APC governorship election primary and overruling the party’s national working committee (NWC) vote on the 2016 Ondo state APC governorship primary election appeal committee report,” Oyegun’s statement read.
“In view of the misinformation and false reports that are fed to the media and that have pervaded the public house, there is need to set the records straight.
“The media workplace of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in its statement alleged that I overruled the NWC’s vote of ‘six against five’ in favour of cancelling the primary election results and conducting another primary.
“According to the minutes of the 18th emergency meeting of the APC NWC held from Monday 19th September 2016 to Thursday 22nd September 2016 at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, there was absolutely no meeting that I chaired that voted in the manner alleged.
“Clearly, the report on that the media office of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu acted was an idea of someone’s wild imagination.
“On Thursday 22nd September 2016 being the final day for submission of candidate by political parties, the NWC mentioned the chance of choice having finished deliberation on the 2016 Ondo state APC situation election attractiveness committee report as a result of members in support of cancelling the first results were still strident in their position.
“A member of the NWC however, drew the attention of the meeting to its previous decision in which the report of the primary election committee was adopted while the appeal committee was put aside.”
He explained that the delegate list was compiled in strict compliance with the party’s constitution, stating that only qualified people were included in it.
“The media office of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in its statement alleged that I used a ‘prayer interlude’ which I initiated to ‘discreetly excuse’ myself from the NWC meeting to submit the name of Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu to INEC as the candidate of the party,” Oyegun added.
“The allegation is high imagination and an insult to the intelligence and sensibility of the respected NWC members present at the meeting. We do not and have never engaged in prayer interludes/sessions outside the usual opening and closing prayers. The prayer that is being referred to must be the closing prayer for the meeting.”
Furthermore, Oyegun appealed to the party’s leaders to explore internal dispute resolution mechanisms in addressing their perceived grievances “instead of resorting to the media to vent their anger”.
“The APC national leadership remains solidly and united committed to the task of winning the Ondo state situation election to save the people of the state from the misrule of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).”