Oyegun Replies Tinubu On Ondo Election

APC National Chairman, John Oyegun
APC National Chairman, John Oyegun

National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, John Oyegun, has finally articulated a formal response to accusations of corruption leveled against him by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the party, on the controversial governorship primary election in Ondo State.

In a statement released on Friday, Oyegun stated that he wished to clear the misinformation and falsehood that have characterized the outcome of the primary election, as well as set the records straight.

The result of that election had thrown the APC into a serious leadership crisis, notably between Oyegun and former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, with the latter calling for the former’s resignation.

The APC national chairman said Tinubu’s claim that he (Oyegun) overruled the NWC’s vote of “six against five” in favour of cancelling the primary election results and conducting another primary, was false, as no such vote was held during the NWC meeting.

“There was absolutely no meeting which I chaired that voted in the manner alleged. Clearly, the report on which the media office of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu acted was a figment of someone’s wild imagination,” he stated.

Oyegun explained that he had only ruled to uphold an earlier decision of the NWC not to cancel the Ondo primaries.

He also denied Tinubu’s allegation that “over 150 valid delegates (in Ondo State) were excised to make room for an equal number of impostors”.

“The Ondo State approved delegates list was compiled in strict compliance with the Party’s constitution. Only qualified delegates were included in the list,” he maintained, adding that even the appeal committee could not prove otherwise.

On the allegation that he had used a “prayer interlude” to “secretly excuse” himself from the NWC meeting in order to submit Akeredolu’s name to INEC, Oyegun said that the claim was “high fiction 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,” he clarified.

Tinubu in his letter to Oyegun had also implied that the national chairman must have been bribed when he stated that “Oyegun has dealt a heavy blow to the very party he professes to lead. It is an awful parent who suffocates his own child for the sake of a few naira.”

To this Oyegun replied: “This reckless and baseless corruption allegation levelled against me is unfortunate and an insult to my person and my hard-earned reputation which I have strongly maintained.

“Nobody has the kind of money that can buy my conscience or make me do injury to an innocent man.

“In all the primaries conducted under my watch as National Chairman, I have strived to ensure a free, fair, transparent and credible process. The 2016 Ondo State APC Governorship Primary Election was not an exception.”

The APC chairman further explained that “The NWC in its four-point resolution rejected the Appeal Committee’s recommendation (to cancel the Ondo Primary polls) on the grounds that the report was fundamentally and fatally flawed.”

He wondered why the Appeal Committee, after admitting in its report that ‘there may have been substantial compliance in the conduct of the exercise’, still proceeded to recommend the nullification of the Primary election.



    Also, Oyegun said the Appeal committee, during its hearings, did not invite the party’s National Secretary to authenticate the delegate list used in the primary election, neither did it invite the chairman or members of the Primary election committee, which was headed by Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State.

    Oyegun also said that the NWC could not have called for a fresh primary as time could not have permitted that.

    “By the timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), all governorship primaries and issues related ended on September 19, 2016,” he pointed out.

    He urged leaders of the party to “explore internal dispute resolution mechanisms in addressing their perceived grievances” before going to the media, adding that the party’s leadership was committed to the task of winning the Ondo state governorship election so as “to save the people of the state from the misrule of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.”

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