SENATE CRISIS: OYEGUN’S FATE SHAKY AS APC CAUCUS MEETS

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• Chief John Odigie-Oyegun’s political future is hanging in the balance.
TheAll Progressives Congress (APC) chairman should step down, some forces within the party are pushing, ahead of tomorrow’s meeting of the National Caucus Committee.
Odigie-Oyegun’s offence, sources said at the weekend, is his perceived failure to nip in the bud the National Assembly crisis that has shaken the party so much.
Most of the APC governors, some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) and party elders are unhappy that Odigie-Oyegun allowed the “crisis to fester”.
They alleged that his “slow pace” attitude emboldened Senate President Bukola Saraki and House Speaker Yakubu Dogara to “negotiate” with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members.
The delay in sending the list of APC nominees for principal offices in the Senate and the House of Representatives has fuelled the anger against Odigie-Oyegun.
Party leaders are divided on whether to retain Odigie-Oyegun or dump him.
A source, who briefed some reporters in Abuja on the situation in the party and the backlash of the crisis in the National Assembly, said there was apprehension in APC that if the chairman remained in office, it might collapse.
The source cited two instances where Odigie-Oyegun failed to be “decisive” on the choice of principal officers in the National Assembly.
The source alleged that the chairman was virtually forced to hold the mock elections that elected Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as the party’s choices for Senate President and House Speaker.
It also took the intervention of the APC governors before he could send the list of party nominees for some principal posts to Saraki and Dogara.
The source added: “There is much anger in the party against Oyegun. Many leaders have accused him of being indecisive or afraid to take the right decision.
“It is as if the man has no backbone or self-respect. When he should move, he sits down. When he should talk, he is mute. When he should make a decision, he sleeps and after finally making a decision, he takes days to implement something that could be done in minutes.
“After Saraki and Dogara rebelled by aligning with PDP National Assembly members, Oyegun remained strangely mum and unmoved to the harm being done to his and the party’s authority. ‘He took the rebuff too lightly and quickly as if he almost welcomed it.’
“It was only after APC governors intervened and applied heavy pressure that he wrote a letter to the Senate President and House Speaker naming the party’s choices for majority leader and the other posts.
“Even then, the letter was half-hearted, oddly brief and strangely passive in tone. It was as if he wrote it under compulsion because he had been boxed into a corner by the governors and not by conviction. Once again, Saraki and Dogara rebuffed him and once again Oyegun took the insult as if he asked for it.”
Also, a member of NEC said: “What happened in the National Assembly was a pure case of failure of leadership by the National Chairman.
“Certainly, his lapse is one of the major issues we will discuss at the National Caucus meeting in Abuja and later at our NEC session.
“We are all disappointed and feel betrayed by Oyegun because he refused to take action at the right time even when President Muhammadu Buhari said he would leave the party to resolve the logjam in the National Assembly.”
-The Nation

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