■ How Oyegun survived
More facts have emerged on why former Lagos State governor Bola Tinubu, Interim National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) and erstwhile governor of Osun State Chief Bisi Akande boycotted the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party .
Their absence was not based on illness or permission by the authorities of the party. A member of the National Working Commit¬tee (NWC) who was at the meeting said the former Lagos State governor was aware that there were plans to humiliate him and his henchmen.
“Tinubu knew that some people were pre¬pared to fight him. He would have been hu¬miliated by some people”, the official said.He disclosed that the earlier arrangement was to engage him in a brawl and compel him to leave the venue of the meeting in an¬ger. “Those who were to humiliate him were on ground but his absence saved the day”, the APC chieftain added.
He stated that the party leadership, sensing how rancorous the meeting may be , tinkered with the idea of barring journalists from cov¬ering it.
According to him, the earlier plans were that photojournalists would be given five to 10 minutes to take pictures of the opening session and leave the scene.
He said “we tinkered with the plans of barring journalists from covering the event. We knew that anything could happen but we didn’t want to be ridiculed in the public.”
Prior to the NEC meeting, he disclosed that APC governors had met for some hours at the Imo Lodge, Asokoro to resolve the leadership crisis rocking the National Assembly . The meeting, he said , recorded some successes but could not address all the issues.
“The governors held a meeting on Thurs¬day and brought some good news to the NEC meeting ,” he said
On what transpired at the meeting which started at 11 am and ended a little before 1pm , the APC chieftain said “the meeting was brief. The absence of Tinubu meant that we focused on few issues.”
“After a welcome speech by the Nation¬al Chairman, the President read his speech. The problem bedeviling the party was tabled. We agreed that governors should continue from where they stopped.
“We looked at some allegations against the national chairman and many people believed that he was not guilty of those things they said he did. We decided to pass a vote of confi¬dence on him. We commended Mr President on how far he has handled the affairs of the nation”, he added.
After the meeting, the trio of Oyegun, Sen¬ate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Hon Yakubu Dogara were happy. Saraki said: “You can see from the smiles on everybody’s face. It is a good way to go.”
Imo State governor and Chairman APC Governors Forum, Rochas Okorocha said “Many people think that there will be problems between APC members at this meeting. But I am assuring Nigerians that we have met and discussed what affects all of us and we have understood ourselves. We have also reiterated our support and loyalty for our leadership.
“We are also going to meet on the issue of the National Assembly crisis and it will be re¬solved amicably. So, I can confidently say that the crisis facing the party is almost over now.”
Giving insight into all that happened, Na¬tional Publicity Secretary of APC, Alhaji Lai Muhammad said:”NEC has provided an en¬abling environment to look into ways of re¬solving the National Assembly logjam. Later in the day, the governors will be meeting with the Speaker and the Senate President in a fur¬ther attempt to find lasting solution to the lin¬gering logjam at the National Assembly.
“Also, it is important to let you know that everybody in the party is united on two issues which are party supremacy and the need to ensure that this government delivers its cam¬paign promises.” When asked whether the leadership of the Senate and House of Rep¬resentatives will now consider the position of the party on the selection of principal officers in both chambers of the National Assembly, Mohammed said “I have told you that the NEC has provided a platform to resolve this issue and part of the resolution is the meet¬ing that will be held today (Friday) between the governors, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The president said he believes in party supremacy, we have a problem on our hands and we must find the best means to resolve it. One thing I can assure you is that, this house (the APC) shall not fall.”
Asked to comment on when to draw a line between party’s supremacy and the sanctity of the country’s constitution in the selection of principal officers at the National Assembly, Mohammed said “the less I said about this logjam the better, it’ll not be for only this par¬ty but the whole nation. It is for the interest of everyone who voted for change. I would not want to go into the knitty gritty of what the resolution will be because as I speak for now I don’t know. When you talk about par¬ty’s supremacy, it is derived from the constitu¬tion.” On why notable chieftains of the party like Bola Tinubu and Bisi Akande were ab¬sent from the meeting, he said invitation to the meeting was at the discretion of the NWC on who to invite or not and it is not out of respect to question why they are not here but the bot¬tom line is that neither of them are members of the exco of the party.”
Meanwhile, a detailed picture of how the National Chairman of All Progressives Con¬gress (APC) Chief John Odigie-Oyegun sur¬vived plots to oust him as the boss of the party at yesterday’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party has emerged.
The high profile meeting , the first since the party’s victory in the March 28 presidential poll took place at the APC national secretariat, Wuse, Abuja. It was graced by President Mu¬hammadu Buhari, Governors and other top leaders of the ruling party .
While the meeting was eagerly looked out for by other chieftains of the party, it was not the same for the embattled national chairman whose fate was to be decided at the August gathering.
“Some people wanted to use the meeting to remove him as chairman . The plots have been on since after the election of Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara “, a chieftain of the party who pleaded anonymity said .
It was gathered that chieftain of the party loyal to the national leader and former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu were in the forefront of the move to shove Oyegun aside .
The source said “ those loyal to Senator Tinubu believe that it was time for Oyegun to go. They were not happy with him over the way he handled the National Assembly leadership matter. They thought they could mobilise enough support to force him to tender his resignation before or during the NEC meeting”.
Even Oyegun last Friday at a meeting with South East,South South Professional disclosed the pressure he was going through in the hands of some powerful forces in the party.
He said “There is nothing they have not said about me but when you ask what has the man done, one of their reports said the present executive can not win us elections in 2019. Good Lord! You’ve not even finished with 2015, you’re talking about 2019. They also talked about the elite of the North against the people of the south west, am I from the North, am I the one organising them?”
That the national chairman survived the orchestrated plots to remove him, according to the party chieftain, was by the grace of henchmen of President Buhari and that of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
It was gathered that the President’s men felt that Oyegun had not committed any offence to deserve being asked to resign . They believed that the allegation of being bribed by the Senate President Dr Saraki, one of the reasons adduced by proponents of his removal was not true.
According to the source, Buhari’s men know that former Lagos State governor and his men want Oyegun out because they didn’t succeed in “encircling the President with Tinubu’s men”.
He said “the President’s men refused to buy into the campaign that the National Chairman was compromised by Saraki. They didn’t see any evidence to that effect. Rather they believe that those who want him out were angry that that their agenda of encircling the president failed.
“They were angry that Oyegun was called up at 4am by forces from Lagos to do a dirty job. They even dropped the name of the President in all those dirty jobs. Instead of apologising to Mr President for lying with his name they are insisting that the National Chairman must go.”
He said the party should be “happy that PDP did not elect one of its own senate president. Saraki saved the party because there was nothing we would have done if they had elected one of their own as senate president. They formed a quorum, we were lucky that it did not go into their head to elect one of their own as senate president. And the mistake was because somebody in his desperation to have everything lied that the President called a meeting and took our lawmakers to a place they were not supposed to be.”
On the side of Atiku’s loyalists, it was gathered that they were against the removal of Oyegun because they were determined to cut Tinubu to size.
The source said “the other tendency which is loyal to the former Vice President does not want the structure of the party changed. It is against allowing Tinubu to take everything or call the shot in APC. It believes that the Vice President is a product of Tinubu and that should be enough for him.”
He continued “both Buhari’s men and that of Atiku worked together to save Oyegun. However, I don’t think the fight is over, it may be the beginning”.


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