- Oyegun, the sacrificial lamb for Buhari’s ambition
By Ehi Ekhator
Two previous governors of Edo State Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole have been entrapped in a current struggle over who to be the next National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Oyegun had effectively driven the party to triumph in the 2015 general race which unseated the former President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; he has worked next with the President Muhammadu Buhari and complied with all his orders.
In many situations, he had assumed liability for the directions he completed for the benefit of Buhari who is at present seeking for a re-decision.
Another political mammoth who played a huge part in the rise of Buhari is a former governor of Lagos State, Mr. Bola Tinubu who after the 2015 general decision felt deserted by the President and his cabals.
Despite the attempt to control the crisis, their forms of non-verbal communication dialects exposed the coldness and Tinubu’s despondency debilitated the power of the President, meanwhile, Buhari relied on the National Chairman, Oyegun. The internal caucus of the party was divided between Buhari/Oyegun and Tinubu’s camp and their supporters took sides as appropriate.
Oyegun’s problem escalated after Tinubu accused him of sabotaging his efforts to lead the APC consultation, reconciliation and confidence-building assignment. Tinubu expressed disappointment at the alleged damaging action which was contrary to the assurance he had given him when they met.
The letter which was written on February 21 duplicated Mr. President, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki and the speaker of the House of Assembly, Yakubu Dogara.
The letter particularly blamed the national chairman for rotting the crisis through one-sided choices with respect to the emergencies in the Kogi, Kaduna and Adamawa chapters of the party which he asserted undermined his power as the leader of the reconciliation team.
“Disappointment greeted me when I discovered that you had swiftly acted in contravention of the spirit of our discussions,” wrote Mr. Tinubu. “Instead of being a bulwark of support as promised, you positioned yourself in active opposition to the goal of resuscitating the progressive and democratic nature of APC.”
“You have taken it as your own personal ambition to thwart my presidential assignment in these key states.“While this may place you in (a) significant affinity with those parallel officials you handpicked, this machination suggests no improvement in the welfare of the party in Kogi or at the national level
“You had let this situation fester for months on end. Only when I was appointed to help resolve internal disputes and when you realized I might focus early on Kogi, did you stir from your indifference and inaction.”
The letter came at the time Tinubu and the President were attempting to deal with their disparities ahead of the 2019 race. Some political experts opined that the task was Buhari’s method for guaranteeing Tinubu that despite everything, he has confidence in his ability and still required his support.
Oyegun’s reaction to Tinubu’s missive did not deny the allegation but rather consoled the national leader that he trusted his abilities to settled the interior grievances.
The letter dated February 23 reads: “I thank you for your letter dated February 21, 2018, for your prayers and good wishes for my health. I wish you the same and pray that our good God keeps you strong and grants you His peace
He added, “Let me once again formally congratulate you on the peacemaking assignment Mr. President has entrusted you with. It is most challenging but I believe you will ultimately justify the confidence reposed in you by Mr President. In this, you have my fullest support”.
The inside war proceeded as President Buhari stayed mum on what turned out badly between his two trusted men. As the President transparently proclaimed to rerun for the second term race, clearly Buhari’s attempt to reassured Tinubu that he is still loyal implies sacrificing his national chairman.
Oyegun VS Oshiomhole
Before Adams Oshiomhole handover his position as a governor, he had thought of his next line of action which was to go for the seat of the Chairmanship. This choice prompted the suspension of the then state publicity secretary Comrade Godwin Erhahon who was rebuffed for warning Buhari against the former labour Chairman.
Erhahon pulled in the mallet of Oshiomhole’s supporters amid an interview with Tell Magazine where he was said to have caution President Buhari against supplanting the National Chairman of the party, Odigie-Oyegun.
On December 30, 2016, the party suspended the spokesman for what it portrayed as demonizing statement against Oshiomhole. It could be reviewed that those aware of the 2011 Presidential race believed that Oshiomhole worked against President Buhari’s aspiration.
An APC Chieftain in Edo State who would not like to be named over the sensitivity of the issue revealed to NAIJA CENTER NEWS that the essential issue amongst Oshiomhole and the party National Chairman is the Comrade’s ambition that knows no bound.
“No other fight between them. Just the desperation of Oshiomhole for power. Remember the former Edo State Publicity secretary of APC Comrade Godwin Erhahon protested against Oshiomhole’s plot to replace Oyegun since December 2016 and he was removed for daring to say so. Erhahon is now vindicated.
“Nigerian politics being a game of intrigues not favourable to honest men, today Buhari is lifting Oshiomhole high but living Erhahon who has been with him since 2003 out of his government. The righteous can only trust in God.
“Our only appeal to Buhari is that he should not abandon those who have suffered with him from 2003-2015 at the mercy of Comrade Oshiomhole, his latter day friend who doesn’t want to see those who opposed him for working against Buhari during 2011 elections. It is ungodly for any leader to forget his days of humble beginnings.
“Oshiomhole’s over ambition is the problem. Oyegun is too gentle to want to fight back.” The source said.
Another Chieftain of the party from the camp of the National Chairman disclosed to NAIJA CENTER NEWS that Oyegun’s present issue is because of the warning issued to Buhari by Bola Tinubu. Buhari is at present compelled to either hold Oyegun or be prepared to watch his political monster, (Tinubu) forsakes him in 2019 general decision.
“We learnt that Asiwaju Bola Tinibu threatened Buhari that he with his followers would dump APC if Oyegun is retained as National Chairman. Not that Oyegun has disappointed Buhari in anyway. But I don’t think the u-turn by the President will threaten the chances of APC in the forthcoming elections.” He disclosed.
Another source who is closed to Oyegun affirmed that Tinubu is in charge of the present travail of the National Chairman. He be that as it may, said Oyegun isn’t pestered as it remained his decision to challenge or stay away from the convention to abstain from conflicting with Buhari’s decision.
He said “It is evident Tinubu is dependable. Oyegun isn’t prepared to battle conflict with Buhari’s decision. It is genuine Oyegun has made a wide discussion yet he doesn’t know what to do with it since the President is reported to have taken side”
Oyegun who spoke with NAIJA CENTER NEWS yesterday said he was not ready to discuss the issue, he however, assured that he will talk in details when the time was right.
“I am not ready to talk on the issue, I have your number and I will call you for a details discussion when the time is right,” he said..
Buhari held a meeting with the APC governors on Wednesday where he was reported to have ordered them to back Oshiomhole against his vigorous follower, Oyegun.
A Presidential source who disclosed to Punch Newspaper in anonymity said “The President called this meeting with the APC governors to ask them to back Oshiomhole’s candidature. That’s the purpose of the meeting administration that is the President’s position.”
This activity additionally brace the theory that Buhari has been made to either keep Oyegun or lose Tinubu and his devotees ahead of the 2019 presidential race.
Buhari resembles Isaac in the book of scriptures who needed to murder a sheep so as to keep his lone child, Isaac. Oyegun remained the symbol of atonement for Buhari to keep his very regarded National Leader ahead of the 2019.
In any case, the issue had additionally deepened the internal crisis of the APC as individuals faithful to Oyegun are disintegrating why many took to social media to express their dismay.
An Edo based group, Edo United League buried a void coffin on Tuesday to caution Oshiomhole against selling out his Edo kinsman. The group took to spiritual as it said it couldn’t trust Oshiomhole who misled Buhari to commission an unfilled building he asserted was five star central hospital.
The confidence of the National Chairman is at present obscure as his definitive supporter appear to dance to the drum of the mightier. The present u-turn by Buhari is an overwhelming blow on Oyegun’s trust in his triumph in the coming convention to be held May 14.
If Oyegun is no longer a companion of Tinubu and his lone expectation which is the President has quite recently sacrificed him to keep his Presidential office, there is the likelihood that the National Chairman may have lost the war, Oshiomhole’s long time dream at last materializes and Tinubu finally gets his revenge.