By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
Ruffed by the recent castigation of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief John Odigie-Oyegun by a national chieftain of the party, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, APC leaders in the South-South geo-political zone have risen in defence of the national chairman, describing the recent attack on him by Tinibu as a ploy to whip up sentiment that would make the national chairman unpopular.
They also accused the former Lagos State governor of working tooth and nail to cause disunity within the party.
Rising from a meeting in Port Harcourt on Saturday, the leaders who described the allegations as “unimaginable, unthinkable and cheap propaganda” said Tinubu and his collaborators were executing a plan to discredit and hang Oyegun.
“It’s obvious that the intention of Tinubu and his associates is to destroy Oyegun completely apparently because they consider him an obstacle in their life mission to control the machinery of the party and its members” the leaders alleged.
They fired shot at those calling for Oyegun’s resignation, describing the call as an irresponsible vendetta.
The leaders accused the former Lagos State governor of resorting to cheap blackmail, blatant lies and diversionary tactics.
“We perceive the attack on Oyegun as a political showdown to settle political scores”
In a statement in Port-Harcourt, the leaders acknowledged Tinubu’s role in the emergence of Oyegun as national chairman, expressing surprise at the action of the former Lagos State governor.
In a statement signed by the Chairman of APC, South-South Leaders Forum, Chief John Harry, the leaders urged Tinubu not to scuttle the ship of APC progress in the country.
They praised Oyegun for his dynamic leadership, outstanding contribution and commitment to the development of the party and the country.
“Tinubu is the arrow head of a dark and abhorrent conspiracy meant to destroy the national chairman at all cost”.
“We as a people cannot but admire a man of Oyegun’s style, capacity and stature. We identify with him” they said.
They commended Oyegun for stamping his unique leadership style in the management of the party,his roles in the change going on in the party and the steps that are essential to its future.
“His life is a flowing tribute to excellence. He believes in the enthronement of good and quality leadership” they said.
“John Odigie Oyegun is humble, gentle and genial to the core. He is also honest, kind and selfless. He has taken principled positions on a wide range of party issues. His leadership style has earned him the gratitude and admiration of many while his conviction and willingness to speak out with a clear voice make him the best national chairman in the country”
“The national chairman has been an outstanding beacon of reason and understanding of Nigeria’s government and politics. He has helped to reshape party politics in the country. His outstanding leadership is appreciated by Nigerians from all walks of life” the group said.
The leaders hailed the Edo governorship election, describing Obaseki’s victory as a sign of further success of the party in the country.
They also berated the Deputy national Publicity Secretary of the party, Comrade Timi Frank, others for blackmailing Oyegun.
The group appealed to former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and others to support Oyegun in his determination to consolidate the party in the struggle to capture power in Ondo State.
They assured party faithful that the national chairman would not be distracted in his God assigned role of developing the party and working for the change agenda of the Buhari administration in the country.
“Chief Oyegun has never acted against the party’s interests” the leaders said.
“Timi and his associates represent everything that must not be seen in a democratic organization. They do not mean well for APC” the statement said.
“Oyegun remains a democrat who values the unity, stability and orderly development of the APC” the leaders said.