Nigeria’s Democracy Has Moved Backward From June 12, Says Oyegun

John Oyegun

 

Former chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Oyegun, has said that Nigeria’s democracy has moved backward from the June 12 era.

“To my mind, we have moved backward from June 12 in terms of our appreciation, practice, and acceptance of true democracy.

“I believe it is a process, we have made mistakes, we are learning and we are lucky that today we have a President like Muhammadu Buhari, he has led the benchmark.”

READ ALSO: It Is Not Enough To Declare June 12 Democracy Day Atiku

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Lunchtime Politics Programme, Mr. Oyegun commended the president for rebuilding the nation and stabilising the economy in the last four years of his administration.

“We’ve been through a bad path, again the fortune of having President Muhammadu Buhari.

“He has spent four years stabilising the economy, rebuilding the foundation of this nation.

“He has spent four years putting in place the structures that will propel us forward in this second term.”

The former APC chairman emphasised that the President has rebuilt and stabilised the economy, which has put the country in a situation to move forward.

He admitted that certain issues are still affecting the country’s development and progress such as poverty, unemployment, insecurity among others.

Mr Oyegun also assured Nigerians that the next four years will be better than the previous years which other administrations can continue from where he stopped.

 

APC Says Oyegun’s Tenure ‘Accommodated Impunity’

Your Regime Accommodated Impunity, APC Slams Oyegun
A file photo of former APC National Chairman, John Oyegun.

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has criticised its former national chairman, John Oyegun, over alleged comments that the party is failing under the leadership of Mr Adams Oshiomhole.

In a statement on Tuesday by its Assistant Director of Publicity, Edegbe Odemwingie, the APC said Oyegun who was the party’s chairman during the 2015 elections until June 2018 accommodated impunity as certain members appeared to be superior to the party.

“Let me agree that the NWC that led the party into the 2015 general elections and continued till June 2018 did nothing different from what you would find in PDP,” Odemwingie claimed.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Tijjani Muhammad-Bande Elected UNGA President

He added, “It was a period the party was seen as a mere vehicle to attain political office.

“The system accommodated impunity as certain members appeared to be superior to the party.

“Their interests were far more important than the collective interests of the APC, even when most times such interests are at variance with the ideals the party stand for.”

Odemwingie explained the events that led to the leadership of the 8th Assembly, and how it ‘ridiculed’ the APC.

He said, “You would recall that it was under that leadership that some impudent members of APC called the bluff of the party by imposing themselves on the National Assembly as leaders contrary to the position of the party.

“Where was the party? Where was the discipline when this happened?” he questioned.

Mr Oyegun has said that Mr Oshiomhole offended party members and tried to justify failings of the party under his leadership as chairman.

‘I See One Strong Party’: Oyegun Praises Buhari, APC As He Bows Out

 

The outgoing National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Odigie-Oyegun has praised the strength of the party and hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for his performance in office.

“I see one strong party. I see a party of passionate followers who are ready to follow our President because of the principled leadership,” Odigie-Oyegun said during his speech at the APC National Convention in Eagles Square, Abuja on Saturday.

Oyegun, who emerged National Chairman of the party in 2014, also thanked members of the party for giving him the opportunity to serve.

He, however, decried the negative stories, “abuses” and “fake stories” that the Buhari administration has had to contend with.

Despite the obstacles, the APC Chairman believes the President has remained focus and that the party has always stood by the Federal Government.

“ln spite of the crude abuses, insinuations, fake stories that have been hurled in his directions, he has not allowed them to dissuade him in any way or distract him from his course,” Odigie-Oyegun said.

Apart from the President, he also appreciated members of the party for choosing and allowing him to lead them for four years.

“I thank my colleagues of the National Working Committee (NWC), the Chairmen of the various state chapters some of which have returned to the saddle to provide experience for continuity,” Odigie-Oyegun added.

He is optimistic that despite the divergent views in some quarters, party members have always pursued the interest of the party and that of the President.

Oyegun Withdraws From APC Chairmanship Race

Oyegun Withdraws From APC Chairmanship Race
File photo

 

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Oyegun, has officially announced his withdrawal from chairmanship race of the party.

Mr Oyegun announced his decision on Friday in Abuja at an interactive forum with journalists covering the activities of the party.

Ahead of the APC National Convention scheduled to take place on June 23, he explained that his intention not to contest for a second tenure was in the interest of the party.

The APC chairman added that contesting for a second tenure may throw up contentious issues in the party, says such would not augur well for the party in 2019.

He, however, admitted that the party is faced with difficult challenges ahead of the general elections.

With the withdrawal of Mr Oyegun from the APC chairmanship race, former governor of Edo State Adams Oshiomhole remains the only candidate for the office.

Buhari Dines With Tinubu, Oyegun, Other APC Chieftains

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday had a dinner with the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu and national chairman of the ruling party, John Oyegun.

The dinner which was held at the presidential villa had other leaders of the APC in attendance.

READ ALSO: We’ll Not Abandon Leah Sharibu, Says FG

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, former Governor of Osun State, Bisi Akande, former governors of Ekiti State Kayode Fayemi and Segun Oni, among others were at the dinner.

Also at the meeting were some state governors including Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi and Nasarawa State Governor Tanko Al-Makura.

See Photos below…

APC May Grant Waivers To Oyegun, Others To Seek Re-election – Buhari

APC May Grant Waivers To Oyegun, Others To Seek Re-election – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari with Mr John Oyegun at the APC NEC meeting in Abuja on April 9, 2018.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari says the All Progressives Congress (APC) may consider granting waivers to its National Chairman, John Oyegun, and other party executives at all levels when the party holds its convention.

The President said this on Monday at a closed-door meeting of the APC National Executive Committee (NEC) in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

READ ALSO: Buhari Declares Intention To Run For Second Term

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, President Buhari presented a speech on the report submitted by the party’s National Executive Technical Committee which looked into the issue of extension of tenure for Oyegun and others.

He stressed the need for party members to remain united and undivided to ensure the party fulfils its election promises to Nigerians ahead of the general elections in 2019.

“With the present state of the party and based on the report submitted by the Technical Committee, it is important to focus on how to move the party forward by avoiding actions detrimental to the interest of the party.

“Considering that politics is a game of numbers, we must not be a house divided against itself and must try to note, appreciate and accommodate our differences as far as the law permits. Upon my review of the report, my position is to ensure that the party tows the path of unity, legality and cohesion and not that of division,” the President said.

He further called on APC faithful to strengthen the party’s internal democracy by organising congresses and convention where election of NEC members would be held.

Waivers Guaranteed?

President Buhari believes such steps would automatically end the cases filed by members seeking orders of the court compelling the party to hold its congresses, adding that the current executives should be free to vie for elective positions in the party if they so wish as permitted by the party’s constitution.

Considering the provision of Article 31(1)(iii) of the APC Constitution which requires any serving officer desirous of seeking re-election to resign from office 30 days before an election, he was doubtful of the practicality of present serving officers’ ability to meet the condition.

Accordingly, the President noted that the APC might grant waivers to party executives to ensure they are not disenfranchised from participating in the elections, provided it does not violate the party’s rules.

“Necessary waiver(s) should also be extended to executives at the ward level whose tenures may have elapsed, and indeed to anyone knocking at our doors from other political parties.

“This is in the spirit of the Right to Freedom of Association guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended),” he explained.

President Buhari further challenged the party to officially issue a statement on the waivers and warned members not to be ignorant of the journey ahead of them.

He also urged them to strive to remain united in their purpose, stressing the need for collaborative efforts to sanitise Nigeria’s political environment.

The President asked members to continue to conduct themselves without rancour and thanked members of the Technical Committee for a job well done within the limited time frame.

Consequently, President Buhari declared his intention to seek re-election, saying the decision was in response to the clamour by Nigerians to recontest in 2019.

APC Is Back As One United Family, Says Oyegun

APC Is Back As One United Family, Says Oyegun
File photo

 

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Oyegun, says the ruling party is back in business as one united family.

Mr Oyegun said this while addressing reporters on Wednesday in Abuja, after meeting with five governors from the ruling party.

READ ALSO: APC Is Passing Through Death Throes – PDP

Ahead of the 2019 elections, he said the APC has resolved the issues threatening the unity of its members in the country.

“We are back in business as one united and happy family,” Oyegun said. “I want to say to you with absolute satisfaction, absolute pride that all the issues that you have been commenting about in the last two days, have been completely and totally resolved.”

The governors are part of the technical committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to look into the issue of tenure extension for the APC National Chairman and other members.

They, however, supported the President who had rejected the extension of tenure for the party’s officials and are expected to submit the report of their findings by Thursday.

The governors are Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, Simon Lalong of Plateau, Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, and Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a swipe at the ruling party over the tenure extension among other issues affecting the party.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP accused the APC of passing through death throes and pre-election trauma.

It also claimed that the alleged confusion, backstabbing and vicious scheming in the ruling party had proven that the APC has become politically decapitated.

APC Caucus Meeting Addressed Issues Of True Federalism – Oyegun

APC Caucus meeting.

 

National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Oyegun, has said that issues relating to true federalism were addressed at the Party’s national caucus meeting which took place on Monday in Abuja.

After the closed-door meeting which lasted for over three hours, the party chairman told journalists that contrary to speculations that the meeting addressed a court case instituted against him by some aggrieved members of the party, they discussed other more important issues.

“It’s a meeting to conclude the agenda we started the last time we met which we didn’t complete.

“Today we’re discussing true federalism and something a lot more serious. Why should we be discussing court cases, courts are for lawyers and lawyers will go there, not here.

“Move forward, that belongs to history,” he told journalists who asked about the calls for his removal.

Also speaking, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, noted that the meeting was an opportunity to prepare for the National Executive Council Meeting holding on Tuesday.

“We had a good meeting and we deliberated on a number of issues which had to do with the Constitution which are very important issues and to prepare for NEC tomorrow,” he said.

The meeting which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari also had the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara in attendance.

Others present included the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, members of the cabinet and APC national working committee, governors and other party chieftains.

Buhari’s Administration Delivering On Promises Despite Challenges, Says Oyegun

 

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun says despite the challenges experienced by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration it has still been able to deliver on its election promises.

He said one of the major promises of the APC – the fight against corruption; is being won to the extent that it can no longer be a threat to the national economy, where it becomes an acceptable way of life, of doing business.

According to a statement signed by the APC’s Assistant Director of Publicity, Edegbe Odemwingie, Oyegun made this known on Tuesday when he received the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger, Dr. Abubakar Dzukogi and the management team of the polytechnic at the Party’s secretariat.

“I am particularly pleased by your recognition that in spite of difficulties, challenges the government of the APC is delivering on its promises to the Nigerian people. That is important for me and I really see this award as coming to me on behalf of the government and party. It is the passionate leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari that has made it impossible for opponents to distract and derail the administration.

“Yes, there are still challenges in the land, there is no question about it and as you rightly said, we took over in very difficult circumstances including a fundamental problem of the collapse of the price of crude oil.

“Conditions were such that we needed an extraordinary man of courage to be able to lead the country out of the crisis that we inherited to the increasing economic stability and progress which this nation clearly is beginning to attain,” he said.

In the area of security, the APC National hairman noted that the administration has recorded successes particularly in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists which have been limited to attacks on soft targets.

“What is clear is that Boko Haram has been degraded to the extent that they do not occupy any inch of Nigerian territory where it can raise its flag.” he said

He also highlighted successes the administration has recorded in the area of infrastructure and the fight against corruption.

“On infrastructure, a lot of beautiful work is going on, particularly on the railway system. You cannot carry meaningful development on trucks on the highways. Development has to be carried on the back of a modern railway system and the president has made that a top priority and today we can say on the implementation platform is 5000 km of modern standard gauge railway that will cut across the length and breadth of this country.

“On corruption, we all know that corruption is fighting back. But it is not a problem you fight with a flick of a switch, because corruption is very rich, corruption is very wealthy, corruption is very elitist, they are bound to fight back and they are fighting back. But thank God we have a president who is single-minded about taming that scourge and tame it we will. We know now that corruption is not as brazen as it was,” he stated.

Also during the visit, Oyegun was informed of his nomination for a fellowship award and invitation to the 15th combined convocation ceremony of the Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger, scheduled for March 28, 2018.

The Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr. Abubakar Dzukogi said the nomination was informed by many successes recorded by the APC-led administration.

While hailing the APC National Chairman for leading the Party to the 2105 presidential election victory and successive electoral successes, the Rector described Oyegun as a “master strategist”.

“We have taken into consideration, your contribution to education generally, both in and outside government. But more significantly, being a national chairman of a party that brought in this government, it wasn’t an easy task but you succeeded because you are a master strategist. Having put in place this government, the government has been doing wonderfully well to the acceptance and admiration of Nigerians,” he stated.

APC Crisis: Buhari Meets With Oyegun After Tinubu’s Letter

APC Crisis: Buhari Meets With Oyegun After Tinubu's Letter
File photo: President Buhari and Mr Oyegun

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has met with the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Oyegun, behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Mr Oyegun declined to brief State House correspondents on his mission to the President but some of those who saw him said he walked briskly out of the Villa on Friday.

The APC Chairman’s visit may not be unconnected to the letter written to him by one of the party leaders, Senator Bola Tinubu, who accused him of sabotaging his reconciliation assignment in the party.

READ ALSOBuhari Appoints Tinubu To Lead APC Reconciliation

President Buhari, as well as the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki; and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, Mr Tinubu, were copied in the letter.

The President had appointed Mr Tinubu on February 6 to resolve disagreements among APC members, party leadership and political office holders in the country.

The APC Governors’ Forum had also commended the appointment, saying it was a welcome development that would help to strengthen the party.

Tinubu, however, claimed that Oyegun has personal qualms with him and accused him of seeking to undermine his mandate by engaging in dilatory tactics.

The letter read in part: “My position was and is that we can only restore the party by resolving its current deficiencies in an unbiased, neutral manner that allows us to strengthen our internal democracy by annealing those internal institutions and processes vital to such internal fairness. I stated this position then and still hold to it with all sincerity.

“Yet, disappointment greeted me when I discovered out that you had swiftly acted in contravention of the spirit of our discussions. 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 the APC. As a party, we have strived to be the best, present hope for the nation…

“In our discussion, you personally mentioned Kogi, Kaduna, Kano and Adamawa States as places afflicted by serious party issues. Given your assessment, these were states where I believed cooperation between you and I should have been intense and detailed. Instead, you have taken it as your personal mission to thwart my presidential assignment in these key states.”

Oyegun Sets Up Committee To Resolve Kogi APC Crisis

Oyegun Sets Up Committee To Resolve Kogi APC Crisis

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun, has inaugurated a reconciliation committee for the Kogi State chapter of the party.

The seven-man committee is chaired by retired General Idris Garba while the party’s Deputy National Secretary, Honourable Victor Giadom, is the secretary.

Its members are Mr Don Etiebet, Honourable Patricia Etteh, retired Group Captain Rufai Garba, Mr Umar Lawan Kareto, and retired Group Captain Joe Orji.

Speaking on Monday during the inauguration ceremony at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja, Oyegun thanked members of the committee for agreeing to serve the party.

He said the party’s leadership wanted peace and settlement in its Kogi State chapter, noting that they were ready to give every possible opportunity for a settlement.

We Want Peace In Kogi State

In a statement issued by the party, Oyegun explained, “What triggered the events in Kogi was very tragic in their nature. So for us as a party, we are bending over backwards to say, ‘yes we understand your feelings’.

“We understand what you have been through, we understand the work that you have put in to get the APC elected; we understand also that God who disposes of power, brought somebody at the last minute to be the beneficiary of all the work and labour that everybody obviously has put in.

“So we are bending over backwards and we have assembled this very top-level team so that those on the ground there will see that we mean everything we say when we say ‘we want peace in Kogi state’. So your responsibility is a very great one.

“Fortunately, we had a fact-finding committee that has done a lot of the basic work and submitted a report which will be made available to the reconciliation committee. We know the principal parties in the various groups in Kogi; we know what their grievances are.

“So the issue now is really to call just the principal groups and say look, this has to stop, how do we go about it? The governor of course will be there to say his piece and give you all the assistance necessary to make your task successful.

“We want peace in Kogi state; events there have been very unusual but like I said, given the emotive nature of the event that led to it, we have decided to stretch the opportunities for reaching peace.”

In his response, General Garba thanked the party for selecting the committee members for the assignment.

He also assured the APC National Chairman that the committee would bring peace and settlement to the party in Kogi State.

“There is no doubt that it is an onerous task but we are committed people and I believe bringing our experiences to bear on the issue, we will be able to resolve the issue as directed by our great party.

“I want to assure the National Chairman that we will put in everything possible to succeed in the task given to us,” he said.

Hate Speech Worse Than Terrorism, Says Oyegun

Hate Speech Worse Than Terrorism, Says Oyegun
File Photo: John Odigie-Oyegun

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Odigie-Oyegun, has described perpetrators of hate speeches as worse than terrorists.

Mr Odigie-Oyegun said this on Wednesday in a statement issued by the Assistant Director of Publicity, APC, Mr Edegbe Odemwingie.

The statement was in reaction to an audio recording being circulated especially in the Northern region of the country, which the APC National Chairman described as “dangerous and despicable”.

Merchants of Hate

He, therefore, called on security agencies to promptly apprehend those behind the audio recording and other similar acts irrespective of who they are.

“Every ethnic-based crises of whatever nature had started with hate speech. When people within the same country frame and define one another in a manner intended to set them up for violent attack, then they are setting themselves up for a major disaster. The ‘merchants of hate’ don’t know or just don’t care about the consequences of the fire they are stoking in the country, but they have the experiences of other countries to learn from; Rwanda remains a classic example on our continent.

“However, even as terrible as Rwanda was, it would be nothing compared to what could happen if a huge country like Nigeria is allowed to fall into the disaster of hate-driven conflict. This is why we must all rise, regardless of our political differences and condemn these ugly and shameful acts with one voice,” he said.

Odigie-Oyegun noted that although ethnic distrust was not new in the country, the rising wave of hate speech as well as negative religious and ethnic utterance and actions, as being experienced, was part of the fallouts of the 2015 presidential election.

“Anyone participating in an election knows that there could only be two outcomes – you win or you lose; when you lose, you prepare for the next election. What we have seen, however, is that since 2015, some politicians and political groups have carried on as if they wish the country itself to collapse just because they are no longer in power. This is tragic indeed.”

The APC Chairman consequently urged the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to direct the security agencies to ensure that those behind the odious acts were promptly arrested and brought to justice.

“We cannot sit idle and watch a few disgruntled individuals to destroy our democracy, and God forbids, the nation that we all fought hard to achieve and build,” he noted.