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NASS Crisis: Stakeholders Warn Against Odigie-Oyegun’s Removal    

Following alleged mishandling of the crisis of confidence among party members in the National Assembly, some stakeholders have warned against the removal of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

APC leaders including most governors elected on the platform of the party want him to ‘step aside’ for not addressing the crisis in the National Assembly on time.

But a group, the APC United Front, has cautioned against the removal of Odigie-Oyegun or his forceful resignation.

In a statement in Abuja by its Chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa, the group dismissed the view of those mounting pressure on Odigie-Oyegun to step down.

The statement reads in part: “His contributions to the development of the APC, Edo State and the country are impossible to estimate.

“He kicked out the long–ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He provided Nigerians with a visionary, dedicated and people-oriented leadership that is currently putting in place measures to liberate the nation from PDP’s rule of poverty and oppression.

“He deserves the biggest thanks for being a team player and ensuring the growth of the party.”

But another party source claimed that the mishandling of the crisis in the National Assembly will be one of the major issues to be addressed by the members of the National Caucus Committee (NCC) at their meeting tomorrow.

It was gathered that there is a split in the APC about whether Odigie-Oyegun should go or not for allegedly tolerating the defiance of the party’s directive by Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara.

It was learnt that a major grouse against Odigie-Oyegun in the party was his keeping ‘mum’ even when it was obvious that his authority was eroded by Saraki, Dogara and some APC members in the National Assembly.

A party leader said: “We are on a mission to rescue APC from the hawks who are plotting to kill the party. Once there is no discipline in a party or organisation, such a group will die.

“This is why we want the national caucus meeting on Tuesday to take a decisive action on the fate of Odigie-Oyegun and those who ignored the party’s directive on the choice of principal officers in the National Assembly.”

“We are not surprised by Saraki and Dogara. However, we are extremely saddened by Odigie-Oyegun’s conduct.

“We thought we had a leader who can be assertive. We have found out now that we have a man who will act in accordance with the whims and will of self-serving members.

“If he continues, he will go down in history as one of the group of confederates who conspired to impair change and sink the nation further into a hole.

“In helping to break the Buhari government and this party, Odigie-Oyegun and others are breaking sacred vows made to the Nigerian people. However, he does not apparently think so.

“He has received petitions and recommendations from a wide spectrum of the party. The opinion is the same. Saraki and Dogara need to be disciplined for this unprecedented misconduct. However, Oyegun refuses to say a harsh word or even lift his voice.”

An incensed party member, who stated the opinion of the rank and file, said Odigie-Oyegun was not circumspect enough that some forces are at work to destroy APC.

The source said: “Events in the NASS go beyond Saraki and Dogara. These men would not have dared such rebellion unless backed by strong forces wanting to continue business as usual.

“The forces of reaction and unjust privilege now conspire to thwart the progressive change and reform the electorate endorsed in the last election.

“These people never wanted President Buhari to emerge and have been fighting him from the beginning. They pretended to ally with him only when his victory seemed likely. They came close not to help but to hinder his programme.

“People like Saraki and Dogara are in this camp. Having ridden on the APC to victory, they now seek to destroy the party because of its progressive intent to fight corruption and bring broadly shared prosperity through fundamental economic reform. That is what this fight is about. It is a fight for the soul of the party and for the fate of the nation.”

An anonymous group, APC United Front, however, cautioned against the removal of the chairman or his forceful resignation.

In a statement in Abuja by its chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa, the group dismissed the view of those mounting pressure on Oyegun to step down.

The statement said in part: “His contributions to the development of the APC, Edo State and the country are impossible to estimate. He kicked out the long-ruling PDP. He provided Nigerians with a visionary, dedicated and people-oriented leadership that is currently putting in place measures to liberate the nation from PDP’s rule of poverty and oppression.

“He deserves the biggest thanks for being a team player and ensuring the growth of the party.”

-Leadership

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