By Henry Umoru, Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA- STRONG indications have emerged that a sharp crack exists among the National Working Committee, NWC of the All Progressives Congress, APC, following a call by the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Comrade Timi Frank on the party National Chairman, Chief John Odigie- Oyegun to resign from his position.
Frank noted that the APC failed because Chief Oyegun did not consult widely before embarking on the mock election which he said ridiculed the party, adding that the chairman’s action suggested that he acted under undue pressure to conduct the mock elections as admitted by him and was therefore of the opinion that if the APC was to rid itself of the mistakes of the PDP, it needed a chairman that would insulate himself from undue pressure no matter where such pressure emanated from.
But in a swift reaction the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that Nigerians should ignore his deputy, Comrade Timi Frank who on Monday in Abuja called for the resignation of the party’s national chairman, Chief John Oyegun for gross incompetence.
It will be recalled that Frank also took a swipe at his immediate boss over comment credited to him(Mohammed) that president Moahmmadu Buhari is not the leader of the party.
But reacting to Frank, Mohammed who spoke to our correspondent on phone said that Nigerians should not take his deputy seriously.
“Just ignore him. I said it in the context that Buhari is the leader of the whole of Nigeria, not just of my party that’s why I said I don’t want to react to Timi Frank. I don’t even want to answer him at all”, Mohammed said
According to Timi Frank, it became imperative for the chairman and leadership of the party to resign having embarked on what he described as an embarrassing mock election that never had the blessings of the entire party’s leadership, adding that the leadership exhibited gross incompetence to manage the National Assembly issue until it blew out of hand.
Speaking in Abuja yesterday, Comrade Frank who deputises for Lai Muhammed alleged that what happened was because of the vested interest manifested by the chairman and few of his colleagues in the party, even as he blamed the chairman and some members of the APC’s NWC for the crisis that resulted from the election of leaders of national assembly, adding that it was unfortunate that the leadership of the party played what he termed hide and seek and over indulged themselves in the choice of Senate President and House Speaker.
It would be recalled that Senator Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogara had emerged President of the Senate and House Speaker, House of Representatives respectively, against the wishes and position of the APC. Senator Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila were favoured by the party after the initial holding of a mock election won by the duo, to occupy the seats.
Comrade Frank said, “If my party could not keep to the promise of change, then we must correct them to keep to that. I have no fear or favour than to say that the current leadership of the party has practically failed. With this incident alone, the chairman should resign from his position after taking a position against the people and the people’s position has finally come to stay. In the Western world, by today the party’s national chairman would have resigned honourably. Not just the national chairman but the entire leadership that took this decision of conducting mock election against the outcry of the larger members of the party. Against the bigger picture of Nigerians. A hand-full of the party leadership came to take a decision, and by today the people have shown that the voice of the people is the voice of God.
“You could see the way the party including the national chairman was speaking before the NASS leadership elections; it showed clearly that the chairman had totally taken sides which wasn’t meant to be. I understand, he took some of those decisions based on pressure. In this century, APC as a
party, does not need a chairman that will be under pressure.
“ And the party’s national chairman caused it because times out of numbers some of leaders told him to come up with a zoning formula from the beginning. He was asked to take a decision and let people follow that but he didn’t do that. They were playing hide and seek with the issue until the last minute when they saw the danger, and they wanted to play hanky-panky, which led us to lose one position at the Senate.”
On remarks attributed to the APC’s national publicity secretary that Buhari was a product of the party and not the party’s leader, Timi Frank who frowned at the statement, called on Lai Mohammed to desist from such comments as such were capable of putting the party in bad light, adding, ” Let’s go back and ask Lai Mohammed who the leader of the party is. If he does not recognise the President as the leader. In my own view, If Lai Mohammed that is my direct boss could come up to tell Nigerians that the President is only a product of the party and not the national leader of the party, then he should have been able to tell us who the leader of the party is.
“We have seen that even in then PDP, former President Goodluck Jonathan was the leader of the party. If in our own case the President cannot be the leader of the party, he should tell us who the leader is then,” Frank averred.
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary who described what happened at the national Assembly as good for democracy, said that Nigeria stood to be the overall beneficiary, adding, “Those that are calling for the deputy senate president to resign are anti-people, and I will campaign against it. I will continue to support Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu and every progressive Nigerian should support this mission as it will take Nigeria to the next phase because failure to do this will disrupt