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APC Nat’l Chairman: Supporters rally behind Oshiomhole, Oyegun

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BENIN—THE controversy over the bid by two former governors of Edo State for the office of national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC deepened yesterday with their supporters taking different stances on the issue.

APC NCW and Governors : From right, Chairman Progressives Governors Forum / Imo state Governor, Rochas Okorocha, National Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Chairman Nigeria Governor’s Forum, Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State and Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibukunle Amosun, during All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors meeting with National Working Committee at the Party’s National Secretariat in Abuja yesterday . Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan

National Vice Chairman, South- South,  of the party, Mr. Ntufam Eta, while defending the endorsement of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for the position of the National Chairman of the party ahead of next month convention, saying “Oshiomhole is the rebranding APC needs ahead the 2019 general elections.”

He spoke in an interview with some journalists, during which he said the zone followed the tradition and due process in endorsing Oshiomhole contrary to views from four state chairmen in the zone, recalling that it was in similar manner that the incumbent National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun was endorsed in 2014 in Port Harcourt, at a meeting hosted by the then governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi where he said, Oyegun was adopted as the candidate of the zone.

He spoke as Chief John Odigie-Oyegun received endorsements of some APC leaders from North-East, North-West and North-Central.

Speaking yesterday on why they picked Oshiomhole ahead the incumbent, Eta said “Oshiomhole fought the god fathers of PDP in Edo State and defeated them. He has the name, the experience to change the fortunes of our party. “I am the National Vice Chairman for close to four years now and what I can say now is that this party, the APC needs rebranding, reinvigoration, we need new creativity, we need to build strong leadership.  I can tell you that we have been lacking very seriously, leadership at the national level of our party.

Throwing their weight behind the endorsement of Oshiomhole, the APC youths in the zone, in a statement by Ebie Paul (Bayelsa), Chidom Ogor (Rivers), Tony Adun (Edo), Edesiri Ojugo (Delta), Victor Eket (Cross River) and Dr Igbiri Cosmas (Akwa Ibom), said  “ Oshiomhole fought doggedly for the APC in the South-South and because of him APC was able to hold on to Edo State.”

Meanwhile, the northern leaders in a statement in Dutse by the chairman of APC United Front, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa, praised Oyegun for unifying the ruling party, fostering collaboration and encouraging engagements that neither diminishes others moral worth.

“The result of the APC chairmanship election won’t surprise anyone”

Specifically, they eulogized Oyegun for bringing unparalleled brilliance and unbridled patriotism to the chairmanship job.

“Oyegun is a stabilizing factor in Nigerian politics. His success in the convention will be based on his performance, popularity and honesty. Other aspirants do not pose serious danger to Oyegun. They have nothing to offer” the leaders said.

Meanwhile, The Deputy  Chairman, of Delta State chapter of  APC, Chief Cyril Ogodo, has described as “desperate and despicable.” the endorsement by some South-South leaders of the party, of former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, as the party’s national chairman ahead of the forthcoming national convention.

According to Chief Ogodo, “They were ambushed at the South-South zonal caucus meeting which was held at the Edo State Government House with the adoption of the former governor.”

Also speaking, a chieftain of the party in the state, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, said: “Leaders and stakeholders of APC have at no time, deliberated on adopting former governor Oshiomhole as our candidate. The incumbent chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun is a worthy son of our zone who has performed credibly well and deserves to be given the first right of refusal before we take a decision.”

Similarly, A group, known as Edo Unity League, EUL, in a  statement in Benin yesterday by its  Director, Action and Mobilization, Mallam Abdul Osaze Uhunasmure, said, “We reject the aspiration by former Governor Adams Oshiomhole because we believe that the position of National chairman of a party should not be  a  reward system

Similarly, we are backing Chief John Odigie – Oyegun because his terrific leadership broke the jinx of hitherto impossibility of unseating an incumbent Federal government. Such a curator of due diligence, such a transparent public administration maestro and such embodiment of peace and diplomacy is needed at this time taking into account how he held forth for President Buhari in the twilight of his medical upheavals and existential threats by Biafra. We can’t forget that in a hurry.

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