The All Progressives Congress (APC) has mocked former National Chairman, John Oyegun, saying he and the National Working Committee he led as National Chairman lacked the courage required to confront the pockets of political despots who could not operate by the party’s rules.
The party cited the National Assembly saga in 2015 that saw the emergence of Bukola Saraki as Senate President and Yakubu Dogara as Speaker against party wishes, while Oyegun could not do anything about it till he left office.
PC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, in an interview with journalists, spoke in reaction to Oyegun’s comments that incumbent chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, was leading the party using “agbero” (tout) style.
The resultant effect, he said, was widespread indiscipline across party ranks, lack of respect for party supremacy as witnessed in the 8th National Assembly leadership and its overall inability to align the varying interests of the legacy parties that came together to form the APC in 2014.
“Let me agree that the NWC that led the party into the 2015 elections and continued till June 2018 did nothing different from what you would find in PDP.
“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.
“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? It would be difficult to calculate what lack of courage to assert the party supremacy cost APC over that period.
“The consequences of the inaction of the party were unimaginable. We all saw the consequences on governance as the National assembly practically held our government to ransom.
“The impunity, which President Muhammadu Buhari has rightly described as lack of patriotism, constituted an unfortunate hindrance to the smooth running of government.
“The leadership under Chief Oyegun, with due respect to him, condoned all sorts of acts of indiscipline from certain members. It is not surprising that the current National Working Committee inherited such a huge mess, where the party was struggling to differentiate itself from the delinquent PDP.
“We all know that PDP was practically dead following the devastating defeat of 2015. The PDP bounced back not because the party has changed its insidious way or did anything different, but because APC did not live up to expectations.
“It goes without saying that when an organisation is unable to enforce its own rules, it would suffer the consequences sooner than later.
“We should not be ashamed to say that our party’s leadership under Chief Oyegun lacked the courage required to confront the pockets of political despots who could not operate by the party’s rules” Issa-Onilu stated.