The raging crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC), Monday, took a different dimension with the call by one of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) members, Mr. Timi Frank that the party’s national chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun should resign.
Mr. Frank who blamed the chairman and some members of the APC’s NWC for the crisis that has resulted from the election of leaders of National Assembly, said it was unfortunate that the leadership of the party played hide and seek and over indulged themselves in the choice of Senate President and House Speaker.
Senator Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogara had emerged Senate President and House Speaker, respectively, against the wishes and position of the APC. Senator Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila had been favored by the party after the initial conduct of a mock election which was won by the duo, to occupy the seats.
Speaking in Abuja yesterday, however, Mr. Frank who deputises for Alhaji Lai Muhammed in the party stated that the chairman and leadership of the party ought to resign having embarked on an embarrassing mock election that never had the blessings of the entire party’s leadership, more so that the leadership exhibited gross incompetence to manage the National Assembly issue until it blew out of hand. This he said was because of the vested interest manifested by the chairman and few of his colleagues in the party.
“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,” Timi Frank stated.
He specifically blamed APC chairman, Odigie Oyegun for clearly failing to consult widely before embarking on the mock election which he said ridiculed the party. He submitted 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 pressures no matter where such pressure emanated from.
“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,” Comrade Frank said.
On remarks attributed to the APC’s national publicity secretary that Buhari is 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 it was capable of putting the party in bad light.
” 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.
He described what transpired at the national Assembly as good for democracy, noting that Nigeria stood to be the overall beneficiary.
“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 democracy, ” the deputy national publicity secretary stated.