The subterranean plots to remove the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun is reportedly gaining some traction, with the forces working towards his removal angling to get the president to name him an ambassador.
Past efforts to ease him out of the party through such appointments had failed as Chief Oyegun himself is said not to be well-disposed to such appointments.
Some party insiders accused the Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Babachir Lawal of working in cahoot with the Asiwaju Bola Tinubu camp to remove the chairman.
National Chairman APC, Chief Odigie Oyegun briefing State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adesida
However, the SGF has denied the allegation, saying such appointments are the prerogative of the president. In a text message to Sunday Vanguard, Lawal said; “I do not know anything about the chairman’s ambassadorial as such are made by the president. Did you see his name on the list read out on the floor of the Senate?”, he queried.
Sunday Vanguard learnt that the plot by the contending camps to remove Odigie-Oyegun as the party’s National Chairman before the completion of his four-year term guaranteed by the APC Constitution is a veiled attempt to hijack the APC political machinery in the leadup to the 2019 general elections
The “sins” of the chairman are not far-fetched. In the aftermath of the failed imposition of candidates in the National Assembly, Chief Odigie-Oyegun had refused to kowtow to the demands of a contending camp in the party to sanction the “rebels” Saraki and Dogara, instead toeing the line of caution to ensure that APC did not lose grip of the National Assembly leadership to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Also, the decision of the Odigie-Oyegun-led APC to pick Yahaya Bello over Abiodun Faleke (Tinubu’s candidate) in the aftermath of the Kogi governorship debacle following Abubakar Audu’s death is another “sin”.
His third major “sin” is his handling of the recent primary election in Ondo state whose outcome had forced Mr Tinubu to call for the resignation of the chairman.
SGF under watch
Sunday Vanguard learnt that the SGF and Mr Tinubu are currently placed on a ‘political’ watchlist by some senior associates of President Muhammadu Buhari as well as some members of the National Working Committee NWC of the party.
The development is reportedly linked to the SGF’s perceived support for Tinubu who has been fingered by some of the President’s associates as one of the frontline sponsors of the sustained campaign against the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari and the president’s nephew, Alhaji Mamman Daura; cabinet members and members of APC National Leadership reportedly loyal to the President.
Recall that the SGF had on October 11, reportedly initiated a meeting in his conference room in Abuja with APC stakeholders in Delta state, where he allegedly dismissed the national leadership of the party as tactless in resolving internal party disputes.
The ‘APC Stakeholders’ meeting was reportedly convened by the SGF, Mr. Babachir David Lawal, without the consent and knowledge of the presidency and the APC national leadership.
The report had quoted the SGF as asking the Minister of state, Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu to assume control of the affairs of the party in Delta state, an action which also irked the party’s leadership.