By Onyebuchi Ezeigbo in Abuja
A chieftain and the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress APC, Comrade Timi Frank has asked the national leadership of party led by Chief John Oyegun to quit office on account of their inability to arrest the escalating budget-padding crisis in the House of Representatives.
Frank described the open clashes between an APC House member and the leadership of the lower chamber over budget-padding allegations as “highly embarrassing” to the party and the federal government.
He, therefore, asked the leadership of the party to resign their position if they could no longer steer the ship of the party.
THISDAY gathered that the poor response of the APC leadership to lingering internal crisis afflicting the party has become a subject of concern to some member of the NWC.
Some of them who spoke to THISDAY on Friday but who did not want their name mentioned blamed the national chairman to failing to take the initiative to broker reconciliation among warring camps in the party, especially as it affects the trouble in the National Assembly.
For instance, it was learnt that the chairman without any convincing reason single-handedly stood -down an initiative to summon a meeting of APC senators to try and broker peace among them.
A source also told THISDAY that the matter had reached a stage where some members of the NWC now disagree openly with the Chairman on his leadership style and decisions.
Addressing a press conference in his Abuja residence on Friday, Frank regretted what he described as the inability of the Chief Oyegu- led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to intervene and to stave off a wave of crisis afflicting the party.
On the festering crisis amongst APC members in the Senate, the Deputy Spokesman said that it was unfortunate that the problem in the senate had not been resolved.
He also expressed worry that intra party crisis in other states like Kano, Kogi and Bayelsa had been left unattended to.
“What is happening at the House of Representatives is not only embarrassing to us a party, it’s embarrassment to the President, we must not shy away from the truth. The President is the leader of our party, so if the leadership under Oyegun cannot save the President from embarrassment, who will do it for us? We have to do it by ourselves so that is why I’m taking it upon myself to speak out because I want the President to succeed.
“It is disheartening to note that the party has not waded into resolving the crisis involving two members of the party at the House of Representatives.
“The issue rocking the National Assembly is embarrassing to our party and to Nigerians. This is not a personal attack against the leadership of the party, it is because the silence of my party all the time is not good for democracy and our government as at today.
“I can tell you clearly, nobody will want to speak, I believe it is my duty as the Acting Publicity Secretary of the APC to speak either by my own capacity to intervene at this time.
“This is not the first time our party is keeping queit on issues that bother on individual members of the party or party members from various states, till today, we’ve not been able to resolve the crisis involving our members at the Senate.
“I respect the National Chairman, he’s like a father to me but again, this is issue that has to do with our political party, if we can’t manage it, then the current leadership under Oyegun is not competent. The job of a party is not to conduct primaries alone, the job of a party is to reconcile issues when necessary, but under Oyegun’s leadership, practically I can tell you it is zero.
“Tell me one crisis that has rocked APC, whether at the state or national level that the leadership under Oyegun has been able to resolve. Even the issue between Senator Dino Melaye and Senator Remi Tinubu which was also embarrassing, as a party under the leadership of Oyegun also failed to intervene.
“I’ve never seen a political party that cannot address its own issue but if it is for the party under Oyegun to tell the media that Timi Frank cannot be acting publicity secretary of the party, they will not waste time on that. For his own personal reasons, he’ll rush to tell the media that the they have their reasons for not allowing Timi Frank to act as the party’s publicity secretary.
“I love this party so much, I don’t want us to derail from our responsibilities as no responsible leadership will keep quite in the face of numerous crisis. I was once a PDP member, when we were there, I can testify to you that if there’s any crisis, within 24 hours, you will see the leadership of the party will intervene.
“If Oyegun cannot do this job of harmonising the party members when there are crisis, I’ll say without fear of favour that he should resign and give way for people that have capacity to do the job.
“The truth is bitter but I’ll not relent in speaking it at all time, there are so many leaders of this party that will agree with me that Oyegun is not competent enough to do this job. So many of them will testify although they may not have the competent to speak.
“I want to use this opportunity to beg leaders of this party, if the NWC members cannot do it, the leaders of this party should please wade into the current crisis rocking the House of Representatives.”