Says new coalition party imminent NEC members give Oyegun ultimatum
Party may appoint ex-minister, Abdullahi, spokesman
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, has cautioned that unless the party does something urgently to resolve its internal crisis, it risks loosing members to an emerging new coalition party in the coming months.
Frank who claimed to be speaking the minds of many key members of the party concerning the anomalies in the party, also said he would be writing President Muhammadu Buhari and other key leaders of the party to seek audience with them in order to help save the situation.
Among those Frank said he would visit to seek their intervention are the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, former Vice President, Atiku Abubarkar, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and all the past National Chairmen of the parties that merged to form the APC as well as the then National Chairman of the PDP faction, Baraje.
Frank said the only way to rescue the party would be for the president to intervene and support the calls for the resignation of its National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
“I have to continue to speak out on the shortcomings in the leadership of our party. If we do not make this reform now, I bet you by the time we want to do it in 2019, it will be too late. You are aware that there are so many political realignments going on in this country as at today.
“APC has within now and January 2017 to get things right, failure to do so before that time might be too late because most of us by then will be seeking alternatives to pursue our political agendas. If we are not careful, there might not be APC in 2019,” he said.
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary, said he and other like minds would commence series of rescue measures that would culminate in the convening of an emergency NEC meeting to address crisis in the party.
Apart from reaching out to President Buhari, the estranged deputy spokesman said he would be consulting with the governors of the party to make them understand the danger inherent in their silence in the face of the wave of crisis that has enveloped the party.
“I must remind the president on why he must act fast to see reason why Oyegun has to go is that the same reason why he was driven out of the ANPP, that he cannot stand Oyegun that same thing is about to drive most of our party members out of the party if Oyegun is not being removed
Frank also insisted that he remained the acting spokesman of the party, adding that any attempt to name a new spokesperson outside due process will lead a legal action against the party.
He said reason the chairman did not want him to take up the position of spokesman is merely political because Oyegun knows that he cannot do his bidding.
“I am still in charge as the acting Publicity Secretary of the party. Oyegun cannot hand-pick anyone. It is very clear that there is a constitutional procedure and if they do not follow due process, I am going to take the party to court to determine whether Oyegun has any such powers to carry out such appointment,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Forum of Non-NWC National Executive Committee (NEC) members of the APC has given a-14-day ultimatum to Oyegun to as a matter of urgency convene NEC meeting.
The position of the aggrieved leaders came just as the party is said to be considering the appointment of the former Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, as its acting National Publicity Secretary.
However, THISDAY gathered that the meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) summoned to ratify the appointment of the new spokesman failed to materialised as Oyegun was said to come under stiff opposition from other members who saw it as illegal.
In a meeting of the body consisting of some national officers of NEC who are not members of the NWC, the group alleged that the present leadership of the party has grossly erred to uphold the following APC constitution.
In a communique signed by the group’s Coordinator and National Ex-Officio, (South-west), Hon. Omolaoye O. Akintola, it said that the party’s leadership has failed to convene NEC meetings and national convention as stipulated in the constitution.
“Article 25(Ai) which provides that “The national convention off the party (APC) shall be held once in two years at a date, time and venue to be recommended by the NWC and approved by the NEC
The communique read: “That APC constitutional provisions should be legitimately followed henceforth and necessary redress be made.
‘That the forum is hereby demanding for a prompt inauguration of our party Board of Trustees (BoT) as provided in the party’s constitution.
“That the present incumbent leadership of the party is hereby called upon to give appropriate responses and actions to the two letters previously written to the national chairman of the party which were properly acknowledged.
“That mandated quarterly NEC meeting as provided by our party constitution should be religiously followed henceforth to ensure that an open administration and participatory system of party running is embraced by the national party leadership which would be replicated to the party unit level.