• Tinubu’s appointment timely, says VON DG

By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has described President Muhammadu Buhari move to reconcile aggrieved stakeholders in the party as an effort too late in coming.

In a statement issued yesterday, the APC duputy scribe said though the appointment of former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Tinubu, was a right decision, it would take a magic for him to successfully realise the target within the short time frame.

Frank however urged all members and political leaders within the ruling party to support the appointment of Tinubu to reconcile all the aggrieved members of the party.

While expressing reservations over the possibility of the exercise becoming a success and whether the efforts would not be in futility having taken a long time for the presidency to listen to his calls, Frank said: “Tinubu can not do magic because it’s already late.

“If they had listened to me much earlier, when I was the only voice in the wilderness and appoint someone like this same Tinubu a year ago, may be the likes of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar wouldn’t have left the ruling party.

“There is no doubt that Jagaban is the right person to do this job of reconciliation. But unfortunately, the former Lagos State governor can not do magic because it’s already late and nothing will come out of it. Although some people might not like this truth, but I will continue to say it.

“I don’t know how the national leader will go about this reconciliation task. But I pray that God will give him the necessary wisdom. To be frank, I don’t know how he will succeed in reconciling the likes of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Governor Umar Ganduje in Kano, Senator Shehu Sani and Governor Nasir El-Rufai in Kaduna, Speaker Yakubu Dogara and Governor Mohammed Abubakar in Bauchi, Rotimi Ameachi and Senator Magnus Abe in Rivers State, Senator Dino Melaye and Governor Yahaya Bello in Kogi State, former governor of Edo State Adams Oshiomhole and Chief John Odigie-Oyegun in Edo, crisis in Ondo, Lagos, Gombe, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Osun, Ekiti, Jigawa, Niger and Delta States,” he said.

Frank congratulated the APC national leader for his new role and prayed God to grant him (Tinubu) the needed wisdom to carry out the assignment, adding that “though I know that it is too late.”

However, the Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON) and a chieftain of the party, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, yesterday in Enugu hailed the appointment of Tinubu, describing it as timely.

Okechukwu who spoke with journalists, said the appointment was a milestone for the ruling party, expressing confidence in the ability of the party’s national leader to deliver on the assignment.

The VON DG said Tinubu’s appointment by President Buhari recently was timely as the party prepares for its national convention ahead of 2019 general elections. 

According to him, even though some people claimed that President Buhari is not a democrat, but “no doubt, the president is truly a converted democrat, and like most converts, he is passionate about reconciliation, which is the only missing link to the 2019 presidential victory. The peace process has commenced with Asiwaju as the Grand-Trouble-Shooter (GTS).” 

He maintained that only a person of Tinubu’s calibre could reconcile all the intra-party feuds in APC, pointing out that the former Lagos State governor provided the critical supplement for APC’s victory in 2015.

  “It is a milestone. I salute the president for appointing our national leader, Tinubu, to head such a crucial committee. It is timely and a welcome development. He was one of the core architects of the merger which gave birth to the APC, and has the Midas touch to stitch the torn parts. Let’s be honest, there are intra-party disputes which need a man of Tinubu’s caliber to fix,” he said.

Probed further to name such crisis, Okechukwu said: “It is not crisis per se, but intra-feuds, which normally occur in every human association. Some of them are ego-based; some are ancient grudges while some are frictions which could be traced to the fact that APC is a polygamous household with many mothers and one father.” 

Confronted with the insinuations in the media that Tinubu’s invitation by the president is being resisted by the party supporters, who felt that he was sidelined, Okechukwu said: “I don’t want to comment on speculation, all I know is that our brothers in the Southwest appreciate the critical foundation President Buhari is laying nationwide in infrastructural development.”