Why I Boycotted APC Convention – Ikimi…Speaks on His Next Plan of Action
Former foreign affairs minister and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Tom Ikimi, have explained the reasons why he boycotted the party’s convention held in Abuja, on Friday.
Controversy began to trail the national convention following the withdrawal of Ikimi, who planned to contest the national chairmanship position of the party.
Ikimi was conspicuously absent at the convention held at the Eagles Square, where the former Governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, emerged the national chairman of the party.
He said his presence would have given credibility to the ‘flawed processes’ that produced Odigie-Oyegun as national chairman of APC.
Ikimi said, “There was no election. Odigie-Oyegun was selected and appointed as chairman. That was why I did not fill and submit my nomination form. I boycotted the convention because its outcome was pre-determined.”
The former minister made the clarification less than 24 hours after Odigie-Oyegun insisted that Ikimi withdrew from the race on his own.
Odigie-Oyegun, has on Sunday said that his rivals for the exalted party position stepped down voluntarily to pave the way for his emergence, asserting that nobody was compelled to withdraw from the contest.
But Ikimi, who enjoyed the support of the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar ahead of the convention, said boycotting the convention was the best option in the prevailing circumstances.
Asked what his next plan would be, he said a formal statement to be issued by him within the week.
On the widespread speculation that he was planning to return to the PDP, Ikimi said, “I am not discussing with PDP and the Presidency. I read the fiction in some newspapers this morning. Please wait for a formal statement from me in the next few days, on the way forward.”
Ikimi was said to have met with President Goodluck Jonathan and the national chairman of the ruling party, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, twice in Abuja in the two weeks apparently to perfect the strategies for his defection to the ruling party.
Impeccable sources said that a former governor of a North West state (name withheld) was coordinating the talks between the former minister and the Presidency.
“It is not a mere speculation that Chief Tom Ikimi was planning to defect to PDP; it is real and he has met President Goodluck Jonathan and national chairman of PDP, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, secretly in Abuja since it became clear to him that he would not clinch the position of the national chairmanship of APC, to work out the modalities for his defection to the ruling party.”
“A former governor of a North West state (name withheld) is the one handling the assignment on behalf of the Presidency through the office of the secretary to the state government of the federation. If all the parties agree on the way forward and barring any unforeseen development, Chief Ikimi is out of the APC and he is set to announce his defection to the PDP,” added a confidant of the former governor who pleaded for anonymity.
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